“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
(1 Corinthians 6:11)
Some of us suffer from spiritual amnesia. We’ve been so accustomed to living in the faith that we’ve forgotten how far we’ve come …..
Mature Christians have to not judge harshly those who are still learning to walk with Jesus. While Jesus saves people immediately from their sins, as baby Christians, they don’t always immediately live a spiritual life. Many of their choices made in their sinful past may have lingering consequences that need more time for complete deliverance ….
Many of us mature Christians also needed more time for deliverance in order to think and behave differently. We didn’t always pray like we do now. We didn’t always have the scriptural memory that we have now. We didn’t always choose righteousness first when we were tempted. Yet God was patient with us and allowed the right amount of time, people, and circumstances to mold us into spiritual maturity ….
Our response to believers who fail, or stumble rather, should be first and foremost the love of Christ. If people really understood the futility of following the desires of their sinful nature, they would always choose the spiritual first. We can be a safe place for them to grow in the knowledge of Christ when we are gentle, but loving in our approach if they should fail ….
We also give them grace to grow in the faith. Our expectations are that they grow little by little in the faith until they can reach a strong place of maturity, just as we ourselves have grown and matured. We remind them that God gives them the strength to move forward if they are willing to rely on Him instead of themselves, and place Him in first place in their priority list. Our relentless patience in showing them truth from God’s word will be the foundation of their faith ….
As mature believers, we also encourage them with our testimony. We don’t have to rehash all the ugliness of our past; rather, we share how God helped when we were weak in the flesh. Our experiences of victories and failures reveal God’s ability to change us from the inside out. They will be encouraged to press forward in the faith because we are a living witness and example of being changed from darkness to light ….
Therefore, be gentle …. be patient …. and be kind today should you find yourself becoming irritated or impatient. Remember, just as with babies; they have to learn to crawl before they can stand or walk without a hand to steady them. They must drink the milk before they can chew on the meat of solid food. We would not begrudge a baby its milk, so in like manner; we ought not begrudge our new sisters and brothers in the faith their process of growth. Let us nurture them and help feed them to encourage their growing up, to become fully mature and come into the fullness of everything Jesus has to offer us; that life and life more abundantly (John 10:10) ….
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2).
Let us pray ~
Dear Lord, I want to be a good example of Your love and grace to those believers who are struggling. Help me to be a wise counselor to those You send my way. Amen.