Have you ever swiped through a stream of cooking recipes on Pinterest or Instagram? They always look amazing! I’m even more impressed to see what goes into making these masterpieces of food.
I sometimes think, “I could do that” but when I have a chance to prepare something, it’s chips and dip or maybe I’ll get a wrap from Subway. On occasion, I’ll slice up some bananas and make a peanut butter and banana sandwich. On very rare occasions, I may fry some bacon and make a BLT. They are delicious, but a far cry from the delicacies that others are slaving over for hours.
In all honesty, the thought of all the labor to make something that complicated doesn’t seem worth it at all to me!
One thing I know to be true…I’ll never be accused of being a chef…ever…and I’m OK with that.
My life with Christ, however, that’s a different matter. (Take a moment if you need to recover from the topical whiplash I just subjected you to.) 🙂
Seriously, though, Paul likened our spiritual growth to process of preparation and consuming of food in his first letter to the Corinthians.
3 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 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? 1 Corinthians 3:1–3 (ESV)
He is distinguishing between spiritual people and infants in Christ, which he also likens to people of the flesh. The issue they are facing is division in the church based on which leader they prefer to follow. Some liked Paul. Some liked Apollos. But, they were missing the point completely.
They liked being spoon fed from these great teachers but didn’t want to do the work of preparing a spiritual meal. The deeper flavors of the gospel and God’s work among them couldn’t be experienced because they never got past the most basic teachings about the faith.
I have definitely experienced these times in my own life when I just wanted to listen to the fruit of someone else’s labor, not labor myself. It’s easy to spot this in others, too. Leader worship is a real thing. So is commentary worship and author worship.
There are gifted authors, teachers, and scholars for sure, but you will never really grow if your greatest moments with scripture come from someone else’s deep work in seeking God through His word.
Do you rely on someone else’s work? Have the greatest truths about God and life been gifted to you from another or have you experienced the beautiful moments where God has met you in your study, reflection and prayer to show you something new about Him that you didn’t know before?
These are the moments that draw believers to a level of excitement and devotion to Christ that can’t be explained. They speak about Christ differently, walk with Him differently, and interact with others differently.
Let me encourage you to take the time to dig into scripture. Not every moment will be a life changing one, but God will not waste a moment of your time seeking Him on your own. Little realizations will combine over time with deeper truths to create “a-ha” moments. You will be encouraged and excited to see that God is still speaking to His followers, today. Your life will be changed as these new realizations begin to change our own behaviors and thoughts.
Don’t fall into the trap of teacher worship. Dig in for yourself and share the fruits of your labor. That is what Paul was calling the Corinthians to. God is calling us to this as well.