Do I have a good testimony to those around me? To the lost? To the backslidden? Am I causing a stumbling block to others?
"But if any man love God, the same is known of him." I Corinthians 8:3
What IS known of me?
When I left the house yesterday, was I wearing a skirt that was too short? A shirt that was too tight?
Am I paying my bills on time or are my children hearing the message on the answering machine that says I am behind on my payments?
Did my children just hear me curse out the driver in the blue car that cut me off as he ran a red light?
Is that my next door neighbor who just watched me purchase a box of wine at the corner market?
Is that the new couple at church who just watched me light up my first cigarette of the day?
Oh look, is that the babysitter in the next car over who can hear me blasting my ungodly music?
I come over to your house unexpectedly, did you just turn off the Soap Operas?
Isn't the playing the lotto. . .gambling?
"It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak" Romans 14:21
"Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:" 1 Corinthians 10:32
" 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. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14: 13-23
Stumblingblock=to cause someone else to err
To wander from the right way; to deviate from the true course or purpose. To wander. To stray.
"But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak" I Corinthians 8:9
*see Romans 14
" 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
" It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak." Romans 14:21
No Christian would deliberately seek out something that would cause another to sin. Have you considered that you may have, unwittingly been doing destructive things that may lead others away from Christ?
Have you ever heard the saying "You want to know how a Christian should be living, just go ask the LOST man?" It's true. I've heard my neighbor say to me "I thought you didn't believe in the Easter Bunny?" When I told her I would be stuffing Easter Eggs for the church children to find on Easter Sunday.
The Christian life is one of growing and learning.The person who wants to live for Christ and be a blessing to others will continually be evaluating himself to see WHERE he can improve his testimony.
Have you condsidered how much influence you have on those around you?
We are to be an example.
" Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" 1 Timothy 4:12
"If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained" 1 Timothy 4:6
"These things command and preach." 1 Timothy 4:11
Be an example! Be an example in word, conduct, love, spirit, faith and purity. Give as much attention to reading the bible and applying its doctrine as you are able. Grow spiritually yourself and lead others as you grow. (1 Timothy 4:16) The way you live your life reflects the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and how others perceive the gospel.
1. You are an example by what you do
2. You are an example by what you don't do
Am I putting a stumblingblock in anothers way? Is what I am doing or about to do, going to cause a brother to be mislead or to stumble? Then do not do it.
"All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not." I Corinthians 10:23
"But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak." I Corinthians 8:9
"Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." I Corinthians 8:13
Here is the solution. . ."Abstain from all appearance of evil' I Thessalonians 5:22
Don't live one life at church and another at home. Don't be a hypocrite (One who feigns to be what he is not; one who has the form of godliness without the power, or who assumes an appearance of piety and virtue, when he is destitute of true religion.((Websters 1828 dictionary))
"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:" Hebrews 10:24
" . . . be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." II Peter 3:14