Thursday, October 6, 2016

Stumbling Blocks

Stumbling Blocks

Have you ever stumbled over something? I have. In that moment when our feet won't work right and they get entangled and we fall on our face, what can we do?

The first thing I would do is look around and see if anyone witnessed my fall. I've stumbled before and have heard people chuckle at my klutziness. But have you ever tripped someone accidentally and caused them to fall? Not as funny, is it?

Stumbling blocks. No one wants to be one or have them in their life.

Before we can avoid stumbling blocks, we must first recognize them. Many people will say if you do this or do that (insert your own do or don't), it will cause someone to stumble. While that may be true, because it could, let me insert a thought here:

Someone else's guilt or belief cannot be put on you as wrong unless, UNLESS, it goes against God's Word.

In other words if your friend thinks it's wrong to go to the beach with mixed company, it doesn't make it wrong per say, because face it, there isn't an 11th commandment: "Thou shalt not go to the beach with the opposite sex."

That is simply the opinion of one person. A stumbling block as referenced in the Bible is talking about avoiding those things in our life that serve as an obstacle to our relationship with Christ. Anything that would serve as a snare, a temptation or a means to come between you and the Lord.

The phrase “stumbling block” is actually used 14 times in various translations of the Bible. Now that we understand "what" a stumbling block can be, "who" can be one?

Anyone can be one, even those doing great things for the Lord can at times present stumbling blocks to us. Look at Peter.

Jesus called Peter a stumbling block after Peter rebuked the Lord for confessing that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priest and the teachers of the law. When Jesus said that He must be killed but on the third day He would be raised to life, Peter insisted that such a thing would never happen. Selfishness was at the root of Peter’s words and Jesus recognized it for what it was...

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns’” (Matthew 16:23, NIV).

Peter was more concerned about himself than the plan of God, and therefore he presented a stumbling block.

Jesus was perfect. We are not. But how often has someone, even with good intentions, discouraged us from following the will God has for our life?

Jesus was quick to recognize the stumbling blocks along the way and He was quick to confront them and press on.

You and I must learn to do the same. Stumbling is not funny, not to God, not when someone spiritually stumbles and falls. May we all consider one another and if someone believes it's wrong to go to the beach with mixed company; put your toes in the sand at another time, so your friend will not be offended, so they may not fall into sin or stumble at your expense.


No comments: