One of the saddest stories I ever heard was about a pastor who taught a class on spiritual maturity. He gave the class some pipe cleaners and asked them to make something that represents where they are in their journey as a Christian. After the completion of their projects there would be a time of show and tell.
When it was time for show and tell, one of the people who came forth was a man in his eighties. He was asked what he made, and he showed the class a baby’s cradle and said, “I have been a Christian for over forty years, and I am still a baby.” What exactly did he mean by this? It meant that he did not mature in his faith, and as a result, he still talked, walked and acted like a baby Christian.
Just as you and I grow up physically, so we are also required to grow up spiritually. However, physical growth happens naturally while spiritual growth is a choice. If we choose to remain a baby, then we will be a baby. But if we make the conscience decision to immerse ourselves in Scripture, then we will grow up in Christ.
In the Book of 1 John, the apostle John talks about three different levels of spiritual growth and they are as follows:
- Young men
The children category can be listed like this: infant, preschool, kindergarten, elementary, junior high and high school. The young men could be classified as college age and young adults. The fathers might be middle age, parents and grandparents. Certainly, we could dispute placement in these categories, but the point is that just as we grow and mature physically, so we must also grow and mature spiritually.
So, how do we stop being a baby and grow up? For those who received Christ as Lord and Savior, He imparts His Holy Spirit to live in us. As a result, the Spirit puts a hunger in our hearts to seek and desire God. However, if we ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we will continue to put off until tomorrow what we can do today, and unfortunately, tomorrow never comes.
Therefore, we must daily practice the spiritual disciplines of Scripture reading, meditation, memorization and application; prayer, journaling, confession and acts of service. We don’t achieve these things out of a sense of duty, but out of love for God because we desire to know God, and know ourselves. Hebrews (5:11-13) admonishes us, “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.” So, stop being a baby and grow up!
Where are you in your spiritual journey? What can you do to advance in your walk with Christ?