By Peter Kennedy
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” – 1 Corinthians 8:9.
In “A modern example of a stumbling block,” Christian author Gary Friesen wrote the following:
“This concept is illustrated by something that happened to me when I was a boy. One evening, I was already late for supper when I started home. To make up for lost time, I planned to take a shortcut across an open field. When I arrived, I learned to my dismay that the field was no longer “open.” It was occupied by several people with bows and arrows.
The route I had anticipated taking cut directly across the trajectory of the arrows. Yet to detour around the archers would cost precious minutes. I made a decision to stick to my original flight plan. When I discerned what I thought was a lull in the missile traffic, I took off. Next thing, I heard a whish just behind my head and then the gasp of the spectators. What I did, in my juvenile immaturity, was stupid. But the guy who let that arrow fly almost caused me to stumble. Shooting an arrow is perfectly legitimate when done within legal restrictions. So a man may take target practice at an archery range with complete freedom. He is not compelled to do so; neither is he prohibited from practicing.
However, if a small boy in his ignorance wanders onto the archery range, the situation changes. The archer is no longer free to release the arrow, even if he has followed all the rules. It is not his fault that the child has crossed the line of fire. Still, he is required to refrain from shooting until the boy is out of danger. There is nothing wrong with shooting an arrow in itself. But if such an act resulted in injury or death to a “weaker” child, the archer would be held accountable. Even on an archery range, the man with the bow must look before he shoots. The safety of others is of greater importance than the freedom to shoot an arrow.”
Is there an area in your life that is an obstacle to others in drawing closer to Jesus?
Today in prayer, ask the Lord to help you see any stumbling blocks in your life and pray that you can turn the stumbling blocks into stepping-stones to encourage others.
“We should be careful to do nothing that may occasion weak Christians to defile their consciences.” – Matthew Henry.
God’s Word: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” – Galatians 5:13.