Be a Building Block, Not a Stumbling Block

Our pastor preached a really good sermon today on being a building block, not a stumbling block.  His text was I Corinthians 8: 1-13.  In two weeks, he’s going to preach the second half of the sermon, which will go through I Corinthians 10.

Anyway, verse 9 of I Corinthians 8 says this:

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

This is the way pastor presented his argument.  He said there are unbelievers, babes in Christ, and strong believers (those who are spiritually minded.)   There are, of course, those of us who waver between being babes and strong believers as we grow in the Spirit, too.  In I Corinthians 8, the strong believers had to be careful about whether they ate meat that had been sacrificed in a temple.  The Corinthians thought they could go ahead  because they knew that the idols weren’t gods; they believed in one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ.  Paul goes on to tell the Corinthians that even though they understand that about idols, their eating sacrificed meat might cause a problem for newer Christians, who might think that meat, having been sacrificed to idols, was therefore unclean.  So, even though eating sacrificed meat was OK for the Corinthians, Paul thought they should be sensitive to the people around them, who might view the meat they ate as sinful.

I face such examples in my own life.  Should I read THE SHACK because there’s so much controversy about it, or should I stay away from it since most of the reviews I have read say that there are many points in it which are not Scriptural? If people see me reading it, will they think it’s OK when maybe it isn’t?    Even more, though, if I choose not to read  because the Holy Spirit has convicted me, what should my attitude be toward my fellow-believers who have not been convicted in the same way?  Paul deals with this issue when he say that our knowledge should not make us “puffed up” (I Cor. 8:1).  Our response to our fellow-believers, if they ask why we do-or don’t do-certain things, should be a response that is rooted in love. My not reading doesn’t make me better than someone who does.

I have a husband, kids, grandkids, neighbors, just like everyone else.  This morning’s sermon has sent me on my way a little more conscious of the things that I do, wondering if I am a “stumbling block” to the people that I love.  If I am, and I’m sure I sometimes am, I shudder to think of what my example is to unbelievers.

My prayer, as I go on my way through my week, will be that I will not cause my fellow human beings to sin, that I will build them up instead.  I’ll be praying the same for anyone who reads this as well.

For more Spiritual Sundays blog entries, go here.

9 Responses to “Be a Building Block, Not a Stumbling Block”

  1. 1 karen February 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Meaningful post, thanks for sharing and reminding me not to be a
    stumbling block but a building block.

  2. 2 Sandi February 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    What a wonderful post! May we all be building blocks in His Kingdom. Have a lovely day.


  3. 3 Sally February 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    I agree with you: we each answer to God for our actions. Thanks for sharing. Happy Spiritual Sunday.

  4. 4 Clif February 1, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    We absolutely do not want to be stumbling blocks. If we pray and live an humble life God will strengthen us to be the examples we want to be. We don’t need to go around living in fear that we are going to offend somebody. People were always being offended by the life that Jesus lived. My belief is that if we do what is right, it will be alright. I have read the Shack and liked it. Some things about it bothered me but my goodness, I read a lot of books that contain “stuff” I don’t agree with. We need to keep reading and learning and sharing. We should never set out to offend–but believe me, if you are alive and well, you are going to offend some.

  5. 5 Charlotte February 1, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    This is a difficult subject. There is a fine line between being free in Christ and having restrictions because we do not want to cause someone else to stumble. For most of my life I was a member of a very legalistic church. That really made it difficult for me in many areas. We need to pray about it if there is any doubt. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. 6 sue February 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    My desire is that i am not nor will ever be a stumbling block to anyone.Thank you for sharing this thought today.

  7. 7 Jennifer Burgess February 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    We can be thankful that God’s success does not depend on our performance. He is able. But the blessings we miss by not considering these words from your pastor.
    God bless your day and week.


  8. 8 Cherdecor February 1, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    There are things that only sinners used to do but now Christians are doing them and even encouraging other Christians to do the same.I don’t know why, but this bothers me. Thank you for your pastor’s words today.

  9. 9 Jean February 2, 2009 at 1:18 am

    What a great reminder! This was our minister’s sermon today also and I found it to be an inspiration to me to be careful in my daily walk. Thanks for a good post on Sprirtual Sunday!


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