But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. For the one who is not against us is for us. For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it is better for him if a heavy millstone is hung around his neck and he is thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot is causing you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life without a foot, than, having your two feet, to be thrown into hell. And if your eye is causing you to sin, throw it away; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not extinguished. For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

Mark 9:39-50

I’m not a big sports guy, as any of my friends will tell you but there are some good lessons to be learned from sport.

In soccer, there is a mistake that you can only make if you aren’t paying attention to the field, the ball and your own team. A mistake so ludicrous, it has become a byword for failure: an own goal. If you kick the ball into your own team’s goal, you add points to the opposing team’s score.

We can make this mistake as well when we take the correction of our fellow believers too far; Jesus warned that if his followers rebuked some other believers for doing good things in his name, they could cause those people to stumble and lose their faith.

There is a time and a place for gentle correction and Spiritual discussion; we are commanded to correct and edify one another as believers. We can only carry out this command, however, if we consider each other to be brothers and sisters in the Lord!

Remember to watch which direction you’re heading and always, always look out for your teammates.

Ethan Kirl

Originally Published January 21, 2021