Cutting Spiritual Teeth
Over the past month and a half, my eight-month-old daughter has been cutting teeth. You mothers know how painful that can be for both you and your child. The day Makaylan began cutting her first two teeth she woke up crying, cried throughout the day, and then cried going to bed. Out of the twelve hours she was awake, she cried ten of those hours (I am not exaggerating). My husband and I tried everything to keep her comfortable, but we knew that the only thing that would bring her relief was for those two precious teeth to finally break through the surface.
God used that agonizing day to teach me a great spiritual truth.
In 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Paul says: “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” In this passage, Paul is addressing the church at Corinth and rebuking them for their disagreement, jealousy, and pride over which teacher they followed. These people were Christians, yet they had gotten so caught up in worldly pursuits they had lost their First Love. They would rather argue over who was the proper teacher to follow instead of being unified under the Headship of Christ. In reading this passage, I see much of the American church in it.
There is a joke that says, “Get two Baptists together, and you will have three differing opinions.” How that must grieve the heart of God! Instead of being unified under the cross of Christ, Satan has tempted us women to turn on each other through discord and jealousy. God has much more in store for us, but we must give Him our heart and be willing to go deeper with Him.
He has given us His Spirit to guide us into all truth, yet, many times, it is tempting to sit on the sidelines and wait to be fed exactly how we like to be fed (John 16:13).
When we grumble and fight with each other, are we are not acting a lot like the Corinthian church? There are many women who have been Christians for years, yet they have not moved past the infancy stage in their walk with Christ. It is easy to get caught up in gossip, slander, lying, and jealousy and to miss moving forward in our relationship with Christ. If Satan can get our eyes distracted over the insignificant things of the world, then he has done his job. It grieves me when I see sisters in Christ fighting with one another and gossiping against one another instead of encouraging each other. I can hear Christ say: “Ladies, will you please grow up?”
It took Makaylan cutting her teeth before she discovered a whole new palate of food. Currently, her favorite food is Baby Mum Mums, but she had to have teeth before she could eat them. If somehow it was possible to protect her from the pain of that Friday, I would have done it. But I would have prevented her from growing up and discovering something she loves. The same is true in our spiritual walk. When we refuse to go forward in our faith, then we miss what God desires to teach us. Right before He went to the cross, Jesus told His disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12) How I pray He does not have to say that to me! I do not know about you, but I want to hear all that Jesus would share with me. But, we must in a place in our relationship with Him where we are ready for the deep truths of the Spirit. We must be willing to move past the gossip, jealousy, and discord in order for Him to give us the solid food of the faith. It may mean giving up some friendships, sinful habits, or thought patterns in order to grow up, but it is worth it.
Cutting spiritual teeth can, at times, be painful, but if we refuse to allow God to work, then we will miss all those wonderful spiritual truths that are saved only for those who are ready for solid food.
Makaylan still has many more teeth to cut, which means there will be many more painful days ahead. But I know that pain is worth it. There will come a day when she looks at baby food and is glad she does not have to eat that every day. May we grow up in our spiritual walk so that we crave the solid food of the faith instead of the mushy baby food of the flesh.