January 18, 2007
It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.
Any time we choose to do something that the Bible does not expressly forbid, we should stop and ask ourselves some important questions: “Does this action honor God? Is it helpful to my Christian walk? Will it negatively impact other believers who may follow my example?”
Whether or not we choose to do that action should depend on the answers to these questions.
Let’s talk about that last question today. Not everyone in the body of Christ is at the same point of spiritual maturity. Some Christians are either very young or still relatively immature in the faith, and thus may be more easily influenced by the actions of others. Instead of disregarding them, the Bible teaches us to be careful to make decisions that will not negatively impact them. This should be a very serious consideration for believers, who are called to be examples.
Things such as our use of language and alcohol come to mind when I think of activities that could cause someone else to stumble and fall. Imagine, for example, that a church leader is using alcohol in public, maybe as part of a meal at a restaurant. The problem comes when a middle school student from the church sees this leader and decides that’s what he’ll do when he gets old enough.
Little eyes are always watching you, waiting to see what you choose to do. Even if you can control your habits, can you guarantee that those around you will be able to control the habit that you helped start in their lives?
These are tough questions, but I believe we need to ask them so we can hold ourselves to the highest standards of Christian conduct. We are to be above reproach and to set an example to believers and nonbelievers alike. Are you sending the right messages through your actions?
Let me urge you to live with an acute awareness of those around you who may be at a different point of maturity in their walk with Christ.
REMEMBER, YOUR ACTIONS WILL INFLUENCE HOW OTHERS MAY CHOOSE TO ACT!