We often measure our growth in many areas of our lives—such as skills we’ve acquired, experience we’ve gained, and education we’ve acquired—and we’re quick to update our resumes, so to speak, and let the world know how we have grown. But how often do we take time to measure our spiritual maturity and growth?
The writer to the Hebrews is warning them about falling away from the faith, and he writes, “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, 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 5:11-14).
This is a real measure of spiritual maturity—whether or not we are eating solid food or we’re still living on milk. What does that mean? It means that if we’re living on milk, we’re still baby Christians and we’re not growing in our knowledge of God’s word. Obviously, this is directed to those who have been Christians for a while, who ought now to be ready to teach others, but instead still need to learn the elementary truths of God’s word.
We can measure our spiritual maturity by how much we really desire to get into the word of God and to know it at deeper and deeper levels. I think of a friend in my class at church who is so thrilled because she has the opportunity to take some college-level Bible classes and learn more. She just beams as she tells me how much she loves these classes and how much she is learning. This is in addition to a full-time demanding job and taking care of her sister! But I have watched her grow up to maturity in Christ because she has an insatiable desire to know God’s word, and she makes it a high priority.
If your Bible is hardly ever open from one Sunday to another, if you’re not regularly involved in a Bible study of some kind, if you are still in “elementary school” when you ought to be in “college,” then you’re still a baby in Christ, and you need to grow up.
As I look back over my life, the years I lived in disobedience to God’s principles were the years I almost never opened my Bible. The Bible will keep you from sin, and sin will keep you from the Bible. So, how do you measure up?