With the World Cup in full swing, one of the more compelling stories off the field has been the actions of the Japanese fans. Typically, when fans come into the conversation, it’s for their disrespectful or destructive antics. But following their team’s upset victory over Germany, the Japanese fans didn’t go trash the city. Instead, they took up trash bags and began cleaning up after themselves. And this isn’t an activity they do just when they win. They did the same thing back in 2018 right after their team lost to Belgium and was ejected from the World Cup tournament.
What’s remarkable is that these fans have become just as important ambassadors for their home country as the team they came to cheer on, and by their actions they’re winning respect around the world.
It makes me think about our role as citizens of the Kingdom of God. While we often look to the big named players on the biggest stages to be our ambassadors, the truth is every single person that calls Jesus Lord is an ambassador of our king. And how we choose to live, how we choose to react in both success and failure, shapes the way other people perceive the one we represent. Far too often we’ve been known for our bad behavior, for our pettiness, arrogance and self-centeredness. Sadly, our actions have often misrepresented the heart of the one we represent and have caused others to run from him rather than to him.
We can all learn from the example set by these Japanese soccer fans. You are never too insignificant to make a difference and the world is always watching. But the way we will truly represent the heart of the one we call Lord isn’t by declaring our superiority, but by taking the posture of a servant. After all, Jesus did say that the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven would be the servant of all.
Faith-Based From Blasphemous to Divine
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