There’s an alley in the center of Seville, Spain, in the Barrio de Santa Cruz, where you can find a house with a rather curious facade. The entire exterior of the house is painted, except for a row of more than a dozen large millstones. Each one is more than a three feet in diameter and between 10 and 15 inches thick. (The exact dimensions are unknown, since they are embedded in the wall of the house.) It’s estimated that each wheel weighs more than 3,000 pounds.
This helps us to understand a little better the words of Jesus when he says that “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). The idea of having a wheel of these dimensions hanging around our neck and being thrown into the ocean is no joke!
It’s a very serious sin when someone, unbeliever or Christian, is a stumbling block for those who believe in Christ. How can such a person “stay afloat” before God when by his bad example he teaches others to rebel against him?
The selfish and proud man believes that he can live as he pleases and that others will not be affected by his actions. However, it’s not possible to exist in this world without having an effect on others, for better or for worse.
In the words of the English poet John Donne (1572-1631), “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
Whether we like it or not, our actions have an impact on those around us! What we say, what we do, and even the way we dress can affect others. With this in mind, we’d also do well to appreciate the power of our example when we are online. We can lead others to Christ with our “posts” or we can drive them away.