|Ruth had a hard road ahead of her. She was a stranger in the land of Israel. Her mother-in-law was suffering from depression and bitterness. Their poverty demanded that she sustain them by gleaning in the fields, and on top of all that, she was a Moabitess. At the time, women from the land of Moab had a very loose and immoral reputation.
Boaz, of course, was aware of this; he immediately took steps to protect Ruth’s honor and the virtue of those men in his employ. His actions in Ruth Chapter 2 tell us all about Boaz and his character. Boaz was no businessman concerned with manipulating others for his own gain. He was a man who would rather take a financial loss than place anyone in a place of temptation.
The Apostle Paul also dealt with this topic in Romans Chapter 14. If eating certain types of meat would cause a young Christian to stumble, then Paul was perfectly willing to forego them. He would rather do without than potentially cause someone to fall into sin.
As a child, we’re often told that people are watching us and that our actions have an impact on those who surround us. This does not change when we become an adult. Young Christians often look up to and mimic older Christians. What sort of example are you setting for those under your sphere of influence? Are you watching out for their well-being, or are you putting your own wants first?
One day, we will stand before God and answer for every decision we’ve ever made on this earth. Let’s all resolve to be like Boaz and Paul and do without, if circumstances warrant, so that others will be spared potential shame and embarrassment. Doing so will result in eternal, heavenly rewards that far exceed any fleeting, earthly pleasure.