I watched Yo Gabba Gabba last night for the first time and it was awesome.
Mind you, I wasn’t really hanging out with any of Yo Gabba Gabba’s intended audience. I was with my wife, my sister, her husband and my father. My niece was there as well, but as she’s only 8 months we couldn’t really say that we were watching it for her.
I thought Yo Gabba Gabba was thoroughly entertaining. I liked all the dancing, singing and general wackiness. I know that the show is made for children much younger than me, but I could have easily watched all the monsters sing more songs about not biting your friends.
The show is made for people younger and less mature than me, but I still got something out of it. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same thing about our spiritual development.
In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul writes this:
Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
Paul was writing to the church in Corinth because of a dispute that had risen within it. Factions had formed and the conflict was tearing the church apart. Much to Paul’s dismay, in his absence, the church hadn’t grown beyond its infancy in Christ. When Paul had first interacted with the Corinthians he had spoken to them like infants, giving them spiritual milk instead of solid food. And instead of progressing, instead of needing something more, the Corinthians had yet to be weaned off the spiritual milk.
Everyone who follows Jesus goes through their infancy. For me, growing up in a church home, my infancy in Christ paralleled my actual infancy. For others, who come to Jesus later in life, their infancy might happen in adolescence, college or when they have infants of their own. We all have a starting place with Jesus and, in that place, we need spiritual milk.
We need to learn the basics, the aspects of Christianity which will provide a solid foundation for continued growth.
Once the Holy Spirit has laid that foundation in our lives, we’re then ready to move on to more solid food as we live our lives for Jesus. Unfortunately, the Corinthians never got to that point; they never got beyond spiritual milk. Perhaps there were opportunities to grow and ingest more solid food, but they just never took them; they couldn’t put the bottle down.
Just like Yo Gabba Gabba isn’t going to expand our intellectual boundaries, at a certain point, spiritual milk will no longer feed our souls. To experience the full life which Jesus offers us, we need to begin with spiritual milk but soon move on to more solid food. What was enough to sustain us in our infancy with Christ shouldn’t be enough as we grow with him.
Too often I’ve heard Christians complain that a church was no longer feeding them, that they weren’t getting anything out of the worship services and their spiritual growth was stunted. At some point in our lives with Jesus, though, we need to stop depending on others to feed us and start feeding ourselves. Obviously we do that in community and gather together for corporate worship, but if we’re no longer spiritual infants then we shouldn’t expect to get treated like babies.
I loved Yo Gabba Gabba but I know it’s not going to push any of my intellectual or cultural limits. I loved flannel graph Bible stories but I know they’re not going to stimulate my spiritual growth like they once did. We all need to start with spiritual milk, but if we really want to grow and make an impact for Jesus, we need to eventually move on to something a little more solid.
What solider spiritual foods have you found feeding your spiritual growth?