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Spiritual Growth Is Difficult For The Spiritually Hard Of Hearing

One of the challenges pastors face in preparing messages is that congregations are made up of people in different stages of their Christian life. Some are more mature in the faith than others. This is in part because some are new Christians and some have been Christians for many years. But there is another reason why this is true. Some are able to hear what’s being taught better than others. Of course, I’m not talking about the ability to hear audibly. I’m talking about the ability to hear spiritually. Some Christians have a spiritual hearing problem and it’s hindering their spiritual growth. This isn’t anything new. The book of Hebrews was written to people who had this same problem. We know this because Hebrews 5:11 says

About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

The author started talking about Jesus as our High Priest and he wanted to tell them more. But he couldn’t because of their spiritual hearing problem. From what he says next it appears they had been Christians for a while.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:12-14

The writer tells us there is an expectation for all Christians. [Tweet "There’s a point in our Christian lives when we should be a teacher."] This doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be a teacher. Certainly not in the sense of having to teach a class or lead a Bible study. What is expected is that everyone grows to to the point one knows as much about the Christian life as a teacher knows. These verses tell us two important principles of spiritual growth.

2 Principles of Spiritual Growth

  1. The method of spiritual growth: be skilled in the word of righteousness Hebrews 5:13
  2. The measure of spiritual growth: be trained to distinguish good from evil Hebrews 5:14
In order to grow as Christians we need to spend enough time reading and studying the Bible until we get to the point where we can discern good from evil. This means discerning good and evil in your own life. We're already pretty good at detecting good and evil in others. A regular and constant intake of God’s Word also leads to spiritual growth. As that happens the Word shows us what we are doing right and encourages us. It also shows us what we are doing wrong and trains us to change. [Tweet "The more time we spend in God’s Word the more it changes us."]  It shows us things we need to change in ourselves to be better employees, neighbors, sons, daughters, better Christians. If we don’t grow it becomes hard to hear what God wants to tell us. When was the last time you heard God tell you something about good or evil in your life? If you can't remember when that last happened perhaps you have become spiritually hard of hearing? It isn’t a mystery. Our spiritual growth depends upon spending time taking in God’s Word. I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or question below.

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Ward Cushman

My journey of faith started when I was nine years old when I realized that Jesus died and rose again to pay for my sins. At the age of thirteen I felt the call of God on my life for ministry.

I have been fortunate to work in the marketplace for over ten years and in full-time Christian ministry for over thirty years.

My passion is to teach God's Word in such a way that it is easy to understand and so that God uses it to bring about life change in those who hear it.

It is my greatest joy to see God work through me to produce fruit for His glory!