Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. —1 Peter 3:15
I was frustrated by the White House Press Secretary this week—I wasn’t quite understanding his explanation for something the President had said. But, more than that, I was frustrated for him. Being the official whose primary responsibility is to act as the spokesperson for, not just the most powerful person in the world, but his entire administration, can’t be easy. In fact, after I had calmed down about the actual content of the sound byte, I wondered what this guy’s day must look like—collecting information about actions and events within the President's entire administration and then issuing the administration's official reactions to developments around the world, defending everything the President and his associates say and do. I mean, that’s what I call stress—especially when his boss’ approval rating dipping below 40%.
You’d think the position would be turning over regularly, people quitting as fast as you could hire them. But that’s the thing—they tend to stick around, sometimes as long as the President is in office. Good thing, because sticking around for a long time is the only way they could ever succeed at their job. So many questions are asked on the fly, the Press Secretary doesn’t have the time to prepare an answer—he (or she) has to respond intuitively, not reflecting what he thinks the President would say but reflecting what he knows the President would say. Forget the politics—achieving that level of relationship is an amazing accomplishment, in and of itself.
When you think about it, though, that’s what is asked of Jesus followers. But our loyalty is not to the leader of the Free World, it’s to the Creator of the entire world. We are His spokespersons, collecting information about actions and events within His Kingdom, defending everything that we believe He stands for and preparing to answer people who aren’t quite ready to believe what He says. Those who are paying attention depend on our accuracy and our clarity.
Better be on our game. We’re in this for the long haul.