Treating the mikros with respect.
Luke 17: 1-2 “Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.”
Jesus is still speaking about the religious leaders and the ordinary Jew as he addresses his disciples. The ‘little ones’ does mean children but it also means anyone of any age who is under our influence. In fact the word is ‘mikros’ and it means the ‘unimportant’ or the ‘insignificant’. These religious leaders were not only lovers of money but they were lovers of themselves. They were burdening people. The ordinary Jew were being tempted to believe that they would never please God unless they performed every religious duty devised by man. You see the things that were causing people to stumble were not the obvious tempting sins. It was this religious nonsense and it still exists. The Pharisee is still amongst us. Deceptive and manipulative leadership causes people to stumble in this life. Any authority that views people as unimportant and insignificant in the way they are spoken to and treated needs to be removed. In the words of Jesus, if they cause needless harm then they need to be hurled to the bottom of the sea. Strong? Yes but that’s how wrong it is.
I believe this applies to everyone and not just leaders. But come the position comes the responsibility. I heard a few days ago how a young person has stopped going to church simply because she was told by her Pastor, “You are not a very good Christian.” That comment no matter how much the leader felt justified to say it tempted the girl to think, “You’re right, I’m not going to be able to do this life,” and she walked away. She was tempted and she surrendered to it.
But how can the Church show discipline? How can we lead if we are unable to use strength and challenge? We do it the Christ way. We go via the cross and we lay our life down in total humility. This is how we treat the mikros. He showed us no other way.
Our responses and actions towards people either causes them to thrive or trip. We cause them to grow or to stumble. The temptation trap is always available to us and we must resist picking it up at all costs.
Mikros should never be used.