6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. Matthew 18:6-9
Jesus’ words are harsh for those who abuse their responsibilities over new believers. As a new believer is just “learning the ropes” of the Christian faith, anything that entices him or her to sin would be in this category. It’s especially important for the Christian who is discipling a new believer to be an outstanding example.
The second half of this teaching lies in verses 8-9. If there are activities the Christian does that might offend the new believers, those activities should be cut out of that person’s life so as not to offend.
Perhaps you know someone new to the faith. That person needs encouragement every day as he or she begins to understand the Bible, prayer, fellow believers, and living a Christian life.
New believers are full of doubt, insecurities, and questions. They need to know that people care for them as often as possible. They also need to know that what they’re experiencing now is not new to them. We have all been through those difficult transitional stages.
Encourage while the day is young.