Be careful what you demand and what you strive for.
Make sure the trophy you seek is that of the righteousness of Christ.
Not all trophies are to be celebrated. Behind narcissistic, coercive and manipulative trophy cabinets lie the relics of drowned leaders who desired to be powerful.
‘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 round their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 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! (Matthew 18 v 6-7)
Jesus is speaking to the 12 disciples, the leaders of the church.
The little ones are those who give a cup of water. Those believers who may not be as significant as the 12 disciples or similar large ministry in the church.
The little ones are those who come under the influence and care of people with greater seniority. They are represented by the child standing among the disciples.
The little ones are new believers of Christ.
To cause to stumble is to entice them away from following Jesus through temptation.
To cause them to stumble is to put needless pressure on them to perform to such a degree that it becomes inevitable that they will fall away.
To cause them to stumble is to discourage them from following their plan and purpose in God.
Why would any leader do this? Desire.
Why would any leader do this? Control.
Why would any leader do this? Self-righteousness.
The millstone is a form of execution that is a slow and painful death reserved for those leaders who make the little ones stumble.
The millstone means you are being removed from the scene of life.
The millstone means you will never make a come-back to the exact place you once were.