“Therefore, let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity…” (Hebrews 6:1).
For a teenager, one very important rite of passage is getting a driver’s license. We can probably recall the first time we drove by ourselves; there was excitement mixed with a little fear, and the radio was probably turned up loud as we celebrated our freedom.
That license wasn’t just handed over to us, though; we had to go through driver’s education. One of my memories from driver’s education was when the teacher had us put on special goggles which allowed us to understand how difficult and dangerous it was to drive while inebriated. When we put on the goggles, we viewed our surroundings in a very different way and our actions (or stumbling attempts to walk) were a direct result.
When the writer of Hebrews encourages us to leave the elementary doctrines and grow in maturity in Christ, it leads me to wonder how mature (or immature) we would look if there were a special pair of goggles that enabled us to see a person’s spiritual growth. In other words, if you put on those goggles in the middle of a church service and began to look around, would adults suddenly turn to babies? Would kids become geriatrics? It would definitely be an interesting, and most likely, a sobering experience. I would wager our actions would begin to change if we looked at ourselves with those goggles on.
Even though these goggles don’t exist, we should still examine our lives in light of Hebrews 6:1. It would make little sense for an adult to act and talk like a child; there is a healthy expectation that a person matures as he or she grows. Unfortunately, many of us have grown up physically, but still act and think as a child spiritually. Hebrews encourages us to not forget the elementary doctrines, but to build on them by diving deeper into the scriptures. Hebrews is chock full of theological concepts such as Christ being our high priest, the impact of His sacrifice, and what it means to have faith. If you want some meat, those are some great things to chew on!
As we begin 2015, perhaps this is a fitting time to mention that moving from elementary doctrines is a great New Year’s resolution. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the goggles needed to reveal the areas of your spiritual life that lack maturity. Pursue different parts of scripture that are difficult to understand. Pick up a reading list that includes some heavier theology. Commit to talking through some of these mature ideas with your spouse, friend, or member of your discipleship group.
Goggles give us an ability to see things clearer, especially when it comes to being underwater or at night. God’s word, and this encouragement in Hebrews, helps us clearly see our need to grow up in Christ. It’s a rite of passage that has long-lasting, eternal results!