Scripture

Jude 1:22 (NLT)

And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.

Observation

Have you ever thought about why you can go to the gym, work, and just about anyplace else and easily get along with people who don’t know Christ and yet, you can’t tolerate unbelief from a fellow Believer? Are we so accustomed to hearing the doubt from the world that we have no love and mercy for those in our own Family? Years ago a brother was telling me a story of someone who he had gone to visit at home. This brother of mine overheard, his friend, another brother, swearing and cursing in his backyard and was aghast to the point that he never talked to him again.

Jesus tells us that people will know that we are His followers by the love that we show to one another (John 13:35). I don’t remember rebuking that brother of mine from so many years ago. If I recall correctly, I listened politely and moved on. I don’t recall having given it any thought over all these years until today. Sometimes we forget that no one’s without sin (1 John 1:8). I don’t know if we’re wearing rose-colored glasses and we think Believers aren’t people. I do think that when we see someone stumble it reminds us of our failings. Our doubts. Our faith.

Scripture tells us that each person is given a measure of faith by God (Romans 12:3). This isn’t something that we can take ownership of and call it, “mine.” Yes, I will say, “my faith” but it’s more accurately described as “the faith that God has given to me.” It occurs to me that, like everything else that God has given us, we’re to be good stewards of our faith. We might not think of faith as something to steward. How does it differ from money, houses, cars, and anything else that we “own?” Jesus declared that if we had faith as small as a mustard seed then we can tell a mountain to move and it will move. Indeed, nothing will be impossible, even for the one with such a small amount of faith (Matthew 17:20). Our faith, unlike everything else that we can see, hear and touch with our senses is eternal. Yes, faith is something to steward that God has given to each person.

Therefore, when we see someone stumble, we help them get back up. We don’t criticize them for falling. We encourage one another. Jesus never faulted anyone for their lack of faith. He deemed some as having “great faith” (Matthew 8:10) and others “little faith.” Some people can believe things that are hard to believe while others cannot and believe things that are easy to believe. The greater the requirement to believe, the greater the faith, and the easier to believe, the smaller faith. Regardless, we are not to allow our faith to be something that causes injury to other people.

It was hard for me, when I first became a Christian, to understand the notion of stumbling blocks to other people as referenced in 1 Corinthians 8:9 and Romans 14:1-3. Surely, I thought, this is about food. Yes, I could see the application to other behaviors but things got messy when we started looking at other things like clothes. I remember someone who threw away a pair of shoes because they were made by Prada. Specifically, because there had been a movie made, The Devil Wears Prada. Did I go home and do the same? Would I not buy anything from Prada?

We may not understand why people do the things that they do, but we don’t need to understand them to love them. This is what it means to not put a stumbling block before anyone else. What we do, we must do in love and because of love. This is the foundation for all that there is. God didn’t create us because He was bored and wanted something to do. He created us because He loves us. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us because He loves us. Therefore, everything that we do must be in love. We are to carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) using our faith to help supply what another is lacking (1 Thessalonians 3:10). Who knows, you might need the same, someday.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. Nothing is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.