Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Got Meat?

1 Corinthians 3:2

2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready...

My daughter loves milk. She would literally drink herself full of it prior to any meal and gladly pass on the actual meal. My son will often chew meat, but spit it out as he cannot either figure out the texture well enough to swallow it or simply enjoys the flavor of meat and not the actual swallowing of meat.

My children are not ready for meat. They lack the means of chewing it and swallowing it. At some point this will become disconcerting to me. For now it does not, because the expectation for their level of maturity is such that this is considered common.

At a certain point, however, this will be a problem.

Hebrews 5:12-14

12 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.

Children are sweet and their immaturity is laughable, forgivable, and expected. As a person survives their infancy and childhood, they are expected to grow in capacity and ability. If they do not, something is "stunted." Their growth has not tracked as per usual. This is problematic and the assumption is that there is a root cause which has created this anomaly.

If you see yourself as one not yet ready for the "meat" of the Gospel, is it because you are a babe in your faith? If you are a babe in your faith, have you been in your faith very long? Are you a fertilized embryo frozen somewhere incapable of growth or are you growing in every way other than this? Are you aging, getting taller, getting wider, getting grayer, getting more information about any number of things other than that which is called Christian maturity?

Christian maturity is not being intellectual. It is not a matter of necessarily "trying harder" per se. It is growing in "powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil" as the verse above states. It is focusing on Jesus and recalling constantly His finished work: His perfect life, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection from the dead. It is practicing to keep these thoughts foremost in your heart and mind. The one who can easily recall that for which before God they are thankful in Christ is the one who is mature and ready for the true "meat" of the Word.

1 comment:

  1. LOVED this post - really insightful, well-written, and challenging.

    this weekend at the conference, the speaker challenged us to just get into the word for this very purpose - if we're diligent to be in the word, god is faithful to use it to produce fruit and maturity. it's not our job to 'create' maturity for ourselves, we just need to be available to god maturing us.