Thanksgiving is upon us! For most young adults looking toward the holiday, we all know what is coming—the dreaded kids’ table at grandma’s house. If I lean way back from the knee-high kids’ table, squint my eyes and tilt my head, I can sometimes catch a glimpse of the illustrious adult table.
Ah, yes, the adult table. With its fine linen table cloth cascading down the edges of the waist high, hardwood table. The food is out family-style, sans fear of grubby little hands grasping at the delicacies. As I rest my chin on my tucked-in knees, I can just imagine all the leg room and elbow space permitted at the extravagant adult table.
The food is the same and absolutely delicious, though it seems to taste different on my little, palm-size plastic plate. It’s no heavy-duty, 10”, Chinet platter plate—like the ones the adults have.
If I carefully tune out my little cousins’ bickering on the topic of Disney’s Frozen characters, I can barely hear the deep conversations and adult-appropriate banter at the grown-ups’ table. I’m reminded I am only a spectator of their conversation when one of my little cousins pulls me from my trance by accidently spilling her milk on me. Good thing it was a sippy cup spill and not a grown-up cup spill—I may be exaggerating a hair.
I really don’t mind the kids’ table at Thanksgiving. It used to have its charm and glory. After all, long ago I was stuck in a high chair but grew and found myself at the kids’ table. My knees didn’t always jam into the side of the plastic table, and my comrades around me weren’t always two feet shorter than me.
There was a time when it was right for me to be there at the kids’ table. But there was also a time long past that I should have been too old for it. I’m finding that my walk with the Lord is not unlike this very scenario.
Hebrews 5 finds its author rebuking some longtime Christian adults tucking their knees to fit at the baby Christians’ table. In verses 11-12, the writer tells them, “You have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food.”
The author is not wagging his finger at a bunch of baby believers that must work harder or become something for which they are not yet ready. Rather, he is chastising a group of believers who, by now, should be much further in their walk with the Lord than they are currently. The writer continues on in verses 13-14, “Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.”
Essentially, he is telling the Hebrew believers, “It’s time to grow up.” He all but drug them from the kiddie table, to plop them down at the adult table.
Why did the author feel that it was necessary to do so? After all, wouldn’t the immature prefer to be striving toward maturity? What is it that keeps the spiritually young from growing? Why would “baby believers” choose the milk of their new belief over the meat of a mature faith?
For the Christians in the text, and many professing believers in the world today, the author spells out the reason. He tells them, “You have become too lazy to understand.” Laziness. Scripture tells us many things about laziness and its destructive effects on our spiritual walks (Prov.10:4-5, Prov. 12:24, Prov. 13:4, Prov. 14:23, Eph. 5:15-17, 2 Thess. 3:6-10).
Laziness is perhaps one of the saddest avenues on which I could miss out on the work of the Lord. It’s sad, simply because it wasn’t that I wasn’t working hard enough or was too busy. I missed out on working alongside the Lord only because I was too lazy.
Spiritual laziness looks different for everyone, but consider these statements:
- I was too lazy to pull Scripture apart for myself, so I just grabbed the same old devotional off the shelf.
- I was too lazy to glean something from the sermon last Sunday, so I scrolled through Instagram during service.
- I was too lazy to engage in deep conversation, so I left the theological discussions to others.
- I was too lazy to find a mature mentor or advisor, so I just leaned on my own understanding.
How miserable to stand before the throne of God with nothing but a sippy cup of spiritual milk and a handful of self-righteousness, both spoiled from an inappropriate amount of time wasted.
At Thanksgiving, I guarantee if I were willing to muster up the confidence, I could grab that heavy-duty, 10”, Chinet platter plate and take a seat at the adult table. Likewise, I mustn’t let a simple step in obedience, in initiative, to keep me from a deeper walk with the Lord. I don’t want to live off of spiritual milk forever. I want a big, juicy slice of God’s Word to sink my teeth into and offer me fuel for further growth.
Later in Hebrews, the author continues to address his dearly loved brothers and sisters. He voices his longing for them as he writes, “Now we desire each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the full assurance of your hope until the end, so that you won’t become lazy but will be imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perseverance” (Heb. 6:11-12).
Diligence. Faith. Perseverance.
What powerful tools against the Enemy’s scheme to keep us lazy and useless before the spiritual harvest of plenty. Get up from that kids’ table, my brothers and sisters! Strive for wisdom (Psalm 51:6). Increase in maturity (2 Pet. 1:5-8). Grow in knowledge (2 Pet. 3:18). Be diligent (Gal. 6:9). Have faith (Luke 17:5). Press on in perseverance (Col. 1:11-12).