“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” – Romans 12:2
The Bible talks about us as foreigners and not belonging to this world, but it wasn’t until I began living abroad that I truly began to understand what this meant. In South Korea, it is very obvious that I am a foreigner. I do not look remotely Korean, so sometimes I am stared at or even avoided. I can tell that I am different and am very aware of how I don’t blend in. In a sea of black hair, the dirty blonde shines like a beacon. It is obvious that I am not from here. I am always representing my country when I am interacting with people and while I am not the only foreigner in my town, I may be the only foreigner some of these people ever meet. This means that if I am short-tempered, they might make the assumption that all Americans are short-tempered. I have the opportunity to influence how people view Americans.
But I am not just an American foreigner; I am a Christian. I will be a foreigner even when I go back to America. Since I chose Jesus Christ as my Savior, I became a citizen of a new world and I do not belong here. I am visiting as an ambassador of my Father. I may be the only Christian someone meets or I may have the ability to challenge someone’s perspectives on Christianity just by my attitude. Our story might be the only testimony someone hears.
Christ has set me free but I must live in my freedom, as a daughter of God. I am free but I have responsibilities. I am a foreigner living in a new world who has a choice to point people to or away from God by my actions. I think we all know someone who is anti-Christian because of an experience with the church or with someone they know to be a Christian. I also know that none are perfect and that people make mistakes but overall, we should strive to be an example and to live like Christ.
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” – 1 Peter 2:16
Living as a servant of God is freeing. It isn’t a list of do’s and don’ts, although there are things that God tells us to do and not to do. Being a Christian is more than that; it’s about having a relationship with God. It’s about growing in Christ and becoming more Christlike. It doesn’t mean being perfect – that’s not going to happen in this world. It’s about trying your best, asking for forgiveness when you mess up, and loving.
“Honor everyone.” – 1 Peter 2:17
This goes back to loving your neighbor like yourself. We are called to love and respect people no matter what they’ve done. This doesn’t mean we overlook sin, but it’s not our place to judge. We’re to welcome people and point them to the Father and let Him take care of the rest. We’re ambassadors who are meant to wander as foreigners in this world until He calls us home. We are to represent Him and the only way to do that is through love.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:39
Do you feel like a foreigner in a foreign land or have you ever lived abroad? What do you think about being an ambassador for Christ? Are you doing a good job? As always, I love hearing from y’all.