YES, we have to be tough, with the toughness of charity, amid the unavoidable scandals in the world. Christ already warned us about this. “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,” he said. (Lk 17,1) We should just be prepared for this condition in our life.

While those who cause scandals in others would be severely punished—”It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.” (Lk 17,2)—we should avoid reacting to these unavoidable scandals by falling into lack of charity.

If we have the charity that Christ commands us to live, we would know how to deal with these eventualities, willing to suffer and be patient while thinking of how we can help those who cause these scandals and those who are victimized by them.

As St. Paul said, true charity “does not rejoice over iniquity, but rejoices in truth. Charity suffers all, believes all, hopes all, endures all.” (1 Cor 13,7) It’s indeed a big challenge to live by that charity, but with God’s grace which we should always ask, we know that we can hack it.

What we should always do is to be most mindful of our words and deeds, because no matter how insignificant they may seem, we may already cause a scandal in others. And we also have to strengthen our defenses against scandals, so that instead of thinking badly, for example, of someone due to what we have seen or heard, we are ready to understand and help.

And scandal need not be in the sexual department only which is already a grave sin. It may only be a matter of gossip of any kind, as long as we cause another person to sin by thinking badly of someone or by leading him to have some critical thoughts, mental reservations, rash judgments, etc.

Of course, we have to distinguish between the temptation of scandal and the sin of scandal itself. Temptation is only temptation and is not yet a sin because we have not yet consented to it, though we may already be attracted to it. The sin of scandal is when we consent to the temptation and, worse, when we enjoy it and spread it around.

What we should always realize is we have a duty, as Christians, to always give good example to others. Not that we have to flaunt whatever good thing we have or do, doing some kind of virtue signalling, for Christ clearly said also that we should not show off our good deeds before men, to be seen by them, lest we lose our reward in heaven. (cfr. Mt 6,1)

We have to be aware that we always have to give good example to others for the sole purpose of leading others to God. It is to edify others, to encourage them to be holy and to pursue the path of sanctity in an abiding way.

This duty, therefore, should be carried out deliberately. It should somehow be planned and aimed at. It should not just be something incidental or something optional. Of course, this duty should not be done out of pride or vanity, but out of obedience to the will of God who wants to save all men. (cfr. 1 Tim 2,4)