We are Christ's ambassadors, called to be peace-makers in this world, to build fellowship and tear down the walls of division. The work begins within our own minds, our own hearts, as we root out any bitterness, rage, or malice and in its place sow love. As ambassadors we are strangers in a strange land. While we may have hours that are quiet or private, there is no public setting where people are not judging us -- and Christ -- by how we as ambassadors conduct ourselves. I will make some quick and obvious points before continuing to the real point of this post.
As evangelists, as ambassadors of peace, there are messages and conduct that undermine us and discredit us.
- Justifying ourselves
- Elevating ourselves
- Accusing others (including its cousin fault-finding)
- Belittling others
- Anger or fits of rage (so-called righteous anger is usually self-righteous anger, and there is nothing righteous about it)
- God forgiving us and others
- Elevating God
- Forgiving others
- Lifting up others
- Love, joy, and peace
The answer is our own sinfulness, I expect. We see humility as a loser's virtue for when we aren't accomplished enough to merit pride. But pride is a decoy virtue that lures us away from our better intentions. Prestige and recognition are bait for a spiritual trap. It is humility that is the basis of friendship, fellowship, brotherhood. It is the basis for all relations based on mutual kindness in which each person enjoys giving and receiving compassion and respect. Without humility there is no peace, there is no forgiveness, there is no reconciliation, there is no fellowship.
We live in dark times. This is no age of saints. So it takes only a little effort to shine as lights. God, grant us wisdom and willingness to walk your paths.