God's Word for Today

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Be a building block, not a stumbling block.

This morning I was reading in the book of Romans, chapter 14 where Paul talks about not placing a stumbling block in the way of our brothers and sisters.

RO 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

In thinking about this I made the connection that I need to be very careful of my actions. When I am dealing with new believers and even people that I may come in contact with in my every day dealings, that I do not let my action or my words place any stumbling blocks in any one's paths. My words and my actions reflect who I am and where my heart is. As a believer we need to "make up my mind not to put any stumbling block or obsticle" in any ones path. I need to be very careful in how we speak and how we act in the everyday world, because when we interact with others and we do not reflect the love of Christ we have in our hearts, we can either un-intentionally or intentionally leave a very large stumbling block in our wake. When people see us (and I mean me) interacting in a way that does not reflect Christ it gives them the wrong picture of what being a Christian is all about.
It makes me very sad when I think of all the times I fail miserably at this, most of the time I only recognize a failure in hindsight, an then I wish I could go back and change what I said or did. I am thankful that I can always ask my Heavenly Father for forgiveness as well as a new opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ I have in my heart to those I come in contact with.

I can try to be a building block for Jesus, not a stumbling block of the world.

I can remember :

  • I don’t have to be first in line.
  • I don’t have to get there before the car in front of me.
  • My time is not more valuable than yours.
  • I can smile even when I don’t feel like it.
  • I can say please and thank you.
  • I can be patient in the check out line at the Wal-Mart even if there is a mother with her two cranky toddlers in front of me.
  • I don’t need to have the last word.
  • I don’t have to participate in gossip.
  • Not to honk at the car in front of me if they take more that a second to move through the green light.
  • To treat you as I would want to be treated.
  • To leave the table at the Chic-Fil-A (or any place I have been) cleaner than I found it.
  • I can do something for someone without expecting anything in return.
  • I can admit I’m wrong.
  • I can say I’m sorry.
  • I can ask for forgiveness.
  • I can say “I Love YOU!”
  • I can say “Jesus loves you!”

1 comment:

skoots1mom said...

I heard an interesting quote on my way to Buford to attend my aunt and uncle's 60th wedding annivesary.

The quote was "a smile is worth a million intentions".

The more I pondered that, especially over the next couple of hours, the more it sunk in to my hard head.

When I walked into the house, there were probably 20 or so strangers greeting all the family. As I worked through the crowd, I realized several of them were people I had known as a child but didn't recognize their faces due to time and gravity. The one thing that remained and that was a constant though were their smiles...many times I recognized them through their smile and their eyes.

Then when my sister and I were sitting on either side of my Uncle, who is now 80-something and in the deep throws of dimensia, his eyes were bright yet vacant. What remained as it was when I was a child, though, was his smile.

God gave him the strength that day to look at all the visitors, concentrate on their faces trying to pull recognition from somewhere. Even though you could tell "he had no clue who you were", he welcomed your pleasantries, smiled all afternoon, and seemed content.

His wonderful caregivers helped him in many ways...and they did it lovingly. I saw God working through them, comforting him, moving him from table to chair to couch to the wedding cake and to the bathroom! No gruff voices, all done with tender hands and smiles on their faces, to meet him where he was.

My Aunt watched over them --you could see she so wanted to be doing it for him; however, she is now dealing with bad knees and is on a walker/cain herself. She realized her inability and appreciatively accepted the help of others.

I know others struggle with not having that kind of care or those kinds of attitudes from caregivers, and I am so sorry for them. I'm so grateful my uncle and aunt have this support and kindness.

As I had to return home, it was difficult to say goodbye because I don't know how much more time he has, he's so frail.

But I have wonderful memories of his "before life" when I was a child, teenager, and young adult. He loved children and pets with a passion, loved to make things for everyone and give things away. He loved going to Waffle House and having coffee with his old BellSouth buddies. But first and foremost he was a good steward of his family, his love for them and his friends....He was definitely a building block for me.

I'll always have the intentional love he showed me as his niece.

His smile will remain emblazoned in my mind (and I can't help but snicker as I remember his toppled head as he laid asleep in the recliner after lunch--at peace). I kind of like that memory, too!

luv ya,

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