A guest star on a TV show once said, “Two things I’ve had in life, and both ample—good advice and bad example.” This has been the experience of most people.
Most of us are careless or just too thoughtless about our influence. Every person’s life is a profession of faith. Every person’s conduct is an unspoken sermon that he is forever preaching to others. Someone said years ago, “Every man is some boy’s ideal.” Oftentimes our influence is unconscious, but it is real nonetheless.
God holds us accountable for our influence. Jesus said that it would be better for us to have a millstone hung about our neck and our body cast into the sea than that we should cause someone else to stumble and sin. This makes our influence mighty important.
I have often thought of the old story of the blind man who always carried a lighted lantern. Someone asked him why he did this. He replied, “To keep other people from stumbling over me.” It wasn’t a bad idea. Now he wouldn’t stumble over anyone else, or at least if he did it would not be intentional. But he didn’t want anyone to stumble over him, so he carried a lighted lamp.
We need to see to it that, under God, nobody stumbles because of our lives.