Have you faced stumbling blocks in your life? Have there been people who have gotten in the way of progress? Have you been a stumbling block to someone else? Has the stumbling block been due to a judgmental attitude?
We don’t often think of stumbling blocks. On the other hand, we do think about speed bumps or brick walls. They equate to being much the same. Both are meant to trip someone up or slow them down, much like a stumbling block as mentioned in Scripture.
Notice the Apostle Paul points out the genesis of being a stumbling block as passing judgment on someone else. If you are like me, you have never thought of it that way. Yet, it makes perfect sense. If we have determined a person should not be allowed to do something, we put stumbling blocks in their pathway.
Here is an example. Let’s assume someone we know wants to pursue a career that we don’t think they are suited to pursue. We may tell them horror stories we have heard from others in that career. Or we may lay out the multitude of requirements they must meet, attempting to make it sound insurmountable. In either case, we have judged they are not to pursue that career and are putting stumbling blocks in their path in hopes of changing their course.
How should we react? First, there is nothing wrong with laying out the requirements for the career if we also provide the positives. Making a list of pros and cons for any task we or another person is undertaking goes along with making wise decisions. The other key part to this is knowing whether the person wants our advice or not. In the case of our children, sometimes they think they know, but we have years of experience we can draw on to provide advice. Yet, if they truly won’t listen, we must allow them to learn on their own. We cannot be a stumbling block to their experiences. We cannot always keep them from making mistakes.
I pray we all stop judging one another. I pray we determine not to be a stumbling block. I pray each one of us are willing to provide wise advice, but only after we have spent time in prayer. Stop passing judgment. Do not be a stumbling block. Provide wise advice. Look at the pros and cons. Be prayerful. Trust God is at work.
Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.