Greetings In the Name of the Lord:
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (NLT)
1 Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life. 2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?
Recently, I saw a commercial on TV that was advertising an upcoming program about people who had bizarre addictions. There was one addiction in particular that caught my attention, not because it intrigued me, but rather because I found it nauseating. There was a grown man who admitted to being addicted to dressing, acting, and being treated like a baby. Now I am sure that there are some who found this a bit humorous, but for most adult people we would say that any grown man wanting to act and be treated like a baby has some serious mental issues. We would say that it is time for this man to grow up. Unfortunately, there are many Christians who are like this man. Although they have been Christians for a lengthy period of time they act as if they are new born Christians. Years ago, in my first pastorate, there was one lady in the congregation who used this as an excuse not to grow up. She used to say, “Well, I’m just a baby Christian!” Well, yes she was, but she shouldn’t have been. The fact of the matter is that there are too many Christians who want to act like, and be treated like, spiritual babies, when they ought to be moving on to maturity. This was the problem that Paul had with the Corinthian church; they should have been mature but they were acting like babies. As Bible scholar Stanley Horton comments, “In his first visit Paul could not teach the Corinthian believers true spiritual wisdom. Though they were baptized in the Spirit and exercised gifts of the Spirit, Paul could not address them “as spiritual,” that is, as wholly possessed and directed by the Spirit. Like ordinary people, they were still too worldly (Gk. sarkinois, “fleshly”), dominated by desires of the human flesh and mind (Horton, I & II Corinthians). Is that how some Christian act today? Don’t some of act just like those who aren’t followers of Christ? Shouldn’t there be a marked difference between the way that people in the church act and the way those outside of it act? It seems to me that we should be striving toward maturity instead wanting to use our lack of maturity as an excuse. Let’s grow up in our faith and leave the elementary things behind us.