Have you ever purposefully tripped someone? I hope not. I have seen brothers and sisters trip each other and I have seen kids in school do it as a joke. I have never found it funny, and doubt the person who stumbles does either. Causing someone to stumble is mean and a form of bullying. Paul tells us today, that it also will discredit our “ministry” if we cause others to stumble spiritually. Have we ever considered that? Have we ever considered how our life might cause another person to stumble spiritually?
Paul says in 2 Corinthians that he and his fellow believers put no stumbling block in anyone’s path so their ministry would not be discredited. What exactly would those blocks be? I believe those “blocks” that could trip others up would include unkindness, impatience, living or acting “impurely”, not being above reproach and more. How did I come up with these? Because they are opposites of what Paul says in his next few verses.
Reading further, Paul tells us what things “commend” or give proof of the fact we are servants of God. Verses 4-10 include enduring troubles, hardships, remaining pure, being understanding, patient, kind and more. These are indications to others that we truly are servants of Christ. We prove we are what we say we are. When we choose to do the opposite of these things, we can be causing others to stumble.
As believers, we are ambassadors for Christ. In fact, Dad has been teaching about this in Sunday School recently. An ambassadors is a representative from a “foreign” country who shows what their country is like. We should be showing others Christ through our life to those around us. As God’s ambassadors our lives should give daily evidence and proof that we are from Him and serve Him. We should be kind with every single person we interact with whether they are kind or not, because that is what Christ did. We should be patient in line, when driving, and with friends. Jesus was. We should not be reading, listening to, watching, paying for, or taking part in any impure thing because Christ would not. Our lives should not include anything that might cause others to stumble spiritually. God’s kingdom does not include bullies who trip others causing them to stumble on this earth, and it won’t in eternity either.