1 Corinthians 3:1–4 ‘I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.’(v2)
Spiritual formation aims to equip us to grow up. We can stubbornly refuse Christian adulthood and keep chasing childish distractions, whilst refusing to accept personal spiritual responsibility. There’s a distinction between childlike behaviour to enter the kingdom (Matt. 18:2–5) and being childish. Jesus invites us to live with the confident trust a child can invest in a parent. Their expectation is that the parent’s decision is for their benefit. So it is with our Father, who has a commitment to our best interests, despite the situations we find ourselves in. We mustn’t selfishly demand our own needs are met, sulking when they’re not.
The process of growing up is difficult. We begin to accept that life is more than sunny days of play, and learn the nature and meaning of personal responsibility. A baby moves from mother’s milk or formula at around six months of age. Key signs are the ability to support themselves physically, coordinate movement of eyes, hands and mouth, to pick up food for themselves, and to swallow it, not spit it out. So it is with us; we need to take responsibility to read Scripture and pray daily, know how to apply God’s Word to our daily decisions and actions, as well as digest God’s purpose for our life. It’s too easy to give away responsibility for Christian growth, and remain a helpless infant.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Exod. 2:1–7; 1 Sam. 2:12–26; Luke 2:41–52; Heb. 5:11–14.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: How do you react to taking responsibility for your own spiritual growth? This is something we can’t subcontract. Will you leave childish ways behind you?
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, I choose to grow in wisdom, stature and favour with God. Amen.’ (Luke 2:52)