The mother gently wiped the food from her child’s chin. She quickly dipped into the baby food jar for another spoonful of pureed pears. Her daughter eagerly swallowed the soft sweetness before reaching for her sippy cup of milk. Oops. The cup dropped on the floor, knocking the lid loose and spraying milk all over the floor. The mother sighed at the thought of another mess to clean up.
This scene has been repeated over and over in any household with young children. My mother fed me. I spoon-fed my kids. It is a rite of passage for mothers and babies.
But what if that spoon-fed child were a normal 10-year-old? Or what if she were in her 20’s or 30’s? Then the opening paragraph takes on strange undertones. It would make you wonder why a healthy adult still wasn’t feeding herself. You might suspect serious psychological issues with the mother-daughter relationship. At the very least, you would consider the adult daughter to be quite immature.
Just as it is completely normal for a baby to crave milk and be fed by her mother, so it is normal for a new Christian to be fed by a pastor or other mature Christian. As a baby grows, she craves more independence. She wants to feed herself and experience “grown-up” food. So also, a growing Christian will move from being solely pastor-fed to studying the Bible for herself.
Peter even compared new Christians to babies craving their mothers’ milk…
“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation–if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” –1 Peter 2:1-3 ESV
The problem occurs when baby Christians refuse to put on their big girl pants and grow up.
It’s easier to let someone else do the digging in Scripture. It’s less work to get second-hand teaching from God’s Word. Sometimes Bible study is just plain intimidating!
But if we don’t grow up and start finding our own spiritual food, we are in grave danger. We can be swayed by all kinds of false teaching. We could unknowingly hold wrong beliefs about God. We might fall victim to the latest trends in popular religion. Even worse, we could end up as helpless weaklings, completely ineffectual against the powers of darkness and unable to even train our own children.
I invite you to grow into the mature daughter of Christ you were meant to be.
It’s a bit scary, but so very rewarding. Join a Bible study at a local church. Find an avid Christian to help you study the Bible. Subscribe to our blog and look up the quoted passages of Scripture for yourself.
Here are some easy ways to get started:
His Last Words by Kim Erickson is a new verse-by-verse study that is easy for beginners, yet refreshingly deep for more experience studiers. (There will be a study group for this book in Anchorage. Comment to request more information.)
Believing God by Beth Moore is a great jump-starter for your faith. You will be challenged to take God at His Word! His promises will come alive.
The Gospel of Matthew is a great place to strike out on your own. Underline each mention of the “kingdom” and journal about what you learn from that verse. (This was a personal favorite of mine! Total life-changer.)
Share with us.Would you share with us how you have put on your spiritual “big girl pants”? How has it benefitted you? What advice would you give to others who are just starting Bible study?