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How To Not Be a Stumbling Block for Others [and love like Jesus]

How not to be a stumbling block and love like Jesus

Doing What I Do Not Want to Do

“For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not keep doing what I want. Instead, I do what I hate.” – Romans 7:15

Do you ever wish you hadn’t done or said something unkind? Or maybe you simply withheld a kindness when given the chance to love lavishly?

I love the scene in You’ve Got Mail where Tom Hanks character says, “Do you ever feel you’ve become the worst version of yourself? Someone upsets you and instead of smiling and moving on, you zing them. ‘Hello, it’s Mr. Nasty.’” I’m usually reminded of when I’ve been on the receiving end of such unkindness. But occasionally, I’m reminded of unkindness of my own choosing. And as Tom’s character warns “remorse inevitably follows.” 

The fallen nature of our world often inclines us towards the powers of this world. Often leading us down a destructive path of justified responses and retaliation. And in fleeting moments of shared brokenness, we shepherd God’s precious flock away from the gift of His saving grace. The opportunity to LOVE with an unfathomable love in a not-so-lovable world squandered. And the lost left wandering, hope-less, in the shards of shattered Christian influence.

As maturing believers in this world, we must stop giving the world reasons to not believe in God. We must learn how to not be a stumbling block to others. Our actions [and inactions] have eternity-sized consequences. 

Counting the Cost of Being a Stumbling Block to Others

“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.” – Matthew 18:6

Think about all who those who are lost in darkness along the way because of the lack of fruits in our lives!?! When we fail to love mercy, walk humbly, and act justly as Micah 6:8 suggests, we become stumbling blocks to a watching world. Even well-meaning, mature believers can become a stumbling block to others. Our actions contradicting our love-filled messages. But what if we, collectively, as the body of Christ, asked ourselves, Is what I’m about to say or do pointing others to His love and mercy? Or will my actions act as a stumbling block for others to see Christ in me? 

As I traversed the cobblestone streets on a recent trip to Rome, I had the thought these stones are the very stumbling blocks we are warned to be careful of in God’s word. An idiom of ancient times meant for God’s good purpose in our lives today. If we are to participate as Kingdom builders and share the HOPE of Jesus Christ with a broken world, we must first recognize our own brokenness, And our own need for God’s saving grace. Because the moment we become self-reliant in our mission to share God’s love, we lose our saltiness. When we no longer bear visible fruit as believers, we become clanging cymbals to a watching world; dimmed lights in a world of darkness. We are no longer the “light” lighting the world, but the force which extinguishes it. 

Loving a Not-So-Lovable World Like Jesus

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” – Proverbs 3:3-4

One day we all will be faced, face-to-face, with the consequences of when and how we were stumbling blocks to others. And I’m convinced, our souls will cry out with groans of immeasurable regret. No doubt we will stumble through some of life messiest, hardest places. Human strife is not only unavoidable, but expected. But for those who seek Him and walk in the presence of His Spirit, God infuses a supernatural, life-giving power in His beloved to choose the “hard thing” instead of the human thing. And love a broken, unlovable world, graciously. And generously.

Oh, how I’m guilty of withholding His love through my own wounding words and deeds.

It’s through our faithfulness to our mission and our daily choosing, friends, others might know His love–and believe in Him. If we are to be winners of souls for God’s Kingdom for eternity, friends, we must be weepers of souls, now—today, And we start by learning to love like like Jesus–one challenging circumstance at a time.

“Not only to be so full of God’s love I no longer fathom speaking unkind words or committing unkind deeds, but to shine bright for all to see.” This is my quest, join me?

Clanging cymbals only bring harm to the work of the body of Christ. Instead, spread the good news of God’s unfathomable love for a fallen, imperfect world full of messy, broken people through loving words and deeds. Love like Jesus and choose love, y’all. And in all of life’s hardest places.

Are you generously inclined towards loving others? How can you extend loving-kindness and share the hope of Jesus Christ this Easter week? 💕

If you’d like to #acceptthelovechallenge and learn to love like Jesus, simply tap the link. I’d love to have you join me on the #tlcjourney.

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