Causing Others to Stumble

John Koedyker

READ : Malachi 2:1-9

You have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. (v. 8)

In the engagingly true story An Invisible Thread, Laura Schroff tells about how she developed a deep relationship with a young boy from a poor family in New York City. It started when she was crossing Broadway near Times Square. A boy stopped her to ask for some money to buy food. At first she had hardly noticed him—she had been in such a hurry. But then, suddenly she turned around, went back to the boy and began a conversation with him. She ended up buying him supper at McDonald’s. That was the first of many suppers together and an amazing relationship began.

It’s a great story too long to tell here, but in short the young man’s life was radically changed. Before meeting Laura, all he knew was the dirty and depressing world of the drug culture. When his drug-addled mother discovered he was good at panhandling, she went with him and got him to do it for her to raise money for drugs, but he didn’t like it and soon went solo again. Without Laura, he most certainly would have taken to selling drugs like the rest of his family members.

Many people in this world stumble and fall because of bad examples. In our reading today, unfortunately it was the clergy who “turned from the way” and by their teaching “caused many to stumble.” How sad!

What kind of example are you setting?


Lord, help me to not cause others to stumble. Amen.