Some churches are full of members who have been Christians for years, but they have never grown up. They were grumpy when they were baptized and thirty years later, they are still grumpy—they have not grown in joy. They were greedy when they got baptized and fifty years later—they are still greedy. What is shocking is that no one seems to be surprised when believers don’t change. These churches end up becoming a never-ending spiritual nursery.
If babies don’t gain weight or eventually learn to crawl, walk, talk, etc. parents know instinctively that something is wrong. Growth is evidence of life. It is true with babies and it is true with Christians. Eventually infants must learn to feed themselves and if new believers are going to grow in their knowledge of God, they must learn to feed on the Word of God. You will die spiritually if you try to exist on one twenty-five minute snack a week, called a sermon. A new babe in Christ must at some point learn to feed himself/herself on the Word of God—the Word of Life.
It would have been pretty embarrassing for my daughter when she was a student at the university where I teach, if I had to meet her in the caféteria for her meals and feed her. Imagine me sitting beside her holding a spoon saying, “here you go honey, open up, here come the peas!” Yet there are people who have been Christians for years, even decades, that still have not learned to feed themselves spiritually! Have you graduated from the nursery?
Reflections: How many years have you been a Christian? Can you honestly point to areas of your life where you have grown up? In what area(s) of your life do you still need to mature? Do you have any intentional plans to grow and mature this year? Do you know how to feed yourself spiritually or do you simply rely on others to feed you?
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.