Did you ever have someone say to you, “Don’t be such a baby”? Nine out of ten times they weren’t telling you to stop being so cute and cuddly and irresistible.
It’s more likely they were expressing a frustration that you weren’t acting your age. Hopefully, for most of us, these sort of comments ceased around the time we entered middle school — or high school for those of you who needed a bit more time.
It’s perfectly acceptable for a nine-month old infant to act like a baby. We expect them to drool a little, spit up, and make stinkies at the most inappropriate times. That’s just what babies do; it’s some sort of inalienable right God has given them.
In the same respect, the Bible refers to those who are new to the faith as “infants in Christ” (see 1 Corinthians 3:1-4). As the apostle Paul writes, he gave them milk to drink because they weren’t ready for solid food.
Though every life begins as infant, the goal is not to stay one forever. What is true physically is also true spiritually. When an unbeliever comes to trust in Jesus, they experience the beauty of being “born again.” Though they may be twenty-five or sixty-five years-old, they are “infants in Christ.”
Thus begins the spiritual process of moving from milk to solid food.
Today’s passage describes the danger in remaining a spiritual infant. As we mature in Christ, we will “no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).
Those who remain indefinitely on spiritual milk become susceptible to people who peddle candy bars as health food. Sweet to eat and nicely packaged, spiritual candy bars provide a short-term buzz but lack the right stuff to build a healthy life.
The goal of the Spirit-filled life is growth and maturity. It is the life-long process of learning to crawl, then walk, and eventually being able to run. Fortunately for us, the Bible provides a road map.
You can decide today to stop being a baby. You can take the first step, as wobbly as it might be, towards growing up and becoming like Jesus.