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July 22

Midweek Devotional by Amy Leyenhorst

Am I a Stumbling Block?

Have you ever sprained an ankle, broken a bone, or gotten seriously injured because of a tiny stone.. or maybe a big slippery one on your path as you’re walking along?  I can tell you that I certainly have!    Days/weeks/months of pain, or permanent damage can happen because of that one tiny stone you stumbled on.   Now imagine for a moment.. YOU or I are that stone… and by our words or actions we cause someone else to fall, to slip, to fall into sin, to be in great pain.. or to turn completely away from God. 

During this time when the world is in fear and frustration due to Covid-19, how can we as children of  God point people to Christ and do our utmost best to 'not be a stumbling block?' 

In Matt 16:23 Jesus tells Peter that he’s a stumbling block to Him, because he has only human concerns in mind, not the concerns of God.    What is on MY mind? The concerns of God, what He’s doing, how I can be a part of it, or am I focusing only on my own perceived needs, fears, inconveniences, unemployment, economy, world leaders, the news, social media feeds? Will my investments recover?  Can I still retire?  When can I travel again?  See my grandkids? 

In Romans 14:13 we read: “let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. “ Throughout the pandemic, even Christians have been polarized regarding differing views on masks, social distancing, and how our Government is dealing with the Pandemic.

I recently found myself judging a Sister in Christ regarding her interpretation of Government mandates/guidelines during Covid-19 and felt immediately convicted when I read the that verse… Lord, forgive me… thank you for your loving correction!  

So here’s a few questions: How can I “make up my mind” to not put an obstacle in other’s ways? ie.. my lack of forgiveness, my attitude, my need to be right & have my personal convictions heard in every circumstance.   Am I making our little ones stumble by my example, (Matt 18:6 read Jesus firm warning!) or am I leading them to the Chief Cornerstone – Jesus Christ?  Are we teaching them how to give/serve/love Jesus/others. We have such a great opportunity during this time of global pandemic to be examples to the little ones, whether they are young by faith or by their chronological age.

How are we living our Faith, loving others? Are we following the law of our governments and being examples?  Are we praying for our leaders or cursing them? Are we practicing social distancing or are we breaking law? Are we hoarding for ourselves, or are we giving?   Are we sharing Christ, or are we keeping Him to ourselves? Are we bemoaning all the things we are missing and complaining, or are we Praising God?

Church… Let’s be a Rock - not a stumbling block, Be a Peter. He fumbled, failed, sinned, but he became the rock of the church… and not even the gates of Hell will overcome it. (Matt 16:18)