“It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” Romans 14:21
This passage is a call to righteous living with particular attention to showing a good and moral example for those close to you. The author of Romans in chapter 14 spoke of people eating meat. Now that’s not a sin, even if the meat came from an animal sacrificed to false gods, because we know that meat is meat, God made it and gave us permission to eat it, so it’s okay to eat meat. The problem comes when someone sees you eat the meat and believes that since you ate meat sacrificed to false gods then it’s not only okay to eat the meat, but also worship the false gods. Thus, you became a stumbling block for this person. They stumbled because of their lack of knowledge, inexperience and because of your example – even if your example was misinterpreted.
I don’t drink alcohol. Does God, within the pages of the Bible condemn drinking alcohol? No. He condemns drunkenness. That drunkenness can be from alcohol or drugs and God clearly condemns both, because you lose control of your thoughts, reasoning ability and inhibitions. You willingly do and think things that you normally wouldn’t. I don’t drink, because drinking is a poor example to young people, babes in Christ, Christians that fail to read scripture and develop their relationship with the Lord. These potential Christians and Christians are very susceptible to negative influences, and have a tendency to comply with the world’s view of what is good and acceptable.
Consider this example: A husband and wife have two teenaged daughters. The parents have successfully drunk an occasional glass of wine with supper without falling into drunkenness, as do many good Christians. Their children see this behavior and attempt to follow suit in their own lives. One daughter is very successful in this and drinks responsibly. The other daughter, either through a genetic predisposition or simple rebelliousness, drinks herself silly as often as possible. This leads to the loss of her job, sinful relationships with men, tickets for driving while intoxicated and the list of problems goes on and on. Her parents were unintentionally a stumbling block for this young lady. Was it the parent’s fault? No, of course not, their daughter has her own free will to make decisions. Was the parent’s example a contributing factor? Yes, their example was a stumbling block in her life. I don’t drink, because I want to be a good example for others. “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify [educate] another.” Romans 14:19
Try with all your heart to never be a stumbling block to those around you, and always remember that they are watching and looking at your example of Christianity; your attempt to be as Christ-like as possible. Be a good example.