It is a sin which is worse than death itself. The load of guilt one carries after causing another person’s fall is almost too great to bear. There was once a mountain-climbing expert who was training some people how to climb. He was doing very well until one of his students slipped and began to fall down a steep precipice. The instructor leaned over and asked, “Are you hurt?”

A weak voice answered, “I don’t kn-o-o-o-o-o-w. I haven’t hit the bottom y-e-e-e-e-t!” The instructor knew he would be held responsible for any harm which came to this trainee, so he made every effort he could to rescue him and put him on sound footing again.

If the mountain-climbing expert would be held responsible for his trainee, then how much greater will a Christian be responsible for causing another believer (especially a new believer) to sin? Everyone is accountable to God for his own actions, but we will pay a particularly high price when another believer errs as a result of our missteps. In Mark 9:42, Jesus said it would be better for us to drown in the sea with a millstone around our necks than to be guilty of such an offense. Don’t make this mistake — it isn’t worth the trouble.

If you stood before God today, would you be commended or condemned for the way your life had influenced others? Would you be commended as a good example, or would you be condemned for leading people into sin? Whether you are aware of it or not, your words and actions carry great weight. Use them to influence others in the right way today.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.