The Stunted Christian

Hebrews 5:11-6:12

Babies are cute. They are sweet. They are helpless. Perhaps God made them that way so that we would take care of them even though at times they are a bit of a chore to take care of.

While it is incredibly amazing to watch a child develop and grow. It is very painful for a parent to watch their child grow and realize that they are not growing and developing as they should.

Time does not bring maturity automatically in the Christian life. Are you still as you were when you became a Christian, or are you growing and becoming more mature?

What does it mean to be “stunted?” Someone who is no longer growing and maturing as they should. It is someone who has been born again, they are walking with Christ, but have not grown and matured as they should have.

The Characteristics

  • Someone who is a stunted Christian tends to have a faulty connection between the ear (hearing) and the heart. There is nothing wrong with the ear or the heart, but the connection isn’t being made. There is a hearing disconnect. Luke 8:11-18 – Jesus is saying “listen up.” It is very important to listen all the way down to the heart, whether we are at church, in our private devotions or any other place where God is speaking to us.

  • The stunted Christian is someone who isn’t able to teach. It isn’t that they can’t teach, its a lack of interest in the spiritual things. Colossians 3:16 – meditate not he word, take it in. Is the word interesting to you? A sign of maturity in the Christian life is when they take off their bib and put on an apron.

  • There is nothing wrong with milk. It’s nutritious, it is incredibly helpful for growth. It is what is done with the milk that is important. The poor use of milk marks the life of the stunted Christian. You have to start as a child with a good use of milk. How else will you get to a point that you can eat more solid food? This shows up with disobedience, lack of self control, etc. Learn to develop a craving for the pure, spiritual milk that is available through the Word.

  • The stunted Christian is constantly building a foundation. They always want to lay the same foundation over and over again. Instead of being interested in building upon the foundation. Conversion, for instance, is very foundational. Build upon that! Don’t stay there!

The Consequences

What is wrong with being a stunted Christian? Look at yourself and ask yourself if you are a stunted Christian.

  • With a stagnation of growth there is a very real danger of apostasy. A stunted Christian has tasted and experienced the word and power of God. This is for Christians, not non Christians. Christians can and do fall away.

  • The prognosis for recovery isn’t very good. The stunted Christian is continually fiddling around in his “garden.”

  • 2 Peter 2:17-22 – The message here isn’t to scare you, rather it is to encourage you to continue to grow. We need to look at the fruits in our lives. Are we growing in our walk with Christ?

The Cure

The cure is the opposite of all of the characteristics of the stunted Christian.

  • Listen all the way to the heart.
  • Be willing to teach.
  • Move on from the milk.
  • Build on the foundations of faith. Don’t simply rebuild the foundation.
  1. God is faithful.
  2. Be diligent. Don’t be content to sit in the same place.
  3. God has given us great examples to follow. We should imitate these great men and women of faith.

The Christian life is serious. We all know that, but the challenge here is to really think about that. God wants us to grow up in maturity. Do we have any of these characteristics of a stunted Christian?