In Hebrews 5:11-14 the writer scolds the people he was addressing by calling them lazy, unskilled and telling them they they should be teachers by now but instead they still require milk. He was calling them out because they had plenty of time to become teachers but instead they were still like babies. We can read something like that and look down on them or we can look at ourselves and ask am I growing?
We should be growing in Christ. Peter says in 2 Peter 3:18 that we should be growing in grace. Paul says in Philippians 1:9 that we should love more and abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. The Bible over and over again says that we should be growing spiritually and if we are not then we should figure out why and do something about it. But what does it mean to grow spiritually?
Spiritual growth is just like any other growth. We have to remember when we came to Christ we were born again meaning that we had all sorts of new things to learn and grow in. I have two analogies that might help.
If you go to the gym and you are just starting out then you are probably picking up everything you can in any way you can. You are trying out every machine they have and curling in the squat rack. You don’t know any better you are just figuring it out. Your routine might be jog for a few minutes, then curl, maybe do some bench press then go home. Now you are going to see some results because you are using muscles you don’t normally use. They are getting use so they grow even if just a little. Now if you have been going to the gym for a few months or years and still do this you not have additional growth because what worked for your muscles when you were starting out does not work once you get going. You need to mature in your workout in order to continue to produce results.
How about an instrument. I have tried to play everything except a wind instrument (sans the harmonica which may not count) and I can give you a little something on most of them, and by a little a mean a little. Really just enough for you to think I know what I am doing but I cannot really play. I know enough to pretend. I have never put in the work to develop that skill. If I had then maybe I could play but as it stands after all my “years of practice” I am on par with a two-week student. As someone said I don’t have 4 years of practice I have two weeks of practice 104 times (only the same two weeks over and over again).
Spiritual growth is the same way. If you do not use the new muscles beyond the initial workout they don’t get bigger. If you don’t use your spiritual gifts, don’t read your Bible, don’t worship from a joyful heart, don’t pray, and don’t fellowship then you don’t grow. God desires for us to grow spiritually. It is His desire for His children to mature and become more like Christ.
A second part to this is when you start pulling out pieces of what it takes to grow. When you start taking out individual pieces of what is required for spiritual growth you stop growing to your full potential and develop a spiritual limp. You might know all sorts of things but are not sharing it and teaching others so you limp around in a circle. You might worship with a joyful heart but have no love for those in need. There are a few combinations and I am sure you know someone with a spiritual limp. Maybe you even have one. I realized the other day I have one. The important thing again is that we notice these things and then take actions to correct them.
So if you are not growing then you need to evaluate why and fix the problem. It might be hard or uncomfortable but it is worth it.
Just a thought,