Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. – Lk. 17:1-2 NIV
Jesus Christ had just used a parable to let all know that only the living can preach to the living. The one that does not have a change of heart with preaching heard from fellow living human beings will still not change even if someone was to come from the dead. He also used the parable to emphasize the fact that every action of man will have a consequence in the life after life. The rich man was seeking compassion in death when he did not show compassion on someone whom he was seeing everyday and who obviously needed his help. He rather, was enjoying all the luxury without caring, only for him to request after getting rewarded for his lack of compassion that someone should be made to go and warn the rest of his family members to change so they can avoid the destination where he found himself. He at least cared for his family members – Lk. 16: 19-31.
The scripture for today’s devotional is the comment of Jesus Christ, according Luke’s record of his activities whilst on earth, the highlights of which are as follows:
- Human beings will always encounter situations or events that will make them stumble. Anyone who therefore encounters a stumble would be better off concentrating on how to ensure that the stumbling does not result in a fall rather than seeking who to blame for the stumbling. Whether or not, there is someone behind the particular stumble, what seem clear is that the experience of stumbling will always be part of the experience of man on earth.
- That there will be great distress and sorrow for the one through whom such stumbling occurs. Though this stumbling may be expected, it may not always be without the action of another person. Truth be told, some may actually be unaware that their action or inaction caused another to stumble but then it is also true that some people take delight and boast in their ability to have successfully become the source of stumbling of another.
- According to him, the experience of being drowned in sea would be a better choice for such a person than the consequence of such act. Whatever the case may be, there is a consequence for the one who is associated with the stumbling if another that would be worse than not just such dying but dying a painful death like drowning.
To stumble in life is to lose one’s balance. The loss of balance in business can introduce great financial stress just as loss of balance in a home can lead to the loss of peace accompanied by great social and emotional distress to family members. Whatever the situation may be, inability to cope effectively with a stumble will ultimately produce a fall, which will manifest as some of the events that are troubling many people, Christians inclusive, today.
Whoever therefore acts in a manner that makes another to stumble, even if the act is unintentional would very likely have become a tool for the possible downfall of another. Jesus Christ said that painful death such as drowning would be a better option when compared to the life that such will live thereafter. It must be noted that he was not laying a curse but was educating all on what the natural consequence of acts will be.
Many there are today, Christians inclusive, who derive so much joy in bringing others down and do not even hesitate to boast about it. Successful lives are made to stumble and possibly end up in failure, peace in homes are disrupted so much that separation and divorce becomes the only way out with every segment of the home having a life long scar to live with. Many organizations and groups have also been destroyed by these joy killers who delight in creating stumbling blocks for others. The victim may actually be destined for such stumbles but no one should offer to be the tool that will activate such negative destiny events. Yes! It is very true that Jesus Christ was destined to die for the sins of mankind, and probably by crucifixion but Judas did not have to be the tool for that life which until the moment of his act of betrayal, could be described as smooth and relatively peaceful – Lk. 22:1-6; 47-49. No wonder Jesus Christ made it known that though he was going to experience a destined event but the one through whom such act was triggered is already under a curse for being the tool that will trigger the effect – Matt. 26:24; Mk. 14:21. No one should be surprised by this natural law of justice, after all the one that does good also gets rewarded.
Yes! The graph of life can be compared to a sine wave but try to be the one that is pushing people up the hill rather than pulling them down into the valley. The victims of your wicked acts do not have to act or say anything but going by today’s foundation scripture, there is an automatic, natural and unavoidable curse that will be instantly triggered and which comes on such a person such that being dead will be a better option than the life that such will live thereafter.
Assess your life honestly to check if your action in anyway has led to the stumbling and possibly the fall of another. Yes the victim may not be aware of your role but nature is very much aware and does not need to seek anyone’s permission to trigger the repercussion of such devilish act. Jesus did not have to place a curse on Judas as the natural cause and effect rule was all that was required for Judas to be rewarded – Matt. 27:1-10. Identifying such acts and seeking forgiveness with the willingness to restitute for such acts may be all that you need to save yourself and your loved ones from the agony of the reward that such suicidal acts have brought into your life.
If you have never been involved in such act, you will be better off making conscious efforts to avoid such by taking the advise of Jesus Christ as noted by Luke, that all should watch themselves – Lk. 17:3. May Jehovah guide our footsteps so we can avoid acts that will cause another to stumble in Jesus name. Amen.