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Are You a Blockhead?




by Vicky Lorencen

Take a little time to figure this out.

I don’t mean this as a slam, believe me, but are you a blockhead? I mean, someone who’s a stumbling block for unbelievers? Still not sure what I mean? Take a few minutes with this devo and find out. I hope the truth doesn’t hurt.

Here’s a logical question for starters, What’s a stumbling block? (No, you can’t answer with a quick sketch of Charlie Brown—he’s a “blockhead,” according to Lucy.)

Still a little fuzzy? Look at what Paul wrote in Romans 14. Go ahead and read all 23 verses, please. Now what do you think a stumbling block is?

Do you think Paul is suggesting that real Christians should be nondrinking vegans? If not, what’s the point of his discussion with the Roman church? Read verses 17-21 if you need a little help. I mean, I wouldn’t want you to, uh, stumble.

Paul talked to the Christians in Corinth about a problem similar to the one the Romans were having. How did he tell them to deal with the issue? You can read all about it in 1 Corinthians 8, paying close attention to verses 9-13. Go ahead and read the entire chapter first, though, to get the full context of the whole sticky, stumbly situation.

There’s an excellent summary of Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians 10:31-33: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble . . . even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”

Now, here comes the uncomfortable part. Have you ever been a stumbling block to someone? If so, how? What did you do about it? What will you do about it?

Here’s an example of a stumbling block: skipping church once in a while. What do you think your actions say to your friend who’s just become a Christian? Would seeing you blowing off church help or hinder your influence with your friend?

Encourage instead of discourage

To end on a positive note, let’s look at Hebrews 3:13: “Encourage one another daily.” Let’s figure out how you can apply Hebrews 3:13.

OK, list three people you could encourage this week. They can be believers or pre-believers. Next to each person’s name, list at least one specific thing you will do this week to encourage that person. For example, you might get really crazy and decide to put your mom on the list. (You might have to stumble over her body when she faints, but give it a try anyway.) You get the idea now.

Back to my original question, Are you a blockhead? Is reality painful?

It might seem tough to give up something you think is cool for the sake of someone’s salvation or to offer encouragement to someone when you could use some yourself. But momentary pain is nothing compared to the high you’ll get from pleasing God. Try it.

Vicky Lorencen writes from Jackson, Michigan.




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