All around my house back home is a stone pathway. It is made from flagstone and is embedded into white gravel. When it was first done it was so pretty and served the purpose of guiding you to our doorways without walking in wet grass or dirt. But as the years have past and winter after winter have frozen and thawed the ground, some of the flagstone has heaved and shifted. So now if you aren't watching, you very well may trip over one of the stones.
What was intended as a help in the beginning has over time, and without correction and attending to, has actually become a liability.
I told my husband that it must be one of the first things we take care of this spring. We sure wouldn't want anyone to fall.
I have a good friend from my home church. He is the husband of our Whew sister, Cindy Ashley. His name is Kenny Ashley. He says a beautiful prayer. And for as long as I can remember he always includes these words, Let us be stepping stones and not stumbling blocks.
In much the same way as my path stones, a well meaning "Christian" can shift, heave, be left without correction or attending to and become a stumbling block to someone else. They no longer are the pathway away from "dirt." And they no longer have the purpose to lead and guide.
God gives very harsh warnings to those who cause someone else to "fall."
But whoever causes one of these who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6 NASB)
I hope and pray that I never think so highly of myself as to think that I can't or shouldn't be corrected by another. I hope and pray that I am always willing to be "realigned" so as not to trip someone up.
Lord, please help me to be a stepping stone and not a stumbling block.
I imagine all of us as a line of rock jumpers, holding hands and helping and encouraging the others, both those ahead of us on the path and those behind us.