4 Things That Keep Christians from Growing

Friday, February 16, 2018

This post is the third installment of my Hebrews series for the Blogging Through The Bible Linkup. Come see the other posts and join in!


The book of Hebrews is quickly becoming one of my favorites through the Bible study I've been attending. It's been eye-opening on so many levels, and it has been helping me grow in my faith, which is, of course, the goal. And one thing I didn't put together before this Bible study, is that the whole book of Hebrews is being written as a warning to those listening. The author has been made aware that though the audience is Christian, they have been considering going back to Judaism. But the author of Hebrews writes them to encourage them to hold fast, and to remember that Jesus is better than anything else. He wants to see them grow in their faith- not abandon it.

We see this theme in several different ways through the first five chapters of Hebrews, but the most prominent display of the author's warnings come in Hebrews chapters 5 and 6. These chapters deal with the theme of apostasy (the act of abandoning the Christian faith), and how the author is becoming concerned for the one's he is writing to, as he is noticing some worrisome signs.

For today, we are going to tackle Hebrews 5:11-14, which is all about what keeps Christians from growing in their faith. And as we dig in, let's remember that these warning are for us just as much as it was for the audience of Hebrews. God uses these types of warnings to keep us on track.

4 Things That Can Keep You From Growing in Your Faith. #Faith #Christianity

"About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 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 5:11-14 (ESV)


The author of Hebrews makes the comment that it's hard to explain these truths to those he is addressing, because they have become "dull of hearing" (verse 11). In this verse, the word "dull" can also mean "lazy" or "numb". In other words, when they heard the truths of God, they were basically just like, "Yeah, yeah. I've got this. I already know truth".

Have you ever felt that way? I know I have. In fact, it happens a lot at church. I'll zone out during a sermon and comfort myself with the fact that I already know the truth. But we should never become lazy about hearing truth, and we should never desensitize ourselves to the message of God. Being lazy of hearing is a great way to stop growing.


The writer of Hebrews has also noticed that his audience has been in a cycle of learning a biblical truth but then quickly "forgetting" what they've learned and having to relearn it all over again (verse 12).

For any parents reading this, think about how it feels when you teach your child something. Do you ever get frustrated when your child acts as if they've never been taught in that area before? Because at that point, instead of getting to build upon what you've already taught them, and instead of getting to teach them even bigger and better things, you find yourself having to go back and reteach the same principle over again.

That's exactly what was going on in these verses, and that's what the author was feeling so frustrated with. He felt that they should be at a point spiritually where they could be teaching and helping others, but instead, here they were, staying stagnant and needing to be retaught themselves.

Unskilled (in God's word)

Part of the reason that the audience of Hebrews was so forgetful with what they had learned, is because they were not staying in God's word. The author uses the term "unskilled", which basically meant that their understanding of it was weak, and they didn't know nearly as much about it as they should (verse 13).

As Christians, we know that we aren't going to grow in our walk with God if we don't dig in to scripture. And we are also going to be unskilled (ie unlearned) in it's truths until we decide to change that.

Lacking Discernment

The last thing that the author of Hebrews addresses in this passage is the fact that the audience is lacking in discernment (verse 14). He directly ties this to the fact that they are unskilled in God's word, and that this lack of discernment makes it way harder for them to tell the difference between good and evil.

The thing about not being able to discern good from evil is that it will cause us to make really poor choices. And despite the fact that these poor choices may be unintentional, they will still end up taking us down a winding road of confusion and sin.

The author was concerned by this. He obviously didn't want to see these people end up falling into that life, and he knew that if they did, they would not grow in their faith.

The Remedy

The thing about it is, the author wanted the audience to understand that the remedy for all of this was to dive head-first into their relationship with God. He knew that they were capable of turning things around and he knew they were capable of growing in their faith.

He knew that if they would start really listening to what God was teaching them, they would grow. That if they would start putting what they had learned into practice so they wouldn't forget and have to relearn it all, they would grow. He knew that if they would seek to be knowledgeable of God's word, they would sharpen their powers of discernment, and they would grow.

He wasn't giving this warning in a rude way. He was giving this warning out of a deep love for his brothers and sisters in Christ. He was reminding them that Jesus is better, and they shouldn't settle for anything less. And he was reminding them that they need to keep growing.

Are you growing in your faith? Here are 4 things that can keep you from growing in your faith. Do any of these sound like you?

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