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As I sat with my family at a local breakfast establishment, I noticed a finely dressed man at an adjacent table. His Armani suit and stiffly pressed shirt coordinated perfectly with a "power" tie. His wing-tipped shoes sparkled from a recent shine. Every hair was in place, including his perfectly groomed mustache.

The man sat alone, eating a bagel, as he prepared for a meeting. As he reviewed the papers before him, he appeared nervous, glancing frequently at his Rolex watch. It was obvious he had an important meeting ahead.

The man stood up, and I watched as he straightened his tie and prepared to leave. Immediately, I noticed a blob of cream cheese attached to his finely groomed mustache. He was about to go into the world, dressed in his finest, with cream cheese on his face. I thought of the business meeting he was about to attend. Who would tell him? Should I? What if no one did?

Warn Him

Suddenly the sermon on "community and accountability" I was preparing to preach flashed into my mind. I pushed my chair back and stood to warn him, but the tables were too close and the noise of the crowd too loud. He was at the door and on his way before I could stop him. Hopefully, the man looked in the mirror when he got into his car and saved himself from embarrassment.

All of us have flaws. That's why Christian community is so important. We need others to walk with us, friends who see us as we are, including our blemishes and blunders. We need brothers and sisters who care enough to speak the truth in love and offer a word of kind correction.*

"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1-3).

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelinesScripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

*James R. Needham, Tallahassee, Florida

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