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Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. Titus 2:9-10

Gracious Father, while jogging today I came upon your Son's name in a recently poured sidewalk. "Jesus loves you" was neatly lettered in the cement with either a finger or a stick. The elder brother in me reared his ugly head, and I wanted to find the culprit and ask, "What were you thinking? You defaced private property, identified yourself as a Christian, and this is supposed to make the gospel attractive to nonbelievers--especially to the owners?"

But it didn't take me long to move from being a self-appointed prosecuting attorney to a convicted son. For I realize you could just as easily ask me, "What are you thinking when you and your friends carry on conversation about me in a restaurant, then under-tip your server? And what are you thinking when you drive like a madman on the interstate with a fish symbol on the back of your car?

And what are you thinking when you are easily within hearing range of others, and you freely offer blistering critiques and arrogant criticisms of my children? And what are you thinking when you overindulge in food and beverage in public and call it 'Christian liberty'? And what are you thinking when you cop an attitude when lines, traffic, and service-people don't move fast enough for you?" Have mercy on me the sinner, Father, have mercy.

Father, the gospel is attractive all by itself. In fact, there's nothing more beautiful than the gospel for its all about the glory and grace of Jesus. You're not calling us to "spice it up," put a bow on it or add anything to it, for there's no such need. We simply must be more careful not to hide its beauty by our tackiness, foolishness and lack of manners. Continue to show us what it means to do all things in line with the truth of the gospel (Gal. 2:14). So very Amen, we pray in Jesus' peerless name. Amen.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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