Don’t Cause Your Brother, or Another to Stumble

man holding gray walking cane
Photo by Anas Aldyab on Pexels.com

It’s not uncommon for me to get more than one message in a day. When I Pastored my churches I often had more messages lined up than I could give at one time! This one is so timely and important always. Being a female it always kind of bugs me that the Bible more often speaks lessons in the male personna rather than the female, but that is not what this is about.

As created people, for some reason we tend to love to pass some sort of judgement upon another. I am sure that is not what God intended for us when we were created. We are challenged daily to operate out of our higher God created self rather than our ego. The ego LOVES to point fingers, doesn’t it? Since I am on a roll here with brotherly, sisterly love and our “oneness“, another message came to mind. It’s about causing another to stumble. Meaning setting someone else up to fail in some way so they can be judged.

Oh how the ego loves this! Let’s check out and see if so and so will mess up so we can be high and superior. Let’s watch him/her FAIL. Oh my goodness. This saddens me more than most other things because it is not open hatred it is so called “justified deceitful hatred.” In the Bible, book of Romans chapter 13, Paul talks about not passing judgement on our brother and to not set up or put up a stumbling block in his way. This is simple to figure out. Don’t stick something in front of someone just to test them to see if they will fall for it and fail. Then they can be judged or punished in some way?

Let me give you an example from my life:

Before I was married I dated a so called “Christian man” who said he had become more than very fond of me. Yet, I always felt like I was on trial. Oh, he did some very nice things for me, kind of under the guise of testing me. We had a serious discussion about addictions one night over dinner. I’ve never had the usual up front well known addictions. Mine tend to be strange. Like one time I got real addicted to Hostess Cupcakes. It was after my son was murdered and I felt like nothing on earth could comfort me anyway. Yet, there I was often sitting in the parking lot of a local grocery store stuffing Hostess Cupcakes in my face and crying my brains out. Was not long before things started to not fit me right. I caught myself and decided to knock it off. I lost weight, got into my usual jeans again and that was that. I had told this story to my new “friend“, (and I say that loosely). He was a recovering alcoholic and supposedly had not had a drink in quite awhile.

Soon, my birthday came up and he invited me to have a little party in a beautiful setting and play in the snow. It was lovely. When it came to the time to go inside from the cold a table was set up before me for my birthday. One “gift” was a computer printed photo of us together just cut out of computer paper and the other was a pyramid of Hostess Cupcakes set up to look like a tiered birthday cake. They were all still in the wrappers and honestly it reminded me more of the shape of a wedding cake. On the top was one that was open and had a lit candle right in the middle. Now, this might seem kind of cute at first, right?

He asked me to go ahead, blow out the candle and have one! So, not wanting to be rude, I made my wish, blew out the candle and ate my Hostess Cupcake with gratitude. I asked him if he was going to have one and he said no. I thought that was strange. After I was done, he said, “Have another one!” Can you see where this is going? He was testing me to see if I was going to be addicted to the cupcakes and keep trying to eat them! How absurd it sounds now! My “No thank-you,” was met with “Are you sure?”

Then came the other fun part. He pointed out the computer printed copy of the photo of us and asked how I liked my birthday present. I guess if he was in poverty, and honest, it might have been touching. He was only trying to get a reaction out of me, or some sort of disapproval. I told him it was sweet. As I look back, I realize the entire time I was being “tested“. He was always trying to see if I was “marrying material“. Actually, I don’t think he was marrying material for me!

I’ve often had discussions with others as to whether God “tests” us to see if we will be tempted to go for something and fail. I want to assure you right now, God does NOT do this to His created children! Seems to me the only tester and tempter was Satan in the Biblical story, so how could it be Godly? Let me give you some blessed assurance here. God never sets up His children for failure and then judge them. It is not His nature or character. Humans test each other, set up stumbling blocks and then judge and point fingers. Even worse, they punish. Believe me, this is not wisdom and it is not Godly either.

Since we live in a universe of reaping what we sow, would you want to be the one to test someone just to see them fall on their face, get angry, be hurt, or punished? I know I wouldn’t want that. But we do reap what we sow. I trust in that universal law of lovely Karma. Good ole’ Karma. We always know when she’s been around because it often feels like a slap in the face. Actually it’s a lesson to be learned.

Before you have to learn this lesson, let me spare you. Don’t set up your brother, or anyone, to stumble! Do NOT test another human being with the intent to see if you will have to punish or judge them! You might end up on the wrong side of the Karmic wheel and it won’t feel very good.

I always loved the song “Light of the World”.

“Light of the world shine on me, love is the answer. 

Shine on us all, let us see, love is the answer…” 

I hope this message is relevant. I know to many it could be. Tripping someone up is not a loving thing to do. Not in any situation. Putting someone to the test to see if they are worthy just might cause YOU to be the one who is unworthy someday when you stand in the Light of God. Don’t do it.

Loving you from here,

Dr Rev Jenine Marie Howry

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