Chew Before You Swallow
1 Corinthians 3:2 (NKJV)
I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able
Have you ever given a newborn baby a steak? It sounds crazy doesn’t it? You would not give a baby a steak because they would choke on it. At the same time, you don’t ever see a baby building a house, plowing a field, or running a marathon. Only those who are physically mature can do such things. Spiritually, many Christians never grow to the point where they can eat solid food.
The Word of God is meant to challenge us. Yes, it is to teach us but also to challenge us. The love of God always calls us up higher. As Psalms 42:7 says, “deep calls unto deep”. God wants us to know and this is why He gave us His Word. Yet so often you can preach a message straight out of scripture, maybe even one that Jesus Himself taught, and people choke on it. Like spiritual babes, they cannot tolerate the truth they are being fed.
I know, we are supposed to walk in love, right? After all, love covers a multitude of sins. I wholeheartedly agree and enthusiastically promote the love of God! There is however, something we must understand about love. Love ALWAYS tells the truth, even when it is hard. Now, what you have to understand is, I am speaking to Christians here. Don’t make a habit of going onto the street and Bible thumping nonbelievers! I am also not saying that we lie to non-Christians. Certainly not. The Bible tells us we must deal with them wisely and be seasoned with salt when we do. You catch more flies with honey, right? But to Christians, we need to get to the place where we mature, chew on the Word and swallow it, and allow it to nourish us as intended.
It is easy to hear messages about God’s grace and how much He loves us. It is easy to hear God wants you set free, and healed, and prosperous. It’s easy to swallow these things and yes, they all have their place. However, there are times when we need to be convicted to change, told we are wrong, and corrected. There are times when we need to be told, “be in church” and “you must live right” and “it’s not all about you.” Jesus did, Paul did, in fact all the apostles did. So did the prophets in the Old Testament. Correction is a staple of our faith and found throughout all of scripture. However, correction isn’t popular and is therefore, to a fault, often rejected. A Christian who is never challenged is one that never matures in the Lord. Imagine being a baby forever and yet we have many Christians who never progress past this.
We live in a culture that wants to patty cake everything. Sadly, that culture has crept into the church. We need to be people of love, in fact, the greatest examples of it. That said, love does not tell someone everything they do is good, but speaks the Truth. Love corrects, rebukes, exhorts, teaches, and calls up higher. Love encourages us to be better, stronger, and more Christ-like.
When you hear a message that steps on your toes don’t get offended or upset. Chew on it and ask yourself, “is this what scripture teaches?” Chew on it and consider, “would a good father teach their son or daughter this way?” Reject “Christianity” that constantly points to you and what you can do and receive the true Christianity that always points to Him and what He did. Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, for that is where you will find true freedom. There you will find the abundant life Jesus Himself told us He came to deliver.
Hebrews 12:5-6 (NKJV)
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”