We all know this, but it is amazing how much of what we do affects the lives of others. Encouraging words, looks of love, little gifts of time or thoughtfulness, acts of kindness, spending time listening, words of hatred, looks that kill, placing unrealistic expectations on someone, demanding commands - all affect the lives of those around us.
Jesus took this very seriously - especially how we affect the lives of the believers around us. When he was on the planet he said this: “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. (Mark 9:42)
This is serious business for Jesus. Drowning with a millstone tied around his neck is the appropriate punishment for the person who leads someone into sin.
Now don't think dastardly sins only: being an accomplice in a murder, snookering someone into driving a get away car for you while you rob a bank. Think things like teaching someone to hate another person by constantly gossiping about them; leading a "revolt" with your co-workers against your boss by griping about a decision that he has made that you didn't like; yelling at your kids so much that they pick up your habit of yelling at their kids - "little" thinks like this that we unconsciously do every day.
The countless things that I do, say and express every day effect people. Whether I believe it or not, it is true. Whether I live like it is true or not, it is true.
What I have to remember to day, and allow the Spirit of God to remind me of, is that I must use my actions, words and facial expressions to lead people toward the Savior and not toward sin. I have no interest in having a millstone around my neck!