I recently was pondering on a question. I asked several friends to get their thoughts.
My question was:
“Something that just came to my mind… do you think that sometimes people chew too much on the meat that they forget they still need to drink the milk?”
One person said, “Interesting, good thoughts.”
Another said, “Yes, and they forget to swallow! Wisdom is knowledge applied, not just heard…”
A third replied, “No. Actually, what I find is most people are still on milk and very little meat. It may be a spirit or religion and/or legalism in the person you describe.”
The last one said, “That most certainly can be, but what I have found is that few really understand the milk. What they know well is the traditions of men that Jesus says have been taught as the Father’s commandments.”
I Corinthians 3:1-3 As for me, brothers, I couldn’t talk to you as spiritual people but as worldly people, as babies, so far as experience with the Messiah is concerned. I gave you milk, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. But you aren’t ready for it now either! For you are still worldly! Isn’t it obvious from all the jealousy and quarrelling among you that you are worldly and living by merely human standards?
Hebrews 5:12-14 For although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the very first principles of God’s Word all over again! You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who has to drink milk is still a baby, without experience in applying the Word about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by continuous exercise to distinguish good from evil.
Isaiah 28:9 Can no one be taught anything? Can no one understand the message? Must one teach barely weaned toddlers, babies just taken from the breast,
Most of us have probably heard the New Testament verses listed above. The Isaiah one shows us that even in the Old Testament there were questions concerning the message that people were listening too.
I believe that we should ponder the responses my friends gave. Even the simple one of, “Interesting, good thoughts,” because this one tells us that there is something to consider in the question.
What I have found is that many people are doing what the second friend said. They chew and chew, but don’t really take in the meat and allow it to digest! It also becomes more and more argumentative as they chew. This is what Paul spoke of in I Corinthians. People becoming jealous as they “chewed.” This leads to a spirit of legalism/religion in people (which is what another friend mentioned). Religious people focus on “traditions of men” instead of the commandments of God/Jesus (the fourth friend). They think they are chewing on meat, but don’t even understand the basics. All my friends brought great insight…
Hebrews states that “solid food is for the mature.” Obviously as a person grows, even spiritually, they will be able to handle deeper discussions. However, have you ever stopped to think that elderly people eventually struggle to “chew meat?” Sometimes in our physical world the elderly have to return to a more liquid diet. Often meat becomes difficult to chew.
These thoughts make me wonder, does the same thing happen spiritually? Can it be that when we begin to think we “know” the answers and only want to discuss “spiritual things,” maybe at that point we need to STOP and return to the milk? Jesus teaches:
Matthew 18:3 and said, “Yes! I tell you that unless you change and become like little children, you won’t even enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
My reason for asking the question was simple… I have been around too many people who are so focused on the “spiritual” things, that they forget to share the basic TRUTH of the Word of God and that is, “God is love.”
Please don’t get me wrong… I enjoy deep spiritual discussions and taking the time to “chew” on the meat. With the right flavor and temperature to cook, it is a joy to “chew” and in the right company there can be a great time of fellowship. Even this past Sunday at the community of faith we attended, the pastor pulled out a sermon to watch/listen too, and it was not milk. What was presented made everyone stop and think. God WANTS us to ask, seek and find the wisdom that comes from HIS Truth. Chewing meat is an essential part of growing and learning.
So often, however, there is no balance.
Teachings either become so meat oriented that people forget the simple TRUTH, “God so loved the world… that He gave His One and Only Son…”
Or, other communities of faith give only the milk and don’t get beyond, “Jesus loves you.” There are no sermons or understandings about Israel and the festivals. There are no discussions about the history of the Jews and their idioms that could teach us deeper insights into the teachings of Jesus.
We need both. We need to find a balance. I don’t claim to have the answer to the question I posed to my friends. I really believe that we need to ASK ourselves DAILY what we are doing to learn more. We also need to ask ourselves what we are DOING daily to SHOW His love. If all we do is talk, talk, talk and we don’t follow in action, something is wrong.
I pray that you can ponder the question today… Are you becoming argumentative and think you have all the answers? What are you doing to learn and become more in tune with the deep things He wants to share with you? As you learn, are you continuing to share HIS LOVE with others?
We need BOTH milk and meat to live. Provide HIS LOVE (milk) and HIS WISDOM (meat) to those you meet.