Do Not Be The Means To Stumble Another

Romans 14 is a chapter that is a great monitor for our hearts. The crux of sin is stated clearly in verse 23. It says, “..for whatever is not from faith is sin.” Thoughts that dwell in the negative are not from faith. Faith believes in God and looks to Him through dependence.

Our flesh does not believe, but acts totally independent of God. Our flesh is used by satan to cause others to stumble. Verse 13 says, “Therefore do 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.”

Flesh wars against flesh. Interpersonal relationships are often in conflict because of this truth. When one is acting out in their flesh, we must come in an opposite spirit. Otherwise we will be caught up in a fray.

Jesus warned His disciples in Luke 17:1. He said, “…It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!” Note the explanation point. The word here for offenses is stumbling blocks. 

Offense in Greek is skandalon. Does that sound like our word scandalous? It is like the trap stick in a trap. Metaphorically, it signifies that which causes error or sin (note in my Bible). Years ago I heard a message that likened it to a tumbleweed. When young, it is easily pulled up root and all. When left to grow and dry out, it dislodges and travels all over with the wind. It gathers debris as it goes.

What a picture of unresolved issues. They are deeply rooted, and filter through every part of our thought processes. Here is a key principle in our relationship with others. Romans 14:4 says, “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. For God is able to make him stand.”

Matthew 7:1-2 says, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Ugh! This should be another incentive to watch our thoughts.

Paul took it deeper. Romans 2:1 says, “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”

Paul gave the antidote in Ephesians 4:29 and Colossians 3:12. Our thoughts, words, and actions come from our heart. The crux of all conflict comes through our beliefs. If you think that you cannot handle something, where is that thought coming from? Our fleshly outlook. We are depending on ourselves and know that we can’t.

We say, ‘I can’t’ or ‘It won’t work’ when we forget that God is using our adversity or hard trials to conform us to His image. Mark 5:15 says that the demoniac was in his right mind after he encountered Jesus. Before that he was bound by man because he couldn’t be tamed.

James 3 says that our tongue can’t be tamed. Yet through God’s way, we can speak truth that will defeat any lie the enemy throws at us. Right mind in the Greek is the same as a sound mind in 2 Timothy 1:7. It means to have disciplined thought patterns. This is the norm for one who abides in God’s word and applies it daily to their lives.

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