Let Me Introduce Myself
This is my first article and I hope that it inspires you in the name of Jesus. My name is Zach Malott, and I am a pastor and my church is on the Mescalero Apache reservation in southeast New Mexico.
Mescalero is in the mountains in southeast New Mexico, located at around 6400 feet above sea level. It’s beautiful here. We have the luxury of the high pines but very light winters usually.
Recently, I took a nice walk in nature, and saw the wonders of God’s creation surrounding me. Many deer were my companions as we all meandered through the forest.
The crisp sound of dry leaves, the smell of nature captivating the senses, quickens the mind and brings joy. It’s a beautiful country I live in and a most awesome Creator I serve.
Causing Others to Stumble
The closer my walk with Christ becomes, the more I begin to see how far I have to go to be like Him. Take my walk today for instance. As I was walking on the roadside, an automobile barely missed me as it sped around honking its horn.
You might not have felt it was that close, but for me, it was way too close! I always try to love my neighbor. I strive to forgive and forget regardless of the circumstances and regardless of the situation at hand. Today; however, I had hateful feelings toward the person driving that vehicle.
I don’t know how you feel about such things but I caught myself as I was thinking about just how rude that person was. Perhaps I was justified for my anger of the moment. Perhaps I was not. What I do know is that, I felt sorrow and remorse almost instantly for how I responded there for a moment.
I confessed and repented for my hatefulness and prayed for the driver to get home safely. I also prayed for him to be convicted by the Holy Spirit about his actions.
Setting the Right Example
The incident occurred in the early part of my walk. On my way back home, I was praying for a lady in my church who has been diagnosed with a fatal illness and who has been given about 5 months to live. As I turned up the driveway, a young man on a bicycle pulled up beside of me.
“Sir, that car almost hit you earlier. I was behind you and saw him barely miss you. You ok?” he asked.
“Yes son, I’m fine,” I responded.
“Well, you didn’t act like it made you mad,” he stated matter-of-factly.
“If that had been my dad, you would have been able to hear him hollering and cursing at that guy for 4 blocks!”
He waved and rode off, as I turned into my drive and walked up on the porch. It is a very easy thing to become a stumbling block for another. In the spur of the moment, especially when we perceive that we are being wronged, it is very easy for us to lose control of our emotions and utter something that we might wish we had not. I felt that way at that moment.
I thanked God for allowing me to recognize my negative feelings in that moment for I could have easily set a bad example for that young boy. The example he was being shown at home would have been reinforced, had I responded as he confided that his father did in such situations.
Our Example Affects Many
We never know who is watching us or listening to us. We never know how many times, as we are being salt and light in a darkened world, how that example may help someone to see Christ.
We are Christ’s body. We are Christ’s eyes, his hands, and his feet in this world. We are the church. Allow us to realize that sometimes the slightest wrong can cause another to stumble.
Romans 14:21 tells us, in essence, that we need to be mindful of doing anything that might cause our brother to stumble. We also need to be careful not to be a bad example to the world as we are walking in it. We never know if through wrong minded actions of the moment if we are painting a negative picture of Christ’s church.
God, help us all in Jesus’ name, to avoid becoming a stumbling block for those who are watching our example. Let us represent you in a manner that brings glory to your name rather than presenting the wrong image of your goodness and grace in this fallen world. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
I would like to invite you to visit my personal website All Things Christian. We have only just begun and you are welcome to begin with us!