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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

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Col. 3:23

Dear heavenly Father, meditating on this Scripture reminded me of recently coming upon your Son’s name written into the sidewalk in front of a neighbor’s home. “Jesus loves you” was etched in the dried 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?”

But it didn’t take me long to move from being a self-appointed prosecuting attorney to one of your beloved and convicted children. For I realize you have every right to ask me in similar fashion, “And 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 publically overindulge in food and beverage and call it ‘Christian liberty’? And what are you thinking when you cop an attitude when lines, the internet, traffic, and store clerks don’t move fast enough for you? And what are you thinking when you’re picky and petty with your spouse in front of your children.”

A redemptive “Ouch”, indeed. Father, forgive me when my actions and attitudes have the opposite effect of making the gospel attractive—when I confirm people’s assumption that Christians aren’t different from anybody else.

Father, the gospel is attractive all by itself. 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. I simply must be more careful not to hide its beauty by my selfishness, insensitivity and lack of manners. Continue to show me what it means to do all things in line with the truth of the gospel (Gal. 2:14). By the liberating power of your grace, help me to do everything as unto you—whether I’m eating, drinking or anything (Col. 3:17; 1 Cor. 10:31), when others are watching or not. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ peerless and loving name.



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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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