FROM STUMBLING BLOCK TO A STEPPING STONE PART 1Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother....Romans 14:13 AMP
Can you really turn a stumbling block into a stepping stone?
This next verse in our series mentions BOTH A Stumbling Block and A Hindrance. We all know what a stumbling block is - well, it's something we trip over and sometimes, in embarassment, almost fall over! The next word, Hindrance, is particularly important as the ORIGINAL word for it is "Scandalon". If this looks familiar - it is!
The word Scandal comes from it! What the Apostle sent by Christ is relaying is, in this life, people are going to try to trip us up! Literally, morally, spiritually and otherwise, they are going to try to bring us down! An immature believer is just that - immature. At some point in our Journey with Jesus, we were all immature.
We followed certain philosophies, books, authors, musicians - all people. We brought our own pride and prejudices into our relationship with Christ and caused the Lord to shake His Head more than once! Our attitudes and conduct may and, most likely, probably did, cause someone close to us to watch a movie they should not. Also as most in the young and restless Christian crowd are now doing - they are drinking beer and wine in pubs and bars, just like any secular person!
We can also be a scandal or a major hindrance to a brother or seeker by talking trash at work; watching R and X rated movies; flirting with every woman or man you come across; cheating on your taxes or having affairs! These things are totally foul and unpleasant to the Lord!
All of this was, and still is, going to show Christ in a bad light to weak- or non-believers all around us at work, the office and the marketplace. Now God Himself will not put a stumbling block or a scandal to hurt us, but He will put something to cause us to fall to the ground (like a kernel of wheat) so we can die to our sin - AND LOOK UP TO HIM. This is another issue.
What we're doing in this two part devotional is recognizing how our conduct can affect the walk, talk and salvation of another person. Tomorrow, we look at how we can turn the stumbling blocks which we, or others put in our way, into Stepping Stones to help someone else...and even ourselves!