“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea” (Mark 9:42).
While responsible for whatever influence we might wield in the life of others, it is especially true in regard to the “little ones” (literally, one of the least) that God entrusts to our path each day. To cause one of these to “stumble” (skandalizo), that is, to cause a loss of faith, or to rob of eternal salvation, is scandalous. Think about the children entrusted to you as a parent. Consider your church attendance and participation. In public, how do you speak of the church? When sharing scripture, is it done in a way that is truthful to its historical understanding, or is it contextualized for the sake of cultural accommodation? For good or bad, how we respond to each scenario has an influence on those around us and plays a formative role in their understanding of the life of faith and its practice.