“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!
Matthew 18: 6 – 7
When children are young, they are insatiably curious about the world. Anyone who’s raised children knows that in their early years, their most common question is ‘why?’ They’re establishing the rules of the world around them, and they trust their parents and those they love to inform them of things that will help them to structure and plan their lives. When they see a difference between what people do and what people say to them, then they tend to lose faith in those rules and those people, and the same is true for older people as well. If we see that someone’s life reflects what they say, then we trust them.
We tend to forget, though, that saying one thing and doing another has a terrible effect on the person who does it, too. When we pretend to be someone we aren’t, and we don’t act as we say we should, we lose track of who we actually are, the person that God made us to be. Our relationship with others and our relationship with God starts to break and we become despairing and lost. God made us who we are, in all our beauty and oddity, and made us to be in relationship with him.
Prayer: Lord God, please teach me to know and to love myself, as you know and love me. Help me to be honest to you and to others around me, not to hide myself from the world and from you.
Action: write down one honest question you have about God, faith and behaviour, and pray that God will answer it for you. Write down the answer when it comes – it might take some time, so try to remember!