…for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. -- Hebrews 5:13-14
This month of November in 2012, there are plenty of decisions that many people will be making. Some of these decisions involve casting a vote for the upcoming Presidential race, and other governing officials at different levels. Some take these decisions very seriously
while others could care less about the outcome. There are people who get completely
wrapped up in the current happenings of the political scene and there are those who catch a glimpse while watching the news or reading the paper, without really paying attention. Either way, most still have their opinions.
Still, there are decisions we are faced with each and every day. Decisions that go even deeper and have a longer lasting effect on our lives, then our political preferences. These
decisions involve our participation in righteousness. In the passage above, the writer of the epistle known as “Hebrews” presents two possibilities that offer a good foundation for understanding where we are at in our spiritual life. When we begin to understand where we are in our relationship with God, it helps us to identify “why” we make the decisions that we do or don’t.
The writer uses an illustration from daily life, that of being an infant/baby in need of milk in contrast to the one who has grown up enough to eat solid food. The one who is still an infant in their faith is not well versed in the area of righteousness. They haven’t grown and developed in their spiritual growth yet. They are still taking in the very basic necessities to aid in their growth and development. As new believers in Christ, it is a good thing to start
with milk, for it is the beginning nourishment for growth in your faith. As Peter wrote:
1 Peter 2:2-3
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation-- if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
But after a period of time, the expectation would be spiritual growth and maturity. And just like the natural growth of children, the development progresses at different rates for each one. Still, over a period of time, in a healthy situation, growth will take place. This should be happening in the life of a believer as well. Not getting to comfortable with the milk, but slowly transitioning to solid foods. Like when we give a baby their first Cheerios or French fries to chomp on, there must be a progression in the spiritual life as well.
The apostle Paul addressed the church at Corinth about such things:
1 Corinthians 3:1-2
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it.
The reality is that there are some who believe they are “mature”, but their words and actions tell a completely different story. Believing yourself to be mature and actually being mature are quite different. In fact, in verse 12, which precedes the opening passage found at the introduction of this article, the writer of Hebrews says the following…
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…
Apparently the recipients of this letter have had enough time to have grown up in their faith, but for some reason are still thinking and behaving like infants in Christ. There has been a lack of growth and maturity, which holds them back in their understanding of God and His will.
I share all of this because the majority of those who will read this article are probably believers in Christ, at some level. So when you turn your eyes and ears attention to what is happening in our nation at present, remember, these are just temporary issues that have temporary effects in our lives. Allow the decisions you make, every day, not just on election-day, to be based on the constant practice of discerning spiritual truth in regards to good and evil which effect both this temporary lifetime as well as our eternal life. As Paul wrote the church at Corinth…
1 Corinthians 14:20
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
I’m praying for you, we’re all in this together.