Read: Matthew 18:7-11
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”
Romans 14:12-13 KJV
My time in retail has afforded me the unique “privilege” of meeting at least a few customers who seem to think that illiteracy is a prerequisite for holding a job as a cashier. It’s almost as if they assume that since you’re working a minimum wage, blue collar job, you must have dropped out of high school before your junior year.
I’ll admit that it doesn’t take long to grow irritated when an already busy day is punctuated by such customers. Handing me a clearly marked discount tag, then proceeding to tell me what the tag says isn’t the best way to make a friend… nor is staring at my computer monitor and criticizing every price reduction it displays.
While occasionally, such a customer does catch something that the cashier or the computer missed, more often than not, they succeed only in holding up an already packed line. I can’t count the times that a customer has complained about product pricing only to discover that the computer (and the cashier operating it) is a better mathematician than they are. (For example, 30% off an $80 product is not $50!)
It is a strange thing, but often, we as Christians make the same mistake with each other that customers so frequently make with cashiers. We catch a fellow believer in what we perceive to be a failure (at least by our own calculations) and immediately set about correcting them.
While it isn’t inappropriate to do so, there are times when our calculations are far from correct. Instead of being a help, we become a hindrance and a source of stumbling for someone who already was following the Spirit’s lead. Like my customers, we would be better off double checking our “figures” before informing others of their shortcomings. When we do, we’re sure to be both a help and a friend!
Challenge: This week, concentrate on removing stumbling blocks rather than erecting them.