Bringer of Temptations (Matthew 18:7)

I’ve been chewing on a verse since yesterday that has me pondering what my actions cause.  The verse is Matthew 18:7 and I’ve bolded the part that has me thinking:

Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!

The first thing I want to touch on here is the word “woe” because when you go back to the original meaning in essence it’s like a threatening promise. So what is being said is basically “if you do this, expect consequences!” In other words: don’t do this! And in this case “this” is putting yourself in a position where you are tempting others to sin.

The word translated here as “temptation” is skandalon (G4625). Here’s the key portion of the definition:

any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall, (a stumbling block, occasion of stumbling) i.e. a rock which is a cause of stumbling

Basically we are being warned against being the one to cause someone else to stumble. This is the same word used in Mark 9:42

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

There are moments where we are obvious tempters – like if we are initiating gossip, we are sinning and causing someone(s) else to sin by joining us.  But there are moment’s that are less obvious as well.  Moments where we are doing something permissible, but it causes someone else to sin (drinking alcohol is an example).

This brings to mind a blog I wrote several years ago on Permissible vs Beneficial.  It seems the longer we walk with the Lord, the more time we should be spending engaged in the beneficial rather than the permissible. Especially if there is a possibility that our “permissibles” may cause someone else to stumble, which would mean WE have sinned.

So I suppose the question I’m putting to you today to ponder is the same one I’ve been pondering for the last 24 hrs: what do I do that potentially causes others to stumble?

Lord, I ask that You would show us areas that we may need to change – not because we’re struggling, but because we love our brothers and sisters too much to want to cause them to struggle.  Help us to care more for them then about our “right” to be able to do something. I ask for grace to lay things down. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear. And to You be all the glory!

4 thoughts on “Bringer of Temptations (Matthew 18:7)

  1. This is so good… I think that as we get “older” in the Lord that we tend to live more in the permissible than the beneficial.. We really do NEED to constantly be eamining ourselves.. Thank for the reminder and the challenge

  2. Good word, Meghan. This comes at a really opportune time because I was hopping mad at someone this afternoon. The other side of this coin is to watch out for someone else who may cause you to sin. I came pretty close, but I prayed instead and a wonderful calm came over me. If I had said what I had wanted to at the moment of my anger, we would have both been in a sin filled argument. This person shoots from the hip and it makes it really hard to keep my opinionated mouth shut sometimes. I am learning by the grace of YHWH, though. Praise His holy Name.

  3. Excellent!!! Thank you so much for your timing and insight…

    Especially the part about caring more for them then about our “right” to be able to do something. YHWH give us strength to lay down our “right” to do things that are permissible to you but might be a stumbling block for someone else. Thank You for giving us wisdom!!!

  4. In ’06, when i really became involved with an outreach ministry, there was quite a hodge podge of people that attended. as we learned to move into the prophetic, some serious life lessons followed suit.

    early on, i was often asked if i ever practiced witchcraft. my answer was always ‘no’, apart from sleep overs with “light as a feather” or those types of things, of which i’d learned to repent from the act.

    about a year into it, i was filing at my desk, not thinking about anything outside of the alphabet and the Lord said “It was the dance”.

    i knew right away what He meant: It was the dance, rather the dancing that i used to do at clubs with my friends in the mid-90s. i was a married, christian woman out on the club dance floor leading who-knows-how-many into temptation. it was charasmatic witchcraft because my presence changed the atmosphere and the dance, which was meant for worship, was used in perversion.

    it’s a wonder i didn’t puke righ there at my desk, i was so upset by this.

    i dunno, it may have been elementary to others, but it was a heavy revelation to me but i learned quickly how to repent from that as well and dedicate my dancing to the Lord.

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