The Wise are silent, the Foolish speak, and children are thus led astray. — Algernon Blackwood
Over the span of a decade, kids transition from learning their ABCs to solving for ax=b. Truly, growth and maturity are marked by increased understanding. We know this truth instinctively; it’s the reason we don’t give kindergartners a hug and tell them, “Congratulations! Instead of first grade, we’re going to send you to college, honey.”
Can you imagine a six- or seven-year-old navigating the enrollment process at a university? How about walking to that first chemistry class with a huge textbook in tow? That child would be longing for home.
None of us have sent a six-year-old to college, but some of us recently sent 18-year-olds. Let me ask: What age were they spiritually when they left for the university? Was your son or daughter a spiritual six-year-old in an 18-year-old’s body?
When we’re young, we’re immature. We’re vulnerable. We’re easily led astray. It’s not an insult but a natural starting point for growth and maturity.
The author of Hebrews was acutely aware of the risk for those who are vulnerable. As he interacted with these churches and home churches—conversing about faith in Christ—he came to a conclusion: Too many of them were immature. It was time to grow! If they didn’t grow, how would they continue to resist the invitations of family and friends to return to Judaism?
So the author calls out the issue in Hebrews 5:13-14:
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.
In other words: Learn to eat! Come to the feast that will grow and strengthen you—a feast of understanding and deepening of faith. Eat of this and you’ll no longer be vulnerable.
The call to feast can be extended to us today. But how do we know if we’re still drinking spiritual milk, or if we’ve moved on to the meat of faith? How do we know if we’re vulnerable or standing firm?
Father, how good it is to be Your child! You love me through immaturity to maturity, through vulnerable to strong. If I’ve been drinking the milk of a young faith, wean me. I’m ready for more. Amen.