Summary: Let’s consider what it means to stop passing judgment on others. 1- We must not be stumbling blocks 2- We must recognize the kingdom 3- We must do whatever leads to peace
INTRO.- ILL.- Wrong Guesses: A six-year-old lad came home with a note from his teacher in which it was suggested that he be taken out of school because he was “too stupid to learn.” That boy was Thomas A. Edison. (and yet Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name)
Alfred Lord Tennyson’s grandfather gave him 10 shillings for writing an eulogy on his grandmother. Handing it to the boy, the old man said: “There, that is the first money you ever earned by your poetry, and take my word for it, it will be the last.” (and yet Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and "Crossing the Bar")
Benjamin Franklin’s mother-in-law hesitated at letting her daughter marry a printer. There were already two printing offices in the United States, and she feared that the country might not be able to support a third. (and yet Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.)
How wrong we often are when it comes to sizing up people or judging them. In fact, we are often critical and judgmental toward others. This seems to be our mode of operation in life: quick to judge and quick to criticize.
ILL.- We sometimes criticize others unfairly. John Wesley told about a man he had little respect for because he considered him to be miserly and covetous. One day when this person contributed only a small gift to a worthy charity, Wesley openly criticized him.
After the incident, the man went to Wesley privately and told him he had been living on parsnips and water for several weeks. He explained that before his conversion, he had run up many bills. Now, by skimping on everything and buying nothing for himself he was paying off his creditors one by one. "Christ has made me an honest man," he said, "and so with all these debts to pay, I can give only a few offerings above my tithe. I must settle up with my worldly neighbors and show them what the grace of God can do in the heart of a man who was once dishonest." Wesley then apologized to the man and asked his forgiveness.
ILL.- Dr./preacher George W. Truett told the story of a young lady who was brought before the church to be disciplined because of a violation of the church covenant. It was suggested that she be dropped from the roll of the church.
As the debate developed the preacher said, “Let us also call the church treasurer and have him read the record of the giving of every member, and let us vote to drop everyone who has violated God’s law against covetousness.” That bombshell cleared the air of accusers, as did Jesus when He said: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7)
PROP.- Let’s consider what it means to stop passing judgment on others.
1- We must not be stumbling blocks
2- We must recognize the kingdom
3- We must do whatever leads to peace
I. WE MUST NOT BE STUMBLING BLOCKS
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. Stop passing judgment on one another. Don’t be a stumbling block.
Isn't it strange that princes and kings
And clowns that caper in sawdust rings
And common folk like you and me
Are the builders of eternity.
To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass and a book of rules;
And each must make, ere time is flown,
A stumbling-block or a stepping-stone.
Which are you, stumbling block to others or stepping stone to others? Do you hinder people in their faith or do you encourage people in their faith? Are you on the construction crew or the destruction crew?
We all do things that hinders others in their faith whether we want to recognize it or not or admit it.
ILL.- I remember many years ago when a high school girl in one church went to a local rodeo held in our town. While there, she saw one of elders of the church drinking a beer. She went home and told her parents because it really upset her.
I knew that elder well and he wasn’t a drunk. In fact, I don’t think he even drank a beer on a regular basis, but had he known that any of the church members were there (particularly youth) he probably shouldn’t have had that beer.
ILL.- In one town I lived just around the corner from a local service station that my bass fishing friend managed. Occasionally, I would go down to that station and visit with him. One day I was there around 5 p.m. when some of the local guys came in to drink a beer. While there I drank a Dr. Pepper and visited with the guys about fishing.