Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. - Hebrews 5:12-14 NIV
A natural part of physical life is that we grow. When we are infants, we are needy and helpless. Others care for us until we grow up enough that we can take care of ourselves. Eventually, we mature to the point that we can even take care of others. We progress from needy to needed.
Spiritually, we are much the same. We are on a journey of spiritual growth, starting as those who need basic instruction and progressing to becoming teachers ourselves. While this seems natural and good, it can also be frustrating. No one likes to be immature. Why aren’t we as grown up as we would like?
Here’s something that is helpful to remember: Parents aren’t disappointed when their three-month-old can’t talk, or their four-year-old can’t cook, or their ten-year-old can’t drive. God is not disappointed with you either. It is important to grow and mature, but you are where you are. God loves you because you are His, not because you have achieved a certain maturity level. God’s family is not a maturity-based popularity contest. He loves all of His children. Once you understand that, it frees you up to pursue growing in love and obedience without feeling like a failure at those moments when it becomes clear that you aren’t as grown up as you would like.
Steven L. Nelson
The Rio Church
El Paso, Texas
One-Year Bible Reading