Malnourished In A Land Of Plenty
It may be surprising, but believe it or not, even in the land of plenty many Christians, suffer from spiritual malnourishment! It’s sad to say, but this is not anything new. In fact, allow me to paraphrase from the latter portion of the fifth chapter of Hebrews where the writer is addressing this very point. He starts out by saying “I’d like to tell you more but you don’t listen. Even though you’ve been believers for a long time, you are still going over the basics of God’s word as if you were in elementary school. You should be able to teach others by now, but instead you are frighteningly close to becoming the equivalent of a spiritual black hole. The more mature Christians have to spend time and energy on you instead of the new believers they should be teaching. You are spiritual babies, getting fat on milk when you should be digesting meat. Even though some of you have been Christians for a long time, the fact that you can’t handle anything but pabulum means that you haven’t matured at all. In fact, you don’t even know how to tell the difference between right and wrong. It’s only when you begin to eat solid food that you will grow to become full-grown men or women. Only then will you come to understand the deeper things of God. Only when you start eating meat, will you develop the spiritual and mental facilities to be able to discriminate between right and wrong.”
What the writer of Hebrews is talking about here are immature, lazy Christians who have not gotten serious about the word. They have not made it a part of their lives by vigorously interacting with it, wrestling with it, digesting it. They have not poured over it, chewed on it, studied and pondered it. This inner grappling with the word in the mind and spirit is what transforms the word from milk to meat. I suspect that there are far too many believers sitting in pews today who meet this same description.