I spoke at a conference in a large eastern city and was driven to the location by a friend. Even though security guards patrolled the parking lot, I discovered that crowbar looking devices had to be bolted across vehicle steering wheels. “To protect from theft,” my friend explained.
In the Old West days, most everyone rode horses. Nothing could prevent stealing an animal. No blinking lights, sirens, beepers, or steer-lock devices existed. But in spite of the fact horses often stood out in the open, horse stealing was a rare event. Part of the reason? Horse thieves got hung. No trial. The sentence got carried out at the nearest tree. That tended to discourage horse theft.
But did the punishment fit the crime? That’s the real test of justice.
Most cowboys rode $10 horses and owned $40 saddles. A death sentence for stealing a ten dollar item seems stiff. But in those days a horse meant survival. Those on foot had little chance of safe travel, what with wild animals, outlaws, cattle and buffalo stampedes, range fires, renegades and criminals, snakes and thirst as enemies. A horse provided a running chance.
We all need a fighting chance to overcome hardships. A horse may not help in a spiritual wilderness, but faith will. Nobody has the right to steal or undermine another’s faith.
Jesus warns, “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck” (Mark 9:42).
To mess with a weaker one’s spiritual conscience is a capital offense.
Think about it. What actions or words could cause a child of God to stumble?
How could you strengthen someone’s faltering faith today?
On the trail,