Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.”Luke 17:1-2 (NIV)
In our journey of faith, it is inevitable that we will encounter various stumbling blocks along the way. These stumbling blocks can come in many forms: temptations, doubts, worldly distractions, or even the actions and attitudes of others.
Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, prepared His disciples and us for this reality when He said, “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come.” However, He also issued a strong warning: “But woe to anyone through whom they come.”
As followers of Christ, it is crucial that we not only guard ourselves against stumbling but also strive to avoid becoming stumbling blocks for others. Let us reflect on this teaching and explore three key aspects of it.
THE INEVITABILITY OF STUMBLING BLOCKS
Jesus acknowledged that stumbling blocks are bound to come. In a fallen world, we are constantly bombarded with influences and enticements that can lead us astray from our faith and relationship with God.
These stumbling blocks can come in the form of sin, false teachings, worldly pleasures, or even unexpected trials and hardships. It is important to recognize that we are not alone in facing these challenges; they are part of the human experience. However, our response to them is what sets us apart as disciples of Christ.
THE DANGER OF BEING STUMBLING BLOCKS
Jesus issued a strong warning to those who cause others to stumble. He said, “Woe to anyone through whom they come.” As believers, we should be mindful of the impact our words, actions, and attitudes can have on those around us.
Our conduct should reflect the love, grace, and truth of Christ. When we fail to do so, we risk leading others away from God, damaging their faith, and hindering their spiritual growth. We must remember that our lives are a testimony to the transforming power of Christ, and we should strive to be a positive influence on those we encounter.
THE CALL TO BE A STUMBLING BLOCK FOR NONE
Jesus’ warning reminds us of the importance of living a life that is free from causing others to stumble. This requires self-reflection, humility, and a deep commitment to follow Christ wholeheartedly.
We should examine our actions, speech, and attitudes, seeking to remove anything that could hinder the spiritual journey of others. Instead, let us be intentional about encouraging, supporting, and guiding fellow believers in their walk of faith. By doing so, we demonstrate Christ’s love and help build a stronger and more vibrant community of believers.
So, how can we avoid being stumbling blocks? Firstly, we need to cultivate a close relationship with God through prayer, studying His Word, and relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
This will help us discern right from wrong and equip us to make wise choices. Secondly, we must be vigilant about the company we keep and the influences we allow into our lives.
Surrounding ourselves with fellow believers who share our commitment to Christ can provide accountability and support. Lastly, we should strive to imitate Jesus in our interactions with others, treating them with love, kindness, and respect.
Stumbling blocks are an inevitable part of our journey of faith. However, as followers of Christ, we are called to avoid becoming stumbling blocks for others.
Jesus warned us about the danger of causing others to stumble, emphasizing that we should be mindful of our actions and their impact on those around us. By being aware of this responsibility, we can actively work towards being a positive influence and source of encouragement for others.
When we consider the teachings of Jesus, we see that He consistently demonstrated compassion, humility, and forgiveness. He never sought to lead others astray or hinder their relationship with God.
Instead, He aimed to bring healing, restoration, and salvation. As His disciples, we are called to follow in His footsteps and emulate His example.
One way to avoid becoming stumbling blocks is to prioritize love and selflessness in our interactions. We should strive to treat others with kindness, grace, and empathy, seeking to build them up rather than tear them down.
Our words should be encouraging, edifying, and filled with wisdom. Our actions should reflect the character of Christ, showing integrity and honesty.
Furthermore, we need to be mindful of the areas in our lives where we may be prone to causing others to stumble. It could be through our attitudes, habits, or even the way we handle conflicts. We must prayerfully examine ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any areas of weakness or temptation that may hinder our witness.
Additionally, we should be cautious about the influence we have on those who look up to us, whether it be younger believers, family members, or friends.
We have a responsibility to lead by example and to be mindful of the impact our choices may have on others. This requires us to live with integrity and authenticity, consistently aligning our lives with the teachings of Christ.
However, despite our best efforts, it is important to remember that we are human and susceptible to mistakes. We may unintentionally cause others to stumble at times.
In those moments, it is vital to humble ourselves, seek forgiveness, and make amends where necessary. We must strive to learn from our mistakes, grow in maturity, and allow God’s grace to transform us continually.
Jesus’ warning about causing others to stumble serves as a powerful reminder of our responsibility as His disciples. We are called to avoid becoming stumbling blocks and instead be catalysts for spiritual growth, encouragement, and love.
By prioritizing our relationship with God, being mindful of our influence, and seeking to imitate Christ in all aspects of our lives, we can effectively navigate the challenges that arise and lead others closer to God rather than away from Him.
Let us commit ourselves to this calling, knowing that through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be instruments of God’s love, grace, and truth in the lives of those around us. May we constantly seek His guidance and wisdom, trusting Him to lead us on a path that brings honor to His name and furthers His kingdom.