The Legislation of Moses accommodates the following law: “You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block earlier than the blind, but you shall revere your God; I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:14, NASB). This refers to a somewhat obvious act of cruelty in placing something in the path of a blind individual that he/she can’t see to avoid. Here we have a metaphor that is referred to in a number of places in the New Testament. Jesus referred to it in Matthew 18:5–6, when He said, “And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who consider in Me to stumble, it might be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the ocean” (NASB). James uses the same metaphor in James 3:2, when he writes, “For we all stumble in lots of ways. And if anyone doesn’t stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his complete body.”
Maybe one of the in depth uses of the metaphor within the New Testament is by Paul in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8. In 1 Corinthians eight:9, Paul wrote, “But take care that this proper of yours doesn’t somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” He explains the metaphor in Romans 14. Here he’s writing about variations in ranges of maturity among Christians. As we mature in our Christian walk, we find that there are things that have been previously improper for us to try this we achieve the liberty to do. Earlier in our stroll, these things interfered with our relationshipship with Christ and so were unsuitable to do. As we mature, they now not cause our relationship with Christ to undergo and subsequently are not mistaken for us to do. The particular example Paul referred to was consuming meat that had been consecrated to idols. To younger, immature Christians, eating meat that they knew had been consecrated to idols was collaborating in idol worship. To a mature Christian, it was just consuming meals and had no impact on the Christian walk. If a mature Christian, to whom eating this meat was not wrong, inspired an immature Christian, to whom eating the meat was flawed, to eat anyway, the mature Christian would be placing a stumbling block within the immature Christian’s path—encouraging him/her to do something that will negatively impact his/her relationship with Christ. Instead of being a stumbling block to another, we must always show love. As Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 8:13, “Subsequently, if food makes my brother stumble, I’ll by no means eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” This is to not say that we should cater to the least mature of the brethren, however somewhat than encourage them to do not be a stumbling block what they consider sin, we must always assist them mature in order that they acknowledge it for what it’s—something with no non secular consequences.
This doesn’t apply to anything that the Scripture specifically states is sin. For instance, Christian maturity by no means offers us the liberty to hate others. But when there is ambiguity in the Scripture about whether or not something is correct or improper, such as in playing cards with a standard poker deck (which some see as fallacious because of the origins of the symbols on the cards), not changing into a stumbling block to a fellow Christian is an issue. We ought to be very cautious not to cause one other’s relationship with Christ to suffer.