I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. (1 Cor. 3:2)
My two children learn in dramatically different ways. One learned language slowly over time, picking up new words or phrases as he heard them, testing them out and responding to correction. The other appeared not to learn anything for months at a time, only to experience explosive growth in a short period, jumping from simple phrases to complex sentences in a matter of days or weeks.
I’ve experienced both patterns myself. Some subjects in school just took steady attention to grasp; others felt impossible to wrap my head around, until a certain key turned in my brain, and I made sudden and sizable gains.
What Paul described as spiritual maturity may seem simple enough on the page, but it’s complicated in practice. And sometimes, tracking growth isn’t as simple as asking how long you’ve been a Christian. In fact, Paul told the Corinthians that they were spiritual infants before—and that they remained so. How frustrating must that have been to hear?
Spiritual maturity may at times feel frustrating or empowering; after all, the Bible gives clear standards against which to hold ourselves. Either way, understanding the goal is as important to your spiritual growth as understanding your current form. Knowing how a flower will eventually bloom is just as important as how its sprouts look right now.
Choose three characteristics you want to develop as you spiritually mature.
Lindsey Priest is an Indiana Wesleyan University graduate who lives in Arkansas. She likes to read to her kids, play video games with her husband, and refurbish furniture.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.