My Daily Journal:
How do I bring others to Christ? I think the answer to that is by living out my faith. It is not just in the words that come out of my mouth, but also in my actions and behaviors. It is not just in missional statements but in actions and interactions. The way I choose to live my life. The people I choose to be around and the way I choose to spend time, in ways that bring honor and glory to God. The way I put trust in Him and show His love in my interactions with others.
How do I cause others, particularly “little ones” to stumble? I think the same things apply. It isn’t just a direct comment or statement I make to them, but more often through my actions and interactions. The things I do in my life that do not bring honor and glory to God. The way I choose to live my life in worry and doubt instead of trusting in Him fully. They people I choose to be around who don’t follow Him. The interactions I have with others that exclude God.
The message in our passage today is that this is extremely serious. Far more serious than, I think, we give it credit. We go through life with such nonchalance, not thinking how the anger we feel, or the worry, or frustration or greed, lust or pride influence our words and actions in ways that can cause those “little ones” who are watching to stumble. We like to delude ourselves thinking that no one notices, but talk with young believers. Their number one concern of becoming a christian is that they will be seen to be “religious”, joined with hypocrites who go through the motions on Sunday morning but fail to demonstrate it the rest of the week.
Harsh? Yes. But when our Lord says it would be better to tie a heavy stone around your neck and go drown yourself, I am thinking we should probably take this seriously!
better to have a large millstone hung around their neck and drowned in the depths of the sea
Pride – we saw someone drive out demons in your name but he wasn’t one of us so told him to stop
stop judging and criticizing others – Don’t be a stumbling block either in my words or actions or approach. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should because it may be misunderstood – err on the side of shining God’s light.
criticism, bad examples, drinking, failing to serve or grumbling about service
Even when I go astray, Jesus doesn’t write me off or condemn or curse me, instead He seeks me out and rejoices in my return.