“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42
As Jesus and the disciples were walking along the disciples started arguing about who was first. Jesus points out the one who is a servant is first. Then they complained about another person casting out demons. Jesus points out that anyone doing a service for God is for Him.
Now Jesus points out not causing a little one who believes in Him to stumble. Many people look at this verse and see it as just talking about not causing a little child to stumble, but this includes more than just little children.
Every person who believes in Jesus is a child of God. They are not just a child, but a little child. Every person is growing in the likeness of Jesus. It is a lifelong process that never ends until they get to heaven.
Since everyone is then considered a child, do not cause them to stumble. How can a person cause another to stumble?
The most common thought is leading them into actual sinful acts. There are “believers”, even churches, out there that accept certain sinful habits as acceptable to God. These are then promoted. This is causing a person to sin.
When a younger believer sees an older believer doing something, it is seen as acceptable and they mimic it. Care has to be shown to not show wrong living that will cause sin in another person’s life.
One very common cause of stumbling is arguing about ways to live for God. Examples of this is demanding that women only wear dresses, or have long hair; that men cannot play cards or play sports; and arguments about politics.
Harsh disagreements often lead to bitterness and fighting. There are many things that God leaves open for each person to decide as to whether it is right or wrong between him and God. The Bible does not give hard fast rules on many things.
Demanding various things can cause a person to stumble in their belief in God. It can cause bitterness and resentment to rise up. Do not allow it in your life. Jesus said it would be better to be drowned then to cause a person to stumble.
I pray today that God will reveal to you ways that you can cause others to stumble; that God will guide you in how to build others up; that God will guide you in how to really live for Jesus; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.