Pastor Steve Gaines of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, recently shared on Twitter that one way you can tell if you’re old or young is by your view of taking a nap. His theory goes like this: When you are young, you fight against taking a nap. But when you are old, you fight in order to take a nap.
I guess I’m not as old as I think I am - I’m not a napper.
Growing up or maturity is mentioned a couple of times in Scripture. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 3 that he couldn’t “address” the church “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. And even now, you are not ready, for you are still of the flesh.”
Then in Hebrews 5, the church is accused of being “dull of hearing” - “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, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid for is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Most families have a kid’s table at holiday dinners. My experience is kids look forward to moving up to the adult table as soon as possible. But these people had stunted their spiritual growth intentionally by staying at the kid’s table way too long.
My favorite John Wayne movie is The Searchers. If you remember there is a man named Mose Harper, Mose keeps saying, “I’ve been baptized, reverend, I’ve been baptized.” Some see things like baptism as the finish line rather than the starting gate, therefore, they stay sucking on the milk bottle and never move onto solid food and the result is chronic spiritual immaturity. Is the church full of baby Christians regardless of how long these people have been Christians - does that make sense?
Paul told the Church at Corinth that when he became a man, he gave up childish ways (1st Corinthians 13:11). Do we need to stop being spoon fed? Do we need to grow up and stop being served so we can start serving?
Jesus said that God is looking for “true worshippers” - people who worship in “spirit and truth (John 4:23).” God desires authentic and accurate worship from His people. He desires that we engage in the process of sanctification, becoming less like this tired old world and that we are more like Jesus in attitude and action. Go get some solid food! He told me to tell you that.
Ken Ansell currently serves as a pastor and local missionary in small, rural Texas community. He plays lots of tennis and fly fishes when he can. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.