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A heart of understanding

There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5:11-14

Growing in understanding is very important in the life of every follower of Christ. This was emphasized in the Scriptures. “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment” (Proverbs 4:7). But we are also warned to be sure in acquiring understanding that we will not be perverted by worldly mindset. This is what Paul told Christians in Corinth when they started to be caught up with temporary gifts that they started to drift away from God’s purpose for their lives. “Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind” (1 Corinthians 14:20). When Paul wrote to the Christians in Ephesus he warned them to not be caught up with the philosophies of the world for it will lead to a wanton disregard of spiritual matters. “With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him” (Ephesians 4:17-18). We are called upon to seek out understanding and to grow in it in the things and ways of God. Once we let ourselves be taken captives of worldly values it will lead to a darkened understanding. “...For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants” (2 Timothy 2:26). As in today’s verses, we are commanded to seek to attain a mature understanding of the things of God. We are not to remain stagnant and stay in elementary teachings of faith. Remaining spiritual children is not what God desired from us. It is true that God expects from us childlike faith where we trust God without malice but in wisdom we are expected to grow. “I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15). In practice, we are called upon to be mature in perspectives so we will not easily give in to temptations. God does not want us to be naïve about evil. Pray Paul’s prayer that God will give you “spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God” (Ephesians 1:17). Let us “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).


Noel De Guzman

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