You can only be young once. But you can always be immature. —Dave Barry
What if we could just push the pause button on growth? Would you choose to stay 16 forever? How about 39? Would you press pause at 60?
Aging is a grace we can’t stop. But maturity? Maturity is a different story. We can continue to live and behave with the same understanding at 40 that we had at 14. It’s awkward for those watching us, but we can do it.
This pause button is available in our spiritual lives too. Think back to when you became a believer. You probably dove into God’s Word and really grew. But later, it’s likely that your career, marriage, and family seemed to consume more hours than the day held. Somewhere on your journey, you pushed the pause button on spiritual growth. There were a few solid years but not much lately—which means you’re like a four-year-old spiritually.
Perhaps you’ve pushed the pause button on spiritual growth at various times during your life. Depending on the various demands for your time and emotional resources, you’ve turned spiritual growth on and off like a switch. And if we were to combine all of the “on” years, you’d be about 12, give or take a year.
No wonder life can be so difficult! How can a four-year-old navigate the world of business? How is a 12-year-old supposed to manage retirement from life’s work? Acknowledging our spiritual age enables us to realize just how vulnerable we are.
The author of Hebrews feels the agony of arrested development. But he also gives us a standard of measurement regarding growth and maturity.
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. (Hebrews 5:13)
Is there much to be understood in our life in Christ? Yes. Definitely. Will it require a higher level of maturity to enter that understanding? Yes. Definitely.
And you’re ready for those deeper things if you understand the New Testament teaching on righteousness.
Lord, help me recall the times I’ve pressed that pause button on spiritual growth. More than that, duct tape the “resume” button for me so it remains on! I invite Your Spirit to wean me from milk and introduce me to the meat of righteousness. Amen.