By Dean Lusk
"So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding
. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God." (Hebrews 6:1, NLT
I can't remember how I did it, but I cut my left pointer finger a couple of days ago. It wasn't a poke or a gouge, but it was one of those cuts where there's a small flap of skin left; just deep enough to sting. I kept bumping my little wound or scraping it against things, getting dirt in it, etc. Eventually I decided to put a Band-Aid on it so it wouldn't get irritated as I went on with business as usual. I planned to leave it on for a couple of hours, or until I went to bed at the most.
A few minutes ago -- two days after I'd put it on -- I realized that the bandage was still on my finger. I also noticed that the small pad that's supposed to rest on top of the injured area had rotated around, and now the sticky part (or, I should say, the part that was sticky at one time but was now slimy) was resting on top of the cut.
I'd been swimming with the bandage, washing my hands, etc. I didn't have to peel it off; it just slid off. My finger had a little band of skin that looked like a cross between a cave cricket (pale white and kinda gross-looking) and a prune. And my cut had not healed. It was just soggy. (That sounds nasty.)
The Band-Aid served a purpose. It kept me from getting debris in the cut and if I brushed my hand against something, it would basically take the "impact" and not let the cut tear or get any bigger. But leaving it on for too long had some side-effects that, rather than healing, kept the wound closer to its original state than if I had't used a bandage at all.
Like the believers the author of Hebrews was talking to, we need to continue growing and move past our foundational understanding of what it means to follow Jesus Christ. He says in chapter five, "You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others
. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word." (5:12a, NLT
) As we read on in chapter six, he elaborates and says that this kind of extended spiritual immaturity can lead to turning away. (After he's explained that they need to move on from simply understanding the basics, he continues the point in verse four
, talking about potential consequences
of remaining immature, beginning with the word "for," meaning "because," or assigning a reason
to the things he's just mentioned.)
It's just dawned on me that I don't have a closing thought. Why don't you write a concluding paragraph for me in the comments?