A Key to Spiritual Maturity
I really like the last three verses of Hebrews chapter 5: 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The analogy is pretty clear. As followers of Jesus who have been following for a while, we need to demonstrate maturity in the relationship. We are not to feed solely on milk but should have moved on to solid food. And just as physical maturity is a natural process, so is spiritual maturity. Babies just grow. There isn’t anything special that they have to do to grow. They just do it. But the things that they mature in such as walking and talking, they mature through repetition; doing the same thing over and over again. I really like how the writer of Hebrews puts it in verse 14. We have our senses exercised to discern both good and evil by “reason of use”. There isn’t anything magical or “super-spiritual” in the Christian maturity process. Maturity comes by “reason of use”. Maturing in Christ comes by following Jesus. It comes by using the gifts and abilities that God has given to us. It is by repetition that we grow and mature. Just like no baby is a really good walker the first time he tries it, no one is a really good teacher the first time they try it. As no one is a really good talker the first time she tries it, no one is a really good servant the first time he tries it. It takes use. It takes repetition. It takes practice. It’s not about genetics. It’s not about money…Maturity is about use. So, the obvious question is…are we using our senses? Are we using the things that God has give to us? It’s time to “kick the bottle” (of milk that is) and move onto solid food!