My friend and co-laborer for Christ, Jeff, has this blog that he he writes. He has some terrific insights, and always has something that will leave your scratching your head and asking more questions.
In his recent post about Christian’s in our generation having a tendency to be focused on being hand fed (my words not his) versus learning to self feed he concluded with the following:
“It’s tempting and easy for me to expect others to do the same. But their gifts and experience and what not may not lie in this direction. So when I expect people to take responsibility for feeding themselves, it’s important that I take seriously the idea that some people are better than others at doing this.”
My response was as follows:
I think this is a great insight. You are correct that we must keep in mind and have patience with people that are on all spiritual levels. Sometimes that may be easy, often times it’s not, but that’s life.
So, I agree with you on your last point, and wanted to have you think about something. I think you’re conclusion would be said best if it was 2 fold.
The first part would be: We should remember that not everyone is at our spiritual maturity level, or our intellectual or student level (is that the right way to say that?), and therefore, we should have a lot more patience with them.
The second part would be this:
Althought their experience, and I assume you mean either their intelligence level, or academic experience (abundance or lack of) may make them a little more reliant on someone else “feeding them,” we then have a responsibility to “teach” them/ train them how to study the word of God.
I like how the King James puts it in 2 Tim 2:15:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
It gives me the idea that everyone seeking to be a disciple/ Christ follower, not just a Christian, has to being willing to study the Word of God. Some will require a bit more one on one attention and tutoring, to get to a point where they are capable of doing it then themselves. While others may have a more natural ability to study, ask questions, and make conclusions based on the infortmation they have.
An inability or lack of knowledge/ experience can hinder someone from taking the time to study, but can also lead to fat and lazy, partly retarded Christians. People who have a natural ability to study, have plenty of knowledge and experience can cause that person to become prideful or arrogant.
Both situations require the help and guidance of other, more mature believers, who can come along side the person and challenge and encourage them with the truth of God’s Word. No matter what though, we have a promise that God with supernaturally, through the Holy Spirit, give us understanding of all things in His word. (John 16:13)
That way, regardless of the abundance or lack, we can all further our love and understanding of Christ. (Philippians 3:8; 2 Pt 3:18 )
Just some thoughts I had after reading. I think it is a great post, and something we all need to think on.
Livin’ Out Loud,