Scripture: “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” Romans 14:12-13
Observation: Looking as these two verses together we really get the full sense of what Paul is asking of us. We will be asked to give an account of our lives to God so because of this we must not pass judgement on others or place in their way anything that will cause them to stumble. The interesting part is that the judgement falls not on the one who stumbles (although from other passages we know that we are accountable for our actions) but upon the believer who causes others to stumble. This is part of the teaching of loving your neighbor more than you love yourself because if you truly love others then you will go out of your way to ensure that they do not fall into temptation and you do not pass judgment on them when they do because the blame rests on your actions.
Application: I am responsible for my own behavior and actions and I will be held accountable for them. The “satan made me do it’ excuse or any other combination of casting the blame on someone else does not work. I must take responsibility for my actions and the effect that it has on others.
Prayer: Father, remind us that our behavior can affect other and let us strive as Paul later writes, ‘let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding’. Amen