Woe Because of Offenses
“Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!”
While teaching His disciples, Jesus Christ called a little child to Him. He told the disciples that if they received a little child in His name, it was like serving Him (Matthew 18:5). But on the other hand, if someone caused a little one (whether a child or a new convert) to sin, “it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (verse 6).
Jesus followed this shocking statement with His warning to those who cause offenses. He didn’t promise that there would be no offenses in this life, since human nature is naturally prone to offend others. God even uses these offenses and trials to help us grow when we are offended and have stumbling blocks put in our way.
But when we are the ones in danger of causing offense, we must beware! We must consider Christ’s powerful warning seriously; and as Paul wrote, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).
See the articles “How Not to Be a Stumbling Block” and “The Way of Peace.” For more on what to do and what not to do in our relationships with others, see the section on “Relationships.”