What Effect Do I Have on My Brethren?

by Maxie B. Boren
A question which every Christian needs to ask himself is, “What effect do I have on my brethren?” This is an important inquiry for each of us to make, because the Bible has a great deal to say concerning individual responsibility in the matter.
For an example: a harsh, judgmental attitude toward others over inconsequential matters can be a causative factor in someone stumbling and falling, spiritually. Therefore, the apostle Paul urged Christians not to put a stumbling block or an occasion of falling in a brother’s way (read Romans 14:13). Further, he instructed that Christians refrain from anything that would cause a brother to stumble (verse 21). Jesus declared, “Woe unto the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes” (Matthew 18:7 NASV).
Instead of creating stumbling blocks to “trip someone up,” would you agree that the cause of Christ would be much better served if we each one would try to make the pathways of others a little bit smoother? Philemon was such a man as that, because the apostle wrote to him and said, “I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother” (Philemon 7).
What kind of an effect do I have on other brethren? That is an inquiry each of us needs to make of himself/herself. Ask, “Do I spread gloom and doom in the church by a bad attitude, or do I spread joy and sunshine by a good attitude?” And further, “Am I busy paving life’s road to make it better for others, or do I specialize in causing problems by fashioning stumbling blocks along the way?” Diotrephes was apparently in the last category and of such a disposition that specialized in casting folks out of the church instead of helping them to be fruitful and productive, and thus, the apostle John indicted him for it (3 John 9-11). Think about it.
(Thanks to The Voice of Truth International, Vol 45, page 50.)

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