Did anyone cause a stumbling block in your life? You wanted to achieve something, but because of someone, your growth is affected? You are trying your best to live peacefully, but someone tries to bring in some problem, which constantly disturbs your mind?
We live in an imperfect world. Offenses (or stumbling blocks) will come for sure! No doubt! Even Jesus said the same.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Luke 17:1, 2
However good you are, whatever good you do, you will still come across people who become a stumbling block in your life. It may be your spouse, or your colleague or your friend or anyone who plays a major role in your life. The truth is that it is impossible to stop them. So never be surprised when you find someone becoming a cause for offense in your life.
The above quoted statement in different versions
For better understanding of the Bible verse quoted above, I have copied the same verse from 5 different translations. Note the underlined words/phrases.
“Stumbling blocks [temptations and traps set to lure one to sin] are sure to come, but woe (judgment is coming) to him through whom they come! (Amplified Version)
“Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come (New International Version)
“There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting! (New Living Translation)
“It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! (New American Standard Bible)
“Situations that cause people to lose their faith are certain to arise. But how horrible it will be for the person who causes someone to lose his faith! (GOD’S WORD Translation)
Here, we can note two things
- A situation created by another person which became a stumbling block in one’s life
- The person who caused that stumbling block
What does stumbling block mean?
If we are causing another person to do a mistake or if, because of us, some conflicts or divisions happen, then, we are causing an offense or a stumbling block to others. Let me give few examples from daily life.
- One day your close friend misunderstood your words and made fake stories about you and spread the news to many of your friends. When you came to know about this, you were hurt. You never expected that from your friend. Now your mind became stressful. Here, this friend caused a stumbling block in your life.
- Your close friend betrayed you, or you were cheated by someone whom you trusted a lot. Here, your friend offended you.
- You are a guy and in your daily walk of life, you found a girl whom you know, wearing a provoking dress and it caused your mind to stumble and caused you to lust after her. Here, this guy or girl made a situation in your life which indirectly caused you to be tempted sexually. This is a stumbling block.
- In your team, everything was peaceful and smooth, suddenly two people started quarreling and made the situation stressful. This became a reason for chaos in the team and caused a stumbling block to other team members as well.
- There was a situation in your life, where arose a disagreement among your family members, and disputes broke out, which caused the other members or relatives to gossip or fight among themselves. Here, the one who started the gossip, and the people who contributed to the fight became the stumbling block to other family members.
- You are in a public place. Suddenly you see an uproar or a fight between people. Someone caused a problem and others joined them and made it a public uproar. Here, the people who were involved in the conflict created a situation which became an offense for others who witnessed it.
- Somebody starts a conversation with you, speaking evil of a third person. You provided more supporting evidences and the conversation slowly started becoming a gossip. Here, you and the person involved in the gossip indirectly paved way for an offense.
This is how different kinds of offenses or stumbling blocks takes root and destroys family lives, relationships and the society as a whole. Whatever prevents your way towards success is the stumbling block in your life.
But what can we do for this?
Let not YOU be that ‘person who causes trouble’! OR Let not that offense come THROUGH YOU!
Let the people who are good in causing troubles do it, you cannot stop them, but atleast you can make sure that you are not the reason for another person to stumble or to sin!
Will you try? Just imagine, if we all take a decision not to cause a stumbling block in another person’s life, how good our society would be!
What will happen to the person who causes to stumble?
It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Luke 17:2
Jesus warns us that great sorrow or judgement is awaiting the person who causes another person to stumble. So don’t allow yourself to be in trouble later. God’s judgement is just and fair. He will punish those who cause offense. Beware!
The one who causes stumbling block, not only causes one individual to err, but it will adversely affect the future of a family or the society or an entire generation. A wise person stays away from causing trouble to others.
See Paul’s instruction to the Church at Rome
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. Romans 14:13
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Romans 14:19
See Paul’s instruction to the Church at Corinth
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. I Cor 8:9
When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall. I Cor 8: 12
If you, by any means, cause another person to loose his faith in God or make him sin, you are definitely going to be in trouble.
A peace ‘maker’ not a peace ‘breaker’
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matt 5:9
It is easy to cause a chaos or confusion, but it really takes a lot of effort to make peace. If your nature is to make peace, God calls you as His children, because God is love, and He loves peace. That is why Bible also says,
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. I John 4:7
If you have true love, you will try your best to make peace. Even if you find someone doing wrong, if you have love, you will handle it in a better way, without causing a stumbling block to others.
Do you want to be a peace maker or a peace breaker? God calls you to make peace wherever you are!
Let’s examine ourselves
- How many conflicts happened just because of me?
- Did a fight or an argument breakout because of the information which I gave?
- Am I the reason for their fight?
- Do I have a part in that conflict?
- Did I cause any problem in another person’s family life?
Now remember the words of Jesus:
Jesus said to His disciples, “Stumbling blocks [temptations and traps set to lure one to sin] are sure to come, but woe (judgment is coming) to him through whom they come!
It is inevitable that offenses will come, but let it not be through you.
Shall we pray?
Father, thank you for teaching me that causing offense deserves a great punishment from you. Therefore, help me not to cause an offense or a stumbling block in my brother’s way. Please help me to make peace and to be peaceful always. I’m sorry for all the troubles which I have caused in many people’s lives. Please forgive me and make me pure. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now, what else would you like to add to this?