Wicked Messenger vs Faithful Ambassador

A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.

Proverbs 13:17

Many of the verses in the book of Proverbs deal with a contrast between two opposite things.  In this verse, we find a contrast between a “wicked messenger” and a “faithful ambassador.”  As we consider these two, we can apply them to our own lives to see which of two we often are.

First, we see the “wicked messenger” and are told that he “falleth into mischief.”  When you think about a messenger, what is he supposed to do?  A messenger has but one job: to deliver a message.  That should be all he does – just deliver the message.  So, if he has only one job to do, how does he become a “wicked messenger?”  He doesn’t deliver his message!  Instead, he might get distracted and start doing other things, hence the “falleth into mischief.”  The wicked messenger is wicked because he does things other than his one job of delivering a message.

On the other hand, we can see the “faithful ambassador” and are told that he “is health.”  How is a faithful ambassador health?  Sometimes an ambassador has to deliver an unpleasant message.  I believe that he is “health” because he delivers the message and does his job.  The recipient of the message now has an opportunity to respond to it.  In some cases, that might mean saving his life.

As Christians, we have a message that we are supposed to be delivering.  The Bible even refers to us as “ambassadors for Christ.”  (II Corinthians 5:20)  If we had to judge our lives today, would we be more likely to fall into the “wicked messenger” category or the “faithful ambassador” category?  Let us all strive to be that faithful ambassador, giving out the message that we have been given!

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