THIS IS PART 3 OF A 4 PART SERIES
– IF YOU MISSED QUESTION #1 – CLICK HERE
– IF YOU MISSED QUESTION #2 – CLICK HERE
Jimmy almost always had a container of mints on him. The only problem was that it was a small round container that he kept in his back pocket. For those who might not be familiar, that looks remarkably close to a canister of tobacco that many carry in the same place. He was so committed to his mints that the container left a ring imprint on the back of most of his jeans. He knew it was harmless but no one else did.
(image courtesy of http://nos.twnsnd.co)
I know you might be saying, “who cares what anyone else thinks?” Many times I feel the same way, but if my desire is to see souls saved and discipled, I will care if it could harm them eternally! After Jimmy realized what it actually looked like, he promptly quit carrying his mints there. No one forced or persuaded him he just didn’t want to hinder anyone else’s faith.
QUESTION #3: WILL IT CAUSE SOMEONE ELSE TO STUMBLE?
Every decision touches someone else!
This question moves beyond the realm of personal testimony to the arena of others’ faith. Even if I’ve settled questions one and two, further examination is required. How will this affect some else’s faith? The Apostle Paul made it clear that there were many things that were lawful for him but also had the ability to cause someone weaker in their faith to stumble.
9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. – 1 Corinthians 8:9–13 (KJV 1900)
The key to remember is that not everyone is at the same maturity level in their walk with The Lord. Obviously, I’m not saying that sin becomes okay a little further down the trail, but that my actions may be perceived as sin and cause someone else to fall into error.
13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. – Romans 14:13 (KJV 1900)
Are there some areas that need evaluation in your life? What are some things you’ve had to adjust that could cause someone else to stumble?