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Appearing mature but living on milk

June 5, 2007

Recently I had to opportunity to discuss ministry with someone, and how to provide for those under our care in the best way. They told me that they lead a group by playing to the lowest common denominator in that group. That concept has troubled me for three specific reasons. First, what is someone the lowest common denominator of? A relationship with God? An active faith? Bible knowledge? The ability to put on an act for others? Second, how do we determine who the lowest common denominator is? Do we have to judge others by outward appearance to do that? Third, how does catering to the “lowest” in a group challenge people to grow and mature, especially those who are not the “lowest”? I expect the person I was talking to would not have classified me as the “lowest common denominator” in a group, and yet as I thought about the concept I questioned why I or anyone else would think I could be anything but that person.

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.”

What does it mean to be mature as a Christian? Is it about what we believe? How we behave? What we share with others? I cringe when I hear people refer to themselves as mature, or worse yet talk about me as being mature, because it is very easy to think that because we have been a believer for a long time we must be mature. How can we call ourselves mature when we live in brokenness, and do sinful acts that hurt each other every day? Does the quote below leave you with any impression or thoughts about what being “mature” means?

“Jay, one of our church members, recently shared with me: ‘I was a Christian for twenty-two years. But instead of being a twenty-two-year-old Christian, I was a one-year-old Christian twenty-two times! I just kept doing the same things over and over and over again.’ ” (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero)

What are you doing to grow, deepen, and mature in your life and faith walk? If your church isn’t providing support and opportunity for you to mature, how else/where else can you find what you need to mature? Are you living as a Christian for _________ years instead of being a _________ year-old Christian? What will it take for you to grow up so you can move from milk to solid food?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2007 5:50 pm

    Jesus selected those that others believed were the “lowest common denominator” and they became his Apostles.

    I’ll admit to reading a lot of books, but in the end I always come back to reading the Bible. It’s amazing how the word speaks to my heart as I mature.

  2. June 7, 2007 8:22 pm

    Great points! I too always come back to the Bible and I try to read everything else in comparison to the truths I know from scripture.

    I like the point that those Christ choose were probably the “lowest common denominator”. I think part of my struggle with the comment that was made was that I would view myself as falling in that group, and the person making the comment seemed to be implying I was probably one of the “highest”. I sure don’t see myself that way, and I don’t think I ever want to be in that highest group. I want to always maintain the heart and mind that I need Christ in all I am and all I do.

  3. December 19, 2009 11:12 am

    you can not live on milk all the time.Every illness that comes by will knock down the Babies first.

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