Life is tough. Jesus knows that. He really knows that.
Jesus has a warning.
Am I ready to hear it?
He said to his disciples, “Hard trials and temptations are bound to come, but woe to him for whoever brings them on! Better to wear a millstone necklace and take a swim in the deep blue sea than give even one of these dear little ones a hard time! | Luke 17:1-2 (The Message Bible)
I am to be very careful. I am not to be the person who creates a stumbling block. The Greek word here is helpful to understand. σκάνδαλον (skándalon) is the native rock rising up through the earth, which trips up the traveler. It is the bait-stick of a trap, a snare, a stumbling-block. The stick in the trap that springs and closes the trap when the animal touches it.
Paul says in Romans 14:13 – “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this — not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.”
Judging other believers causes me to put an obstacle in their way. Woe to me if I do that! Woe, Jesus says.
Judging is a huge problem. It permeates my culture. I see it in “the church” and our leadership. I see it in me. I must root it out of my life.
Love is the way to change. Love makes a difference.
I am also to be on the lookout for this behaviour. Consider this from Paul.
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. | Romans 16:17