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Miranda Writes: God Wants Us to Eat Meat!




by Omar Miranda



When did you become a Christian? Years and years ago?  A couple of years ago? This year? This month? Today? Whenever you made the decision, I hope that you’re growing spiritually both in your relationship with Jesus and in your knowledge about Him, living a Christian life, and sharing Jesus with others. If you’re not doing any of these things, then you’re a BABY! Hold up! Don’t get upset with me; that’s what the Bible calls you. 

If you’re growing spiritually every day, great! But don’t stop; there’s always room for improvement.  Let’s look at a couple of scriptures that speak to this issue and see what they have to say about being a baby versus being mature, what that means, what lessons can we learn, and how we can apply them to our lives.

First Corinthians 3:1-3: “My friends, you are acting like the people of this world. That’s why I could not speak to you as spiritual people. You are like babies as far as your faith in Christ is concerned. So I had to treat you like babies and feed you milk. You could not take solid food, and you still cannot, because you are not yet spiritual. You are jealous and argue with each other. This proves that you are not spiritual and that you are acting like the people of this world. ”1
Wow! Paul really let the Corinthian Christians have it—with both barrels! What could have been happening with them that he had to be so bold? Well the bottom line was that everybody in the church in Corinth was arguing because some members liked Pastor Paul and others liked Pastor Apollos, and the church was becoming divided because of it. Isn’t it interesting that nothing changes in history? I’m sure that there are some Bible teachers that you like better than others, but Paul’s response was twofold:

1. It’s not about the teacher; it’s about Jesus. Jesus is what’s important.
2. The Corinthians were acting like non-Christians and spiritual babies.
Instead of being able to talk to these Christians in a mature way, Paul had to remind them that they were “not yet spiritual.” How about you? Are there attitudes and actions that you’re still choosing that are making Jesus say to you, “You’re still a spiritual baby!” Is God trying to fatten you up by giving you spiritual solid food, or as other Bible versions call it, “meat”? Are you resisting being fed solid food? 

Guess what happens to babies who don’t progress from milk to solid food: they don’t grow like they should—or worse still, they die! Are you growing in Christ and becoming a mature Christian? Or are you stagnating, doing nothing and going nowhere spiritually? Or, worse still, are you dead?

Let’s look at Hebrews 5:12-14: “By now you should have been teachers, but once again you need to be taught the simplest things about what God has said. You need milk instead of solid food. People who live on milk are like babies who don’t really know what is right. Solid food is for mature people who have been trained to know right from wrong.”

Did you catch Paul inferring that people who are spiritual babies don’t know what is right? In fact, he says that the only way for a spiritual baby to know right from wrong is to receive training. I have two young children. My daughter is 10, and my son is almost 6. There are things I allow my daughter to do that I won’t allow my son to do. Why? Am I trying to be unfair and mean? Not at all. I don’t allow my son to do those things because he’s either not physically able or not cognitively ready to do them. He gets really upset with me and really jealous of my daughter’s increased freedoms. But he hasn’t yet matured the way my daughter has. In fact, if I allowed my son to do them, one of three things would happen:

1. He would get physically injured and/or killed.

2. He would get frustrated because he would consistently fail.

3. He would lose interest quickly because he is not ready for the task.

The best way that I can strengthen and prepare my son to do those things that my daughter can do is to continue feeding him greater and greater amounts of food and to expose him to things that stretch and strengthen his skills. It is only then that he will begin to mature in all his areas enough to do the things that my daughter can do.

You might ask yourself, Self, what does this have to do with me? I believe that Paul’s metaphor of babies, milk, maturity, and meat applies directly to our spiritual lives. Let me ask you a couple of important questions:

1. Are you the kind of person that gets upset that other Christians are doing things that you can’t do, or that they appear to have more biblical knowledge than you?

2. Do your Christian brothers and sisters seem to be passing you by in their Christian walk? What I mean is Do they seem to be getting closer and closer to Jesus every day?

3. Do your Christian brothers and sisters seem to be gaining victory after victory over certain previously difficult areas of their lives, such as certain bad habits, sins, and addictions, and you’re not?

4. Do you recognize that God is trying to help you mature, but you’d rather stay a baby?  

5. Is there anything that you are keeping from God that He’s asking you to change?

Hebrews 6:1 says: “We must try to become mature and start thinking about more than just the basic things we were taught about Christ. We shouldn’t need to keep talking about why we ought to turn from deeds that bring death and why we ought to have faith in God.”

God will bless your efforts at maturity if you just try! Just make sure that your motives are right, because if they’re not, the changes will not be consistent and long-lasting. If you or someone you know continues to live in the same bad habits, sins, and addictions from prior to becoming a Christian, this should be a huge red flag that spiritual growth isn’t happening. Remember what Jesus said: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16, NKJV).2 In other words, people can say a lot of things, but the way that you’ll know if they really made a change and are growing as Christians is by their behavior, by their actions. The Christian life is about peace, power, and overcoming. It’s not about stagnation, failure, whining, and complaining. Even if all you’re doing is moving forward by baby steps, at least you’re moving forward!  Before someone can run, they must first learn to crawl.

I’ve met many people who became Christians decades ago and yet continue to be spiritual babies. They don’t tell others about Christ, and they’re not active and working in their church; they’re just taking up space—like a bump on a log. They’re angry, mean, critical, spiteful, unloving, unforgiving, selfish individuals who are stuck in their ways and absolutely refuse to grow! As I said before, a baby is meant to grow. If it does not grow and thrive, it doesn’t stay a baby—it dies! I hope that you won’t die spiritually. I hope that you’ll consistently thrive and grow up into spiritual maturity.

Now that we’ve begun to discuss the importance of spiritual maturity, it’s time to look at those reasons people can call themselves “Christians” but consistently seem not to grow, progress, or overcome, and many times find themselves living so much like a non-Christian that they look no different than a sinner.
In our next time together we’ll be assessing your spiritual health and taking your spiritual pulse. What you learn will hopefully reinforce teaching that you’ve already received and knowledge that you already have. But if not, it may surprise and shock you! If your heart is cold, hard, and dead, it needs a good shock to start beating for Jesus again. Turn up the juice and get the paddles—CLEAR!!!!

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

1Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations in this article are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.
 2Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All Rights reserved.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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