Causing Others to Sin

John Maassen

READ : Matthew 18:1-14

I am a PK, a preacher’s kid. I resonate with columnist Suzanne Fields who in writing about the First Lady notes, “Families of politicians are much like the families of clergymen. They cannot dawdle-walk down a winding garden path like the rest of us, but must stick to the straight and narrow” (The Grand Rapids Press, Jan. 11, 1995).

But all Christians are supposed to set an example. We belong to the Family of God! Jesus said, “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! (And) . . . woe to the man by whom the temptation comes.” It is wrong to sin. It is despicable to cause others to sin! Yet it happens every day. Some do it knowingly entire industries, for example. For profit they tempt others to sin. But you and I may be guilty too. Are we given to frequent cynicism? We endanger the faith of God’s children by scoffing. Jesus declares it would be better for us to be drowned in the sea!

Or we may lead others astray knowingly. As role models, our effect on others is subtle and yet persuasive. Our hypocrisy may breed another’s disillusionment. We dare not be careless. We are to “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave.” And when we fail, others fall! Better the loss of hands or feet itself than the loss of the soul through causing others to sin.


Merciful God, may my witness be pure and strong that I may not lead others astray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.