‘You better take that picture off the prayer wall!’ These are the words Breanne said to me before the baby shower we had planned for weeks was to begin.
To explain, our family has had a rift in it for many years. There are two sides to our large family of aunts, uncles and cousins and they have been at odds with one another for a long time. It is an unspoken rule that if you have an event, you can always invite one side but not the other, because they don’t even want to be in the same room with one another.
It has always been that way, we have adjusted to it. However, several weeks ago I found a picture of the family before the rift and I put it on the prayer wall and we have been praying over it for weeks now.
Since we began our prayer over the photo, we have seen a softening in the rift. There have been a couple occasions where the family was all in the same place and although they didn’t talk to one another, they also didn’t leave, which is improvement.
After the shower ended, I was on the phone with my Mom and I said ‘Breanne told me to take down that picture so no one would be offended at the shower.’ Mom was silent for a few minutes, then she said ‘well, the Bible DOES say not to put a stumbling block in the way of others.’
Wow! What wisdom. I knew, in that moment, as I heard her words I had heard wisdom speak.
Pride would have said ‘it’s MY prayer wall, I will leave it there if I want and they can deal with it.’ Humility would say ‘how will that make them feel? Let me remove it so they won’t be hurt or offended.’
Consequently, the entire family was invited to the shower AND they came, why would we then put a stumbling block in their way when it was obvious God was working?
Romans 14:13 says; Therefore, let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in another’s way.
It’s not my job to force them to feel a certain way or behave a certain way – it is my job to pray and believe God to restore my family. It is not my right to judge how they feel or act – that is between them and God.
This kind of stuff is usually hard for me because I am a fixer. I like to fix everything. However, some things I CANNOT fix, I have to give it to God and leave it there.
I have chosen to humble myself before God and trust that He is working in this family. And I can see it happening, I can see God working in this.
During the shower, one of my aunts spoke to the other one, this hasn’t happened in years! I just love how God is working in this!
I think, as believers, we sometimes try to force the word to work, when humility is really the way. Humbling ourselves and trusting God. Putting ourselves under God and His word and trusting His ability to bring it to pass.
I love how the Amplified reads Romans 14:13; Then let us not criticize one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block or a source of temptation in another believer’s way.
Friends, criticism and a judgmental attitude always stems from pride. It comes from being determined to have our way and it doesn’t often work. Humility, on the other hand, is an atmosphere in which God can and will work.
Philippians 2:3-11 in the ESV says; Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
That day, I chose to put others feelings ahead of my own. This, as Philippians says, is the mind of Christ. That same mind which should be in us.
Resolve today to not put stumbling blocks in the way of others. Resolve not to cause others to stumble. Refuse to be a source of temptation for others to become angry or walk in bitterness. Resolve instead to be a source of encouragement to others. Resolve to be the kind of person who helps people overcome. That too, is the mind of Christ and the heart of Christ.
This has been a humbling lesson for me and I am thankful. May my God continue to humble me and show me HIS way.
Proverbs 22:4 says; The reward for humility is riches and honor and the ZOE life of God. I, personally, chose to live the life of God that He said I could have. For me, the road to that life is a life of humility, a life of putting others before me and always, always, putting Gods ways before mine.
I pray todays writing has given you insight, I know it did me. May we never put stumbling blocks in the way of others, may we always walk in the ways of God, with a heart of Christ. To God be all the glory!
Prayer for today: Father, help us today to be a source of blessing for others. Help us to never put a stumbling block in the way of others. Cause humility to be constantly working in us. This we ask in Jesus name. Amen.