Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.” Luke 17:1
How we act and what we say in the presence of others can be powerful. Are we doing and saying things which bring glory to God? Do our actions and words line up with our beliefs? Would people know us as Christians the first time we meet? It is our responsibility to consistently demonstrate the life and love of Christ to others by our words and through our actions. As Luke 17:1 warns, “woe to anyone” who causes another to stumble.
When I think about the word stumble in this verse I immediately think of sin. Would I want to cause another to sin? You may argue that we cannot “cause” another to sin, rather the individual themselves “chooses” to sin…and that is on them, not us. Perhaps. But, do we really want to have that glass of wine in front of our alcoholic friend or buy lottery tickets in the presence of a gambling addict? What about when we dance a little too close to that line of being inappropriate in what we say or do knowing it will lead to something far worse? In these moments are we living for Christ or being used by Satan as a tool for temptation in another’s life?
Most of us could, without hesitation, say that we would never choose to physically harm another human being. What about when we choose to spiritually harm someone? What about causing another to stumble? It is far worse for us when we say or do things which lead another person to sin. (Mt 18:6) And, it is far worse for them to be led into sin. (Rom 6:23)
As we grow in our relationship with God it is imperative that we pursue holiness and right living in all situations. We are called to reflect Christ’s character which is alive in us through the Presence of his Holy Spirit. We are called to be holy examples to those around us. (1 Peter 1:16)
Today let us pray before speaking. Let us seek the counsel and guidance from the Holy Spirit before taking action. May everything we say and do be pleasing in His sight. (Rom 12:1) And, most importantly, may we never cause another to stumble into sin.
Kami R. Lobner