“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
Jesus makes a harsh statement about causing a little one to stumble. In another gospel He is talking about children who believe in Him. Jesus states that it would be better to be drowned in the sea than to cause a child to stumble.
Stumbling here is not the causing someone to fall down. It is causing someone to fall down in the belief in Jesus. He is more concerned with their spiritual welfare than their physical welfare. A person who physically falls only creates a short-term physical problem. Falling spiritually can cause a lot of greater problems that can last for all eternity, if not dealt with correctly.
The ‘little ones’ mentioned here are not just children, but all new believers. New believers are called infants in the bible and need to grow into maturity. And all believers are called the children of God, regardless of how long they have been a believer.
In the world it is easy for people to think that they do not have a major influence on other people, but that is not true. Every believer sets an example before every other person that they are around. Parents have a major influence on their children. Co-workers have a major influence on their fellow co-workers.
If someone sees a believer doing some sin as though it is nothing, it can cause that person to follow in that sinful way. This is different from doing an accidently sin, it is doing a sin on purpose. Purposefully telling lies, cheating, stealing, cursing others, disobedience and any other sin.
As a believer you have to be careful how you lead others or what you show others that Jesus looks like. You are the representation of Jesus on this earth. If you live your life in sin, while claiming to be a believer, you may cause someone to fall away from Jesus. At that point, it would be better if you were drowned in the sea.
Live your life in a way that does not cause others to stumble in any way. Be the shining example of who Jesus is. Lead people to Jesus, not away from Him.
I pray today that you will live for Jesus; that God will keep you from a life of sin; that God will strengthen you to not lead others in sin; and that you will be an example of Jesus to others around you.