“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6 NKJV).
It is a great wickedness in God’s sight to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in the way of any believer in Christ.
The Lord Jesus warns against this act in Matthew 18:
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.
7 “Woe unto the world because of such stumbling-blocks! They will surely come, but woe unto each man by whom they come! (MNT).
Paul also warns in 1 Corinthians 8:
12 And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. (NLT).
Of course, every believer is commanded by the Lord to watch and pray, lest he falls into temptation.
The Lord Jesus admonishes His disciples in Matthew 26:
41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”(NKJV).
Paul also admonishes us in Colossians 4:
2 Give yourselves to prayer at all times, keeping watch with praise. (BBE).
Therefore, when you stumble and fall into any temptation, you are not justified, exonerated or absolved from the blame notwithstanding the stumbling block anyone might have put in your way. However, anyone who puts a stumbling block in your way is not guiltless and will not go unpunished.
After Balaam’s several futile attempts to place a curse upon the children of Israel as requested by Balak the King of Moab, he taught him to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel.
According to Balaam’s evil counsel, the King of Moab sent out the daughters of Moab to seduce the men of Israel, thereby luring them into worshipping their gods and into committing sexual immorality. Consequently, God’s anger aroused against the men of Israel and twenty-three thousand fell among them in a single day (Num. 25:1-5, 1 Cor. 10:7-8).
While God punished the men of Israel for falling into the temptation to worship the gods of the Moabites and to commit sexual immorality with the daughters of Moab, Balaam who devised the plan that caused them to fall did not go unpunished. In the battle against the Midianites, the children of Israel slew Balaam with the sword (Num. 31:8).
What a warning to us today to beware of putting a stumbling block or a cause to fall in the way of others!
Although it is absolutely true that you have total liberty in Christ, for you are no longer under the law, but under grace, yet the Scripture cautions you to “beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.” (1 Cor. 8:9 NKJV).
The Scripture admonishes that in whatever you do – whether in eating, drinking, speaking, walking or dressing, you must resolve “not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in your brother’s way.” (Rom. 14:13 NKJV).
Apostle Paul firmly resolved to avoid anything that will cause other believers to stumble and sin.
Paul clearly states his resolution in 1 Corinthians 8:
13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. (NKJV).
You may ask, is it that serious? Yes it is! Why?
For it is a grievous sin to cause any believer to stumble and fall into temptation!
The Lord Jesus warns, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6 NKJV).
As it is your responsibility to ensure that you watch and pray so that you don’t stumble and fall into temptation, so it is also your responsibility to see to it that you don’t in any way or by any means cause any believer to stumble and fall into sin.
Therefore, Paul admonishes us in 1 Corinthians 10:
31 Whether, then, you are eating or drinking, or whatever you are doing, let everything be done to the glory of God.
32 Do not be causes of stumbling either to Jews or to Gentiles, nor to the Church of God. (WNT).
13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. (NKJV).
21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. (NKJV).
Although temptations are somehow inevitable in this fallen world, yet you must not yield yourself to the flesh or the devil to employ and use you as an instrument of temptation, or as a stumbling block in the way of other believers.
The Lord Jesus declares, “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes!” (Matt. 18:7 RSV).
Therefore, you must resolve to live in such a way that you will put no stumbling block or a cause to fall in the way of other believers.
How do you live in such a way that you will not put a stumbling block in the way of others?
Simply by walking in divine love!
The Scripture expressly states this truth in 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).
Love is the perfect or excellent way to live as a born again believer. It is only as you walk in God’s kind of love that your speech, attitude, conduct or character will put no stumbling block in the way of others.
Therefore, Paul encourages us in Ephesians 5:
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (NKJV).
Beloved, when you are not walking in God’s kind of love, you are simply putting a stumbling block in the way of others.
Paul warns in Romans 14:
15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. (NKJV).
But how do you deal with any stumbling block that anyone may put in your way to cause you to stumble and sin?
Find out in the next piece!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, today, I repent of putting a stumbling block in the way of others by not walking in divine love. I receive Your forgiveness and grace today to live in such a way that my life will put no stumbling block in the way of other believers, in Jesus’ name. Amen.