stumbling over words

If you know me, you know I love words. If I had to name a few favorites . . .

    1. Rural – because it’s impossible to pronounce.
    2. Colonel – because the spelling makes zero sense. {Or is it the pronunciation?}
    3. Effect/Affect – because I have to think for 5 minutes before I get it right. Every time.
    4. Awesome, cool, fantastic, great, fun, nice… – because I have a bad habit of overusing them.

I had to laugh as I tracked some of Paul’s oft-used words in the book of Romans: judge, condemn, righteousness, fruit, glory, word, grace, hope, stumble.


Stumble? One of Paul’s favorite words is “stumble”? Yep, a grand total of 8 times within 3 chapters. {To be fair, it would seem Paul borrowed his “stumble” terminology from the “Bible” in his hands. Smart guy.}

Now, I’m gonna take a different approach on this one. Typically, I walk you through the passages, state the obvious, ask questions, connect dots, then craft some careful “conclusions.”

Today, we’re gonna play a game. I’m gonna craft some careful “conclusions.” You’re gonna look up the Scripture passages, and see if I’m on target. {What did you think the comment section was for anyway?}

Paul is using “stumble” in three different but related ways in the book of Romans. In each instance, sin results from the stumbling.

  1. PAST: Israel “stumbled,” but did not fall. That is, they were unbelievers, but not without purpose. God used their “stumbling,” or failure to believe, to bring salvation to the Gentiles.
    {Rom 11:7-15, also Ps 69:22-23}
  2. PRESENT: The “stumbling stone” is Jesus. Those who believe in him by faith will not be put to shame. Those who pursue righteousness as if it were based on works are, in effect, “stumbling over Jesus.” By their disobedience and unbelief, the One who can save them becomes someone who only gets in their way.
    {Rom 9:30-33, also Isa 28:14-16 & 1 Pet 2:4-8}
  3. FUTURE: It is your responsibility to refrain from doing anything that would cause someone else to sin as though you might otherwise place a brick at my feet so that I might trip and fall on my face.
    {Rom 14:13-23}


 [image credit:,]

4 thoughts on “stumbling over words

  1. Lydia…It’s such an importan aspect to studying God’s Word to get the big picture. I love the past, present and future views of one word and how God used it to teach us. Thank you for sharing at Monday’s Musings.

    Liked by 1 person

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