Building Blocks or Stumbling Blocks
“4As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”[a] 7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone,[b]“[c] 8and,
“A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”[d] They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.” 1 Peter 2:4-7 NIV
As Peter writes these verses, he writes as a pastor to a group of Christians who are learning to persevere in their faith despite the suffering and challenges that come with following Jesus. In order to encourage them, he turns them back to the calling that has been given to them. He compares them as believers, to stones that are being used to build a holy temple for God.
When building a temple, building blocks were needed that were carved and formed to fit into the place that they would best be used to build the temple. In order for the building blocks to do what they were created to do, they needed to be carved, molded, and placed together with the other building blocks. Peter is teaching that in order for believers to be whom God created us to be, we must allow the Master shape us and form us into what He desires. Also we need to be able to fit in with the rest of the building blocks around us.
Our Lord takes every part of the building blocks, and knocks off the rough edges, chiseling pieces here, sanding a piece there, smoothing out the parts that don’t belong, getting it ready, and fitting it into place. When he’s done, there’s nothing out of place. There is no defect or inappropriate pieces. Together we form a building.
The other blocks that Peter talks about appear to be stumbling blocks. According to Peter, these stumbling blocks caused men to stumble and made them fall. As a result, they disregarded the word of God and missed out on the purpose that they were created for.
While I do have a hard time understanding all the symbolism here, I do get this much from Peter. I must ask myself, “Am I a building block or am I a stumbling block?” Am I allowing Jesus to cut away at what He doesn’t want in my life and to form me into His image or am I resistant to His correction and direction and by doing so become a stumbling block to others? Am I allowing Him to use me to build His church or am I only after getting my way in my circumstances? I must choose to be a Kingdom building block. In order to do that I must constantly place my trust in Him and recognize how precious He is. By the way, which are you? A building block or a stumbling block?
Lord use me as a building block for Your Kingdom. I don’t want to cause anyone to stumble or to fall away from You. Amen.