“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.” (Matthew 18:8 NKJV).
The devil can employ or utilize anyone or anything to put a stumbling block in your way to cause you to stumble and fall into sin. However, you are not justified to blame anyone or anything for your fall because you are commanded by the Lord to watch and pray lest you fall into temptation (Matt. 26:41).
Nevertheless, it is a grievous sin to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in the way of other believers.
6 But whoever shall cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung about his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea. (MNT).
According to the Scripture, the only way to live in such a way that your life will put no stumbling block in the way of others is by walking in God’s kind of love. It is only as you deal with or relate with other believers in divine love that your speech and conduct will put no stumbling block in their path.
John the Beloved aptly presents this truth.
1 John 2:
10 He who loves his brother continues in the light, and his life puts no stumbling-block in the way of others.” (WNT).
When you cease to walk in divine love, your life will become a stumbling block that will cause other believers to stumble and fall into sin (Eph. 5:1-2, Rom. 14:15).
While it takes walking in divine love to live in such a way that your life will put no stumbling block in the way of others; however, it takes walking in divine wisdom to deal with any stumbling block that anyone may deliberately or inadvertently put in your way.
The Lord Jesus gives us divine wisdom for dealing with any stumbling block in Matthew 18:8-9.
How did Jesus teach or instruct us to deal with any stumbling block puts in your way?
Cut it off!
Pluck it out!
Cast it from you!
8 “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.
9 “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire. (NKJV).
According to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the only right way to deal with any stumbling block in your life is to cut it off, pluck it out, and cast it away from you.
What did the Lord Jesus really mean by these figurative words?
First, the Lord Jesus is saying to you that it is far better for you to suffer loss and endure pain or shame than to keep or retain any close relationship, any friendship, any association, any business partner, any career, any job, anyone or anything that is causing you to constantly stumble and fall into sin.
Second, the Lord Jesus is also saying to you that it is primarily your personal responsibility to renounce, relinquish, give up, dissociate or distance yourself from anything or anyone that is perpetually causing you to sin or disobey God’s Word.
It is you that must cut off from your friends who constitute a hindrance to your daily close walk with Jesus or your spiritual growth. It is you that must pluck out any lust or inordinate desire, selfish dream or ambition in your mind. It is you that must cast away from you any opportunity, occasion, or provision for the flesh to fulfil its lusts.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (NKJV).
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. (NKJV).
Paul amply admonishes us in his epistles to avoid, withdraw from, and not keep company with those who are walking disorderly.
17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. (NKJV).
2 Thessalonians 3:
6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.
14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.” (NKJV).
1 Corinthians 5:
11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person. (NKJV).
It is wisdom to heed these admonitions!
Beloved, while walking in divine love so that you may not put a stumbling block in the way of other believers, see to it also that you are walking in divine wisdom lest anyone or anything becomes a stumbling block or a cause to fall in your way.
Don’t toy with or tolerate any stumbling block in your way!
Be wise to heed Jesus’ instruction to cut off, pluck out, or cast from you any stumbling block in your way.
Be wise to heed Paul’s admonition to avoid, withdraw from, and not keep company with anyone who is putting a stumbling block in your way.
It is wisdom to heed these admonitions!
33 Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it. (NKJV).
17 He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, But he who refuses correction goes astray. (NKJV).
1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. (NKJV).
32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. (NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I receive today divine wisdom and boldness to cut off, pluck out, cast away from me, and withdraw from anyone or anything that is constantly causing me to stumble and fall into sin, in Jesus’ name. Amen.