My son used to slip on the floor in the living room. He did it often and was very dramatic. “Mommmm!” he would yell and then go on and on about how he almost died in the fall. “Oh, stop it!” I would call from the next room, thinking he was just being goofy. This went on for years.
Our associate pastor’s daughter kept falling in front of the television. We chalked it up to her being little. She was 4 and not very graceful.
One day, as I was dusting, I nearly fell in the same place! Suddenly, I realized my son had been right all that time! It was the PLEDGE — for the love! I was over-spraying when I dusted the furniture, making the hardwood floor uber slippery. I had unintentionally been causing people to fall, to stumble. Dadgumit!
Knowing is the first step. I could have said, “That’s the way I’ve always done it,” or “That’s just the way I am,” and changed nothing. People I cared about would have continued to fall or stumble. Eventually someone would have gotten hurt.
Besides the dusting, I wonder if there are other things I’m doing to make people stumble. Do my words or actions lead people TO Jesus or AWAY from Him? When others see me, do they see a good reflection of my Heavenly Father?
The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 14:13 “… make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” In 1 Corinthians 8, he penned “… be careful that the exercise of our rights does not become a stumbling block …” In Ephesians 5:15 he reminds us to be careful how we live. He urges us to live holy lives in Romans 12:1.
Living a holy life is not just for old people whose days are numbered. It’s for all followers of Jesus because ALL of our days are numbered! We are called to be a light to the lost. So that means just because we CAN do and say things doesn’t mean we always should. We don’t want to trip up non-believers or those who are new in their faith!
When we ask Him, God will show us if we are causing people in our lives to stumble spiritually. He will tenderly tell us what needs to be eliminated. He can help us make amends and change our habits. Call it “housekeeping,” if you want.
I will never be perfect. Ever. But my prayer is to look more like my Father every day!
I feverishly mopped the areas of the hardwood floor where anyone had fallen, then called my son, now grown, to apologize. He had been right!
My new habit is to spray Pledge directly on the cloth when I dust. I don’t want anyone to get hurt on my watch!