Another’s stumbling

Date: Saturday, February 22

ScriptureRomans 14:13-23

Verse: Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another. (Romans 14:13)

There is an anti-tobacco ad currently running on television where we are shown a young boy, maybe 10 or 11, spitting just about everywhere he goes – yeah, it’s kind of gross. Everyone he is with, including his peers, seems put-off by the behavior, causing the viewer to wonder why he would do this. When he gets home, we understand. There in the front yard the says hi to his dad as he passes by, and before the father can respond, he too spits because he is chewing tobacco.

Aware of it or not, we have been being watched long before the NSA started their surveillance. As parents, older siblings, teammates, supervisors, and as those farther along in our faith, we have been models of behavior for others. People watch and imitate. We need to be aware of what we are showing, which is the point of that gross ad. 

In today’s lesson Paul reminds us to be aware of the messages we may be inadvertently sending to those who want to know what it means to be a Christian. There is an old saying that “you may be the only Bible someone reads,” meaning people will get their first idea of what Christianity is all about from watching you. Be sure what you are showing them is worthy of your faith. 

Prayer: Dear God, may my life reflect you. Amen. 

Action: Read the story below. 

Respond: What do you think of the deacon’s action in the story below? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. 
If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.

I stumbled across this story I think is appropriate. I appeared on this website.

His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college.

He is brilliant. He is kind of profound and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students but are not sure how to go about it.

One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and his wild hair. The service has already started, so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat.

The church is completely packed and he can’t find a seat. By now, people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything.

Bill gets closer and closer to the pulpit. When he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet.

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill.

Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and is wearing a three-piece suit. He is a godly man – very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane. As he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do.

How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy.

The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man’s cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can’t even hear anyone breathing. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.

When the deacon finally reaches Bill, the church watches as this elderly man drops his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won’t be alone.

Everyone chokes up with emotion.

When the minister gains control, he says, “What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget.”

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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One Response to Another’s stumbling

  1. Wally says:

    The visual here is powerful and the deacon is truly a Godly man. Thank you, Joe for your daily devotions.

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