March 02, 2016

Stumbling Block

An older teenager sped past me on a skateboard and when he was a few yards in front of me he flew headfirst over his board. In what seemed like one seamless motion he rolled a couple of times, sprang to his feet and said, “I hate rocks!”  Rubbing his hand, he jumped back on the skateboard and kept going. When I got to the place where he took his spill I could see the pebbles on the path that were likely the cause of the derailment. I’m now wondering how often we, consciously or not, put pebbles on someone’s spiritual path. Paul said, “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited” (2 Cor 6:3 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----”Righteousness” has become my new, favorite, hot topic of meditation and contemplation. Many years ago I reasoned that it was much more than going to church, paying tithes, taking communion, and licking leadership boots. It includes more than His commandments. In fact, everything that is right is righteous. It’s kind of the root of the word.
-----We operate our lives on the assumption we know reality. We only know reality in its tiny portion that has crossed our immediate paths. Everything else we’ve just heard about or seen in pictures. That might be a good start. But a good start is never a full completion. Nobody really knows any more than a tiny slice of reality, usually that which is in his immediate vicinity.
-----So we leave pebbles and gravel all over the sidewalks everywhere we go. In order to do right, we’ve got to know all elements of the situation needing right done, as well as all elements of whatever deed the situation beckons. Moreover, we often must stitch those elements together. Just pitching a deed into a situation only sometimes cuts muster. To tailor a deed to a situation, we’ve got to intimately know both the situation and the proposed deed. The more intimately we know both, the better we can make them fit. Anything less than the best fit is at least sand on the walk; more often it is pebbles. Or gravel. Paul tells us we don’t have much hope for knowing either to their depths, for we all see dimly as in polished brass (which was what Paul knew a mirror to be.) So, all the sidewalks are quite gravelly.
-----You want to do right? You want to leave the sidewalks clean for the skaters? “Apply your mind to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge.” (Prov 23:12) “It is not good for a man to be without knowledge, and he who makes haste with his feet misses his way.” (Prov 19:2) “In everything a prudent man acts with knowledge.” (Prov 13:16a) “The advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.” (Eccl 7:12b) So, “Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge.” Prov 22:17) “An intelligent mind acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” (Prov 18:15) “The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge.” (Prov 22:12a) “The prudent are crowned with [it].” (Prov 14:18b) “All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. They are all straight to him who understands and right to those who find knowledge. Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold.” (Prov 8:8-12) “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” (Prov 24:3-4) “For to the man who pleases Him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy,” (Eccl 2:26a) and, “by His knowledge shall the righteous one, My Servant, make many to be accounted righteous.” (Is 53:11b) “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6) “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Phili 1:9-11) “There is gold, and abundance of costly stones; but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”’ (Prov 20:15) So, “Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in thy commandments.” (Ps 119:66)

Love you all,
Steve Corey