What drives your behavior or relationships with others? Do you look for what you can gain from the encounters or do you seek to be a giver and see how you can help others? Our motivations are the subject of Paul’s hard words in Romans 14:10-13. He calls us to look at the why and the substance of our relationships with others.
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
Paul reminds all of us that we are accountable to God and will one day stand before Him to give account for our words and actions. The believer will receive rewards for the good they have done for the Lord and the unbeliever will face punishment for their sins. Since believers are in Christ and covered by His blood and righteousness, God does not see the sin yet He does measure our actions and words. We are accountable to Him. Paul then concludes that knowing this fact, we need to examine our words and actions towards others so that they are honoring and edifying. We want to seek to build others up and encourage them in life and faith. We don’t want to put stumbling blocks in their pathway to trip them up, cause them to sin, cause them grief or lead them away from Christ by our actions. This is serious work for the kingdom and we need to examine ourselves daily to keep our motivations, actions and attitudes in alignment with Christ.
Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can live a life that is yielded and accountable to God that will bring Him glory. There is hope in Christ. We do not need to fear being a stumbling block to others, if we keep focused on Christ and seek His will for our lives.