The Sin of Being a Stumbling Block
Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks comes, but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes - Matthew 18:7
Nobody like anyone who sets themselves up as a stumbling block and a rock of offence and just like we don’t like them, Jesus also loathes those who acts as stumbling blocks to others; to the extent that He said, “He will send his angel to gather them out of His Kingdom”.
Being a stumbling block come is many ways, with one goal of causing others to stumble or fall in one way or another. It could be, deliberate or by mistake by the impacts of their words and actions. I realised that over the last five years the events on Social Media has caused many to stumble or fall; from corporate organisations, to friends, families, brothers and sisters in Christ, neighbours and everyone in between. The empty promises flaunted across Social Media was responsible for the many evil and atrocities carried out locally by the NHS and neighbours having stumbled upon the many public promises of opportunities & favours by those who should know better. Leading to widespread division and infighting locally and internationally.
I realised that even the NHS and neighbours responsible for these atrocities, were first and foremost victims to the flaunting of promises long before they became perpetrators themselves whilst noting how these promises of opportunities had stirred negative actions and emotions in them from late 2013. However, this experience has not deterred them in spreading rumours and gossip of their intentions to sponsor or fund the ministry, thereby unleashing discord and disharmony across all spheres of relationships. These empty promised have been responsible for many stumbling or falling on the promises of absolute strangers online and caused so much enmity amongst the communities who would otherwise be cordial and in good fellowship with one another.
On my daily walk this morning, the Lord began to remind me of the many who have stumbled over the last five years through listening to the endless promises of opportunities which became the lenses through which many navigate relationships locally. I was reminded of the many passages of scripture, that gave clear instructions on been our brothers and sisters keeper, by not been a stumbling block. The Bible states that been a stumbling block is not only a sin against your brothers and sisters but also a sin against Christ.
Hence the Bible warns us in 1 Corinthian 8 ‘that we are to be careful, that the exercise of our rights does not become a stumbling block to others”. Only heaven knows the numbers of those who have stumbled or fallen, but it is certain that the Lord is not only aware of them but not, please. Therefore, it is important to recognise the impact of flaunting promises that cause others/communities to stumble. The truth is we don’t know where people are in their lives and therefore discouraging others in this manner is ungodly knowing from experience the negative emotions and action it often triggers.
Causing others to stumble comes in many strands, but I was particularly reminded of how the publicly boasting or flaunting of opportunities by the NHS and many leaders on Social Media has caused many in our communities to stumble. The flaunting of promises of opportunities has given others who yearn for the same opportunity sleepless nights and distressed others resulting in wickedness and atrocities, as people begrudge you for the blessing they hear screamed about daily on and off Social Media.
I’ve watched as one group of people after another have fallen prey to the same thing over the years. Not thinking the promises that led them into atrocities and strife a couple of years back, are nowhere to be found.
Listening to a sermon online yesterday and hearing some of the impacts of the public flaunting of these promises have had on the speaker, who resides thousands of miles away but has been following the event online, I was heartbroken at the impact on him. This looseness of behaviour locally and internationally is dangerous and hinders others, which is why the Lord spoke harshly against it. It is at a level I simply can't escape from, actively followed online by all and actively displayed in the neighbourhood on a daily basis.
If the Lord places a burden on your heart to bless and favour another, I encourage and admonish you to do it in a godly manner that does not hinder and causes your fellow brothers and sisters to stumble or fall. Do it privately and quietly as much as it is in your power to do so. Realising that in blessing and favouring others as God lays on your heart, brings favour and blessing into your own life as well when you do it in a way that honours the Lord without been a stumbling block to others. The Bible says, “ Let not your right hand know what your left hand is doing and be careful that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to others.
I've watched as relationship after another turn sour on the premises of these flaunted promises of opportunities & favour for years on end. It important to recognise the negative impact this has had on many and why the Lord commands us not to be a stumbling block.
Let us remember the words of 1 Corinthians 8:12 - “When you sin against them in this way & wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.”