i’ve often heard comments such as “so&so is a stumbling block for me” but i’ve never, ever, heard anyone confess to being a stumbling block for another.
Reading Proverbs 7 led me to pondering my impact on the lives of others: the following verses refer:
And behold, the woman meets him,
dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
She is loud and wayward;
her feet do not stay at home;
now in the street, now in the market,
and at every corner she lies in wait.
i’m thinking about my colleagues – am i being ‘salt’ to them? am i a branch bearing the fruit of the original vine? honestly, i think i can do better. there is a lot of room for improvement in that area. what about my friends outside of work? what kind of influence am i? am i enticing them to bad behaviour, or am i the good company that brings value to their lives? am i like the harlot mentioned in this chapter – loud and uncouth, drawing the innocent to their death with ill-conceived ideas?
you see, the woman mentioned in these verses is a prostitute, or very close to one. she is also a married woman, and yet we see her making plans to spend the night with a man other than her husband.
this passage isn’t just about men avoiding harlots and prostitutes and not sexing women who are bent on cheating on their husbands. no. i believe the Word goes deeper than that. the ‘harlot’ is a substitute for anybody who is trying to draw you away from who should be your first love: Christ, and through Him God the Father.
do you have such people in your life? do you tolerate them because well, you’ve known them for years and they’re good people, and they were there for you when no one else was? i’m not saying cut them off, i’m just saying examine your relationship with them and tighten what needs tightening; loose what needs loosening.
more importantly though, and more relevant for me right now, given my other projects: am I that person that somebody needs to cut off? am i out here causing others to stumble, leading God’s chosen to sin? am i? are YOU?
i dont know about you, but i’m taking a hard look at what i do and the people i do it with and i’m asking God to show me, by His Holy Spirit, how i can be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ in the world, and how i can better use what talents i have to bring Glory and not dishonour to His name.
you know that verse that talks about how the Word judges even those innermost thoughts? it is so true that the Word does this. when you feel convicted then the Word is doing it’s job. don’t fall for Satan’s condemnation though, that’s another story altogether.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
…and there is also this: