A few weeks ago, my pastor, Josh Howerton, at The Bridge Church, has begun a series of sermons entitled, "Following Jesus in a Jacked Up Church." Now, the name might seem a little strange, but the message of this series is extremely relevant. We're following the Apostle Paul through the pages of 1 Corinthians as he deals with a really "jacked up" body of believers.
Yesterday, while studying together what "spirituality" is and is not, the following verse stood out to me:
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 1 Corinthians 3:1-2
Even though I've heard this particular verse many times throughout my life, the phrase "infants in Christ" was completely illuminated to me yesterday.
You know, it's funny how motherhood re-teaches you things you thought you already knew. I have two small children, a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old. In my mind, I began flipping through images and memories filed away. I thought back to how as infants, both of my children relied totally on me to provide them with nourishment. Had I or another adult not been there for them, they would have failed to thrive or survive.
I then thought to where they are now. My one-year-old is beginning to feed himself; yet, he still relies on his parents to prepare his food in a way that he can maneuver, chew and digest. My three-year-old can independently feed herself and is learning somewhat to get what she needs from the pantry or refrigerator. Yet, left to her own immature decision-making, without guidance from her parents, she wouldn't make good decisions. There would be popsicles for breakfast and jelly beans for dinner. Though physically she is maturing, she's just not there mentally.
Then there I am... I'm the caretaker. I prepare and provide age-appropriate meals for them when they need it, while also providing nourishment for myself.
So, what does any of my rambling have to do with being "infants in Christ?"
Paul was comparing the body of believers at Corinth to babies... still relying on another leader in the faith to "feed" them spiritually. They weren't growing up in Christ.
As an incredibly busy mother and wife these days, I feel like Paul is speaking to me. Even though in the midst of the daily craziness I make a point to feed myself and my children their physical nourishment, my spiritual stomach is left hungry. I find myself unintentionally waiting for another Sunday or Wednesday to roll around, where I will be "fed" by others.
Have you ever heard the phrase, "If the devil can't make you bad, he'll make you busy"? While I agree with the gist of the saying, I can't always blame the enemy for the busyness. I know that as Christians we can get "busy" with some really good, even great, things. Yet, we get to a place where we're so caught up in everything (as I am now), where we begin to act like spiritual infants in Christ... Neglecting to feed ourselves through Scripture, prayer, and just being alone to rest in the Lord's presence. Not only should I be mature enough to feed myself, it's time that I find other "infants" around me to "feed," as I do my own biological children.
I do believe there are times in our walk with the Lord when it's okay to live like infants for short seasons, especially during circumstances of life-altering crises. But, thankfully, I'm not there. It's time for me to re-evaluate my schedule and routines so that my spiritual life is thriving, not kicking and screaming like a newborn baby.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:14-16