My dad says I shouldn’t cause someone to stumble. What does that mean?
Here's the answer:
Your dad is right—you shouldn’t cause someone to sin. Causing someone to stumble means causing them to sin.
The Apostle Paul talks about not causing others to stumble in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8. Paul is talking about personal convictions in these passages. When Paul wrote these passages, Christians were divided on many disagreements such as food and drink. Some people believed they should eat certain foods and others did not. We have the same disagreements today, but they can surround other things, such TV, music, or video games.
You might feel it is okay to play video games, but your other friend does not. If video games make your friend feel guilty, angry, or upset, then it would be a sin to make him or her play video games with you. If you pressure your friend into playing the video game, it could cause them to “stumble” by getting upset. When we cause someone to stumble, we are causing them to sin.
Each person is given freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:1). However, we should not use our freedom for evil (1 Peter 2:16). We should never want to cause our loved ones to stumble and fall. Rather, we should want them to see them shine bright for Christ. Make up your mind today that you will never cause others to stumble.
"So we will all have to explain to God the things we have done. Let us stop judging one another. Instead, decide not to put anything in the way of a brother or sister. Don’t put anything in their way that would make them trip and fall" (Romans 14:12-13).
"But be careful how you use your rights. Be sure you don’t cause someone weaker than you to fall into sin" (1 Corinthians 8:9).
"So let us do all we can to live in peace. And let us work hard to build up one another" (Romans 14:19).
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