Friday, April 15, 2011

Food for Thought Friday: Are You a Stumbling Block??

This has really been on my heart lately. As Christians, we are constantly under a microscope.  People are watching us; how we act, react, treat people, dress, speak, etc.  I think most Christians feel a lot of pressure to be perfect, but that's not the case...we are simply called to live a life that reflects Christ.  We will still mess up, but I think there's testimony in that as well, to show that we do make mistakes, admit them, ask for fogiveness, repent, and move on.  I don't consider it a burden that I have to live to such high standards, but rather an honor.  For our reward will be great...

If you take just a minute to reflect on yourself and your life, are your claims to be a Christian matching up with your lifestyle??  Would someone who doesn't know you be able to tell you're a Christian without you telling them??  Are you doing anything in your life that could be causing someone else to stumble??

  One struggle for me is gossip.  I work in a school, so obviously I'm surrounded by gossip. I have definitely gotten better about not talking about people, but I am trying to be more bold about letting others know I am uncomortable with it as well.  It can be awkward, especially when I used to do it and I feel like that's what others would be thinking if I said something to them. "Well who is she to say anything?"  All I can say is I'm a work in progress. 

I have an agnostic friend who said one of the big reasons for no longer going to church was because of the hypocrisy and judgemental people. She felt so judged, and when she watched how others acted, she couldn't see why they would judge her for things when they acted the way they did.  I have to agree with her, and I have really been examining my own life to make sure I am striving to have the best walk I can "so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people." (Phil 2:15)

 I certainly do not claim to be perfect, but I am always striving so I can be a good example.  "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. " (1 Tim 4:12)  A big part of that is not being judgemental.....Can you even imagine how much better this world would be if we focused on the good in others, LOVED them like we were called to do, serve them, and then focused on ourselves instead of judging others??

Also, as believers we are called to be an example to others. To let our light shine. (Matt 5:16)  Whether you are a mother, sister, teacher, friend, whatever, there are always people watching to see how you are going to handle situations; especially if they know you're a Christian. 

Check out these verses:
"But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck." -Mark 9:42

"Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way." -Romans 14:13

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved." -1 Corinthians 10:31-33

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."

Are you being a stumbling block??? 


Momma StJ said...

I'm a new follower...Great post! I find myself having those "oh no I can't believe I said/thought/did that" moments all too often. I'm a Momma now, so being an example has taken on a whole new meaning.
God is so gracious to us who truly don't deserve it.

Amanda Jones said...

Danielle - - do you and Jonathan pray with one another?  That's one thing I hope Hardy and I can do together one day.  Neither of us have even prayed separately in front of one another but I am wanting it so bad.  I think it will bring us closer together not only as husband and wife but as Christians.  Any advice you have to break the ice would be great!

*Butler, Party of 4* said...

MommaS+J- me too! all the time. i think it's important for others to see us mess up & know me make mistakes...

Amanda-YES!! And it is one of the sweetest and most special times. We haven't always....we just started when we were engaged. In fact, for most of our relationship, I have always been the one that prays over meals, and I remember several times wanting to pray together besides just at mealtime and being too embarassed. One time I just broke the ice and asked if we coculd do it, and he said yes. And it was awesome. In the past year, Jon has become the one that always prays over meals and when we pray out loud together. He has become such a powerful prayer and says such beautiful prayers- I love to hear him pray. Just tell Hardy it's something you'd like to do together, maybe before bed, and let him make the decision on when. You may have to do it at first, but I bet he'll warm up to it. :) I really do encourage it...something about it is super special.

Danielle said...

I like this post and fully agree that it is hard to stop gossiping!! Its something I too have been working on and I think a big thing that has helped me stop (or watch myself better) is that I have admitted to myself that was only doing it to make myself feel better by talking negativly about others. Which is basically what were doing when we gossip. So when I hear other people do it I try to pretend to not be paying attention and if they ask for my opinion I say 'sorry what?' and most people wont repeat the negative things they just said. Its been pretty effective so far :-) Also I do agree with your agnostic friend, I was raised catholic and once I was old enough to 'feel' judgement I questioned things and started feeling like that wasnt right and it lead to lots of qurstioning after that... I was 12 when that started - which is such a young age to feel judgement :-/

Kae said...

Wow. This post is amazing! Truly moving, and does give me something to always remember what an honor it is to walk with Christ. I agree with so much of what you said, and you put it so perfectly. Thank you for sharing this. So inspirational to me. This week has been a tough one on me, and I have felt very down, but things like this along with praying really help me!

Hope you have a great weekend :)