Jesus said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.” (Luke 17:1-2 – NASV) All must agree that the Lord’s warning is a serious one. Surely, we must be careful to avoid offending anyone who is a child, a new convert, a weak Christian, or others who are vulnerable. There are a couple of simple ways that we could place a stumbling block in the path of another. Consider:
1. By example. When ‘at risk’ individuals observe a Christian engaging in suspect activities, it places a huge temptation before them to imitate that example. When they fall into sin as a result, there is no doubt that God will hold the offending party responsible. Christians need to seriously consider where they go, what they do, with whom they associate, etc. Others are watching and observing. Will they be damaged by what they see in you?
2. By thoughtless comments. Far too often brethren will espouse strange or unproven ideas in the presence of new converts or weak brethren. Sadly, this frequently happens in our Bible classes. While it may have only been offered to ‘spark conversation’ or ‘generate discussion’’, the outcome is that the susceptible hearer is shaken in faith and left in a spiritually precarious position. Examples of this sort of thing would include those who voice arguments in favor of social drinking or dancing, while adding the disclaimer, “Now, I don’t do it myself . . .” What are these folks thinking!?! Do they not see the stumbling block they have carelessly cast in the path of others?
The apostle Paul said that he would forego anything that might cause offence to another (1 Cor. 8:8-13). We should do the same. Think!