Monday, October 4, 2010

A Stepping Stone Not A Stumbling Block

Luke 17:1
Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come.”

Nothing is meaner than when one person purposely trips up another while they are walking. You may remember in grade school when you were walking, minding your own business, and you tripped over somebody’s foot who thought it would be funny to see you fall. What is it about human nature that we are entertained by seeing someone fall? We almost get giddy when someone falls from grace.

Why do we like to see people fall? Is it because we really want to believe that it’s not possible for people to walk upright? Is it that we never really like the person? Is it that maybe we were secretly envious of the person who fell? Or maybe we just want the person to come back down to our level to make us feel better about ourselves. I’m not saying that all of us enjoy seeing people fall. Many of us are grieved by the latest current events with one of the most influential spiritual leaders falling from grace. This is a day of great sadness. When one of us falls, all of us get bruised. As Christians, we must make up our minds that we are going to be stepping stones and stumbling blocks.

Jesus said people are going to stumble. It’s only natural that we lose our balance every now and then. All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. In the natural we have all tripped over our own feet or slipped/tripped over something. Sometimes, we tripped only to be relieved that nobody saw it. Then other times we had to get over the embarrassment of everybody seeing it, but what hurts the most is when the person you trusted trips you up.

Now look closely here. I’m not blaming the victims for tripping up the one who tripped him. When Jesus warns the disciples about tripping people up, he’s warning those that are stronger to look after those that are weaker. He’s chastising the ones who should know better than to trip up the “little ones.” It’s normally the older who should be looking out for the younger or the stronger looking out for the weaker in the faith. Jesus says, “woe unto you who causes one of these little ones to stumble.” As leaders/Disciples of Christ, we should be stepping stones and not stumbling blocks.

It’s a sin to trip people on purpose. We are stumbling blocks when:

1. We mislead people for our own selfish purposes.
2. We misuse our knowledge on people who have limited knowledge
3. We set traps that you know will cause people to fall.
4. Not warning people that the bridge is out up ahead.
5. Not sharing the truth of the Gospel of Jesus with friends who are going the wrong way.

Today, instead of celebrating somebody’s fall, think of a way to help somebody get back on their feet.

Dear God, forgive me for being entertained by other people’s falls. Help me to make sure nobody around me trips over me. Give me integrity to always look out for the interests of others and to seek the best for those that walk with me or by me. Show me how to keep the path clear of obstruction, give me sound teaching so that I can be a stepping stone for others to go higher in you.

In Jesus Name,

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