Sunday, 1 November 2015

Stumbling Blocks


Scripture:  Romans 14 v 13: "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."  

1 Corinthians 8 v 9: "But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak."

It is a very serious matter in God's eyes when we become insensitive to other members of the Body of Christ. It can be likened to self-harming when equated with 'love your neighbour as yourself'. If you tear others down instead of caring and helping them overcome their problems, you are inviting calamity into your life.   

When we judge one another we need to realize that we are seeing our own faulty nature in them. It comes from a root of pride which refuses to let us see ourselves as we really are, so we project our faults onto others. Romans 2 v 1 says in the very thing we accuse another we proclaim our own guilt.  We need to cease judging our brothers and sisters and rather make sure we do not put stumbling blocks in their way.

A stumbling block causes a person to trip and fall. Gossip, backstabbing, and undermining create terrible stumbling blocks. Ezekiel spoke about the stumbling blocks of our iniquity (sins). Our own sins block us from the presence of God and frustrate us as we fail to achieve our goals.

If we love the sinful habits we have and entice others who may be weaker to participate in our sins, which could lead them to being severely hurt or killed by drugs or alcohol or riotous living; then we would be guilty of that harm coming to them. You cannot stand before God and say it wasn't your fault they had a fatal crash. We don't like hearing this "guilt trip" stuff, we don't think we are our brother's keeper.  

If you cause others to stumble remember that the golden rule applies - what you do to others will be done to you. So if you have caused a problem by putting a stumbling block in someone's way, repent quickly and pray to be released from the consequences.  Paul says even our liberty in Christ can cause others to stumble. So don't flaunt the power of God everywhere, be led of the Holy Spirit in all meekness.

We are commanded to love our brothers (and sisters) as Jesus loves us. He laid His life down for us and we must become unselfish in our love for one another. Love is not a word its an action; its not romance and feelings, it is allowing God to take you into someone else's pain and taking it on as Jesus did for us.

Sow good seeds of truth, faith, goodness which uplift others; help turn their lives around. While you are busy doing that, Jesus is removing stumbling blocks out of your way and protecting you and yours from harm. So if you are having a sequence of problems, search your heart for where you might have caused a weaker person to fall and walked away. Go back and take responsibility, be the good Samaritan and restore that person back to God.  

Prayer: Father God, its hard to fix this if someone I hurt is no longer alive but I will pick up a fallen person wherever I can to make up for that loss. I repent of every stumbling block I have ever placed to trip another.   Change me to be a blessing to others in everything I do and say. In Jesus' name. Amen.