11There is so much more we would like to say about this. But you don’t seem to listen, so it’s hard to make you understand. 12You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. 13And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right. 14Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right. (Hebrews 5:11-14, NLT)
The Daily DAVEotional
In this section, the author of Hebrews rebukes his audience for their immaturity.
Truthfully, these words could easily be directed towards the mainstream of today’s evangelical church, as data suggests that a majority of those who call themselves Christians today are either uninvolved or only marginally involved in the activities of their local congregation.
So what’s the issue?
According to the author, these believers were experiencing a spiritual dietary problem. They were drinking milk when they should be eating steak!
The author states that these believers had been Christians for a long time. If you’ve been a believer for a while, there is an expectation concerning your growth and maturity level. Yet these recipients had not attained an expected level of maturity.
The author compares them to babies. Babies drink milk because their bodies cannot handle solid food. So essentially, they need pre-digested food.
The food the author is talking about is related to an ability to understand right and wrong and to do the right thing. These believers were not new followers of Christ, but because they had not grown much spiritually, their lives looked like the lives of someone who had only recently been exposed to the Christian faith.
The author states that as long-time believers, they should be at the point where they are able to teach others.
What should they be teaching?
The author states that they should be able to teach others concerning what is right and what is wrong. But they weren’t able to do that. Instead, they still needed others to step in and lead them and teach them “again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures.”
The growth process isn’t automatic. In order to experience growth in the Christian life, there’s a process that we undergo where we begin to learn what is right and what is wrong. We learn this by understanding the Scriptures.
Those who are growing and becoming mature are learning what the Scriptures say about what is right and they are DOING what the Scriptures say we must do if we want to do what is right.
This process, over time, causes us to become mature and it results in our ability to teach others what the Scriptures say.
So the question is, are you a Christian who needs milk or meat?
Milky Christians are characterized by the following:
- lack of knowledge of what the Scriptures teach
- need for others to explain basic truths about Christianity
- Incomplete or limited understanding of right and wrong
- Consistently unable to make right choices in actions
- Unable to teach others these truths (primarily because of a lack of personal understanding)
Meaty Christians may be characterized by the following:
- Ability to recognize between right and wrong
- Consistent application of God’s truth in their lives
- Not overly dependent on others for understanding
- Able to teach others Scriptural truths
Which of the two conditions best reflects where you’re at? Are you a Milky Christian or a Meaty Christian?
What has been your experience in teaching the Scriptures to others?
What do you think is the biggest barrier to you growing in maturity and becoming someone who is able to teach other?
What steps can you take to become a person who is mature, knowing right from wrong, and able to teach others?