Posted by: Jo | September 29, 2017

Avoiding Stumbling Spiritually

“Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.”

(Psalm 119: 165)

stumble01Stumbling physically, has beset some of our Home Group lately, me included. I was foolish enough to go walking with inappropriate footwear and stood on a stone, stumbled, and turned so quickly I broke a bone in my foot. Another lady stumbled down the back stairs of her apartment building and ended up breaking her ankle. Stumbling obviously needs to be avoided. Scripture has many verses about stumbling and I suppose looking back to the uneven paths in ancient days and the flimsy sandals they wore, it would be a perfect illustration that everybody would understand when it was used to describe falling off the path chosen by God.

I am always fascinated when I find a common phrase used today, and find it originated in Scripture, “stumbling block” is one such phrase. We often hear it used e.g. his arrogance is a stumbling block for him to ever succeed/ her love of spending is a stumbling block to her ever saving enough to buy a house etc. There are lots of warnings about what can make one stumble and Jesus himself warns us all about who can cause the most dangerous stumbling block of all which might draw us away from God’s will.stumble02

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan!  You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men”.” (Matthew 16: 23)

Paul also warns us not to ever put any stumbling blocks in the way of other believers. This can so easily happen, even within our own churches, by judging others, not making newcomers welcome so they give up on coming to church, by setting man made rules about how church services are run and condemning those who don’t abide by them.

“Therefore, let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” (Romans 14: 13)

Fortunately, for us who choose to follow in our Saviours footsteps, he goes before us smoothing out the bumps which may make us stumble. Jesus tells us he is the light of the world and we all know how foolish it is to try to walk safely if we are in a dark place without a flashlight, so choosing to walk in the Lord’s light is a very wise decision, rather than to try to walk in the dark by ourselves

“It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.” (John 11: 10)

stumble03One of my favourite verses is David’s confident appraisal of his life as he knows he is walking with God in the light of life.

“For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” (Psalm 56: 13)




  1. As always Jo, your words make me stop and think. I am finding that in my own little church community what is a stepping stone for some is a stumbling block for others. Lets hope we can show the tolerance and understanding to each other that Jesus asks of us.


  2. Very apt Jo, both spiritually and physically for us oldies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. the way we use stumbling blocks that must be stepping stones instead, I love the idea. David’s appraisal of his life, wonderful metaphors to keep remembering. I am so sorry about your foot, Jo.

    Liked by 1 person

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