You may remember being asked as a child by one of your parents, “If your friend Jimmy jumped off a roof, would you have to jump off too?”  While this question wasn’t meant to be answered, it should make us realize the effect of those around us who have an influence on us.  Many look at themselves as merely followers and in no way a leader.  Upon further investigation of what constitutes a leader, we find that anyone who sets an example which someone else adopts, makes that person a leader.  They have “shown the way,” or “marked out the path.”  If we are honest with ourselves we will realize that we can lead by our actions and words, even if we don’t intend to.  We also need to realize that our actions as such make us accountable or responsible.  We looked at several passages in which the Apostle Paul was very clear on what his actions would be if something he did would be a stumbling block for another.    He would never let himself put a block before another of God’s precious souls.  Jesus taught this principle in the Gospels, primarily in dealing with children.   Jesus’ answer was that it would be better for that person to have a “millstone around their neck and be cast into the sea” rather than to cause one little one to stumble.  A person’s death would prevent that source of stumbling to occur and Jesus said that would be better!  What does that tell us?  We need to continuously evaluate our lives, our words and deeds to insure that what we do leads one closer to Christ rather than away.  We need to realize that leadership carries with it responsibility.  Won’t you lead someone closer to God today?

Copyright © 2002, Nolan P. Rutter

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