Watching Your Spiritual Diet

by John MacArthur

Most of us have known people whose bodies have not grown or matured properly. It’s sad to encounter people with cognitive handicaps, brain damage, or other developmental obstacles that have hindered their growth. Many of them remain locked in a child-like state—others tragically don’t progress even that far.

In a similar way, some Christians remain locked in a perpetual state of spiritual infancy. However, unlike those suffering with mental handicaps, Christians struggling with arrested spiritual development have no one to blame but themselves.

All Christians are supposed to be growing in Christlikeness: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29). But there is often a disconnect between Romans 8:29 and what we see happening in the church. Some Christians simply don’t grow. Spiritually they remain stunted, never becoming what God has called them to be.

Worse still, if you challenge these believers, they may deny culpability for their stunted growth and indignantly argue that they are growing—albeit at their own pace! Everybody wants to grow; it’s just that some people want to grow with no effort, and that’s where the problem lies.

While I was in college, I wasted my time and experienced little, if any, growth as a Christian. But when I began seminary I tasted God’s Word in a life-transforming way. During those seminary days I learned to study the Bible systematically, and that’s when I began to grow. Ever since that time I have found that my spiritual growth is directly proportionate to the amount of time and effort I put into the study of Scripture. And all of my experiences ministering to other Christians have only reinforced that conviction.

When believers aren’t growing, it’s almost always symptomatic of a failure to be in God’s Word. They may attend church regularly, but what they learn dissipates rapidly once they exit the building. They often complain that they’re not getting much out of church or the Christian life. They are weak and rundown when it comes to facing temptations, trials, problems, and challenges. They lack the vigor to do much of anything for the Lord.

The root cause of their arrested development is spiritual malnourishment—their souls are starved for wholesome spiritual food. The Bible refers to itself as milk, bread, and meat, but spiritually a lot of Christians are trying to survive and thrive on candy, Cokes, and fries. They aren’t growing because their diet is tragically deficient. Ironically, the solution to their problems is in the very thing they refuse to feed upon—God’s Word.

How to Eat Right and Grow Spiritually

Continue: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B170515

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