“Why don’t you let the bird go?” The little boy asked. It was Animal day at the North Carolina plantation that my wife and I visited over the weekend. Work horses, cows, goats and this little bird were on display. The woman asked the little boy “Can you hear the bird chirping?” She explained that even though the bird was full grown it chirped like a baby bird. “It’s a baby bird in an Adult body.”
The writer to the Hebrews says, “for someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what’s right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:13-14)
What does your spiritual diet consist of? If we’re still feeding on milk, there’s a good chance we’re an adult baby.
When we hold onto bitterness, the inability to forgive, being codependent with our spouse, or the desire to control, we may be an adult baby. When success in life is viewed through the lens of bank accounts, position, or “likes” on social media, we may be an adult baby.
When maturity is seen as the embracing of an evangelical or religious ideology, we may be an adult baby.
James Fowler did a large body research and writing on the stages of faith development. He writes this about the teenage stage of development:
At this point their life has grown to include several different social circles and there is a need to pull it all together. When this happens a person usually adopts some sort of all-encompassing belief system. However, at this stage people have a hard time seeing outside of their box and don’t recognize they are “inside” a belief system. At this stage authority is usually placed in individuals or groups that represents one’s beliefs.”
Fowler goes on to say that many people never leave this stage of development. Life simply becomes about preserving a belief system instead of loving, serving others, and transformation, for the purpose of expanding the kingdom of God. They live forever as adult babies.
What does your spiritual diet consist of? Solid Food? Milk? Are you able to do the difficult work of the kingdom each day or do we complain when we don’t get our way? Are we looking to be a blessing or to be blessed? Is there more of a hunger to worship or to be well thought of by others.
The answer to that little boy’s question was heartbreaking. The woman could never let the bird go. The bird could never soar as it was intended. He was going to live his life out as an adult baby.
There’s a reason why this happens to many believers. Let’s talk about it tomorrow. Have a fantastic day you’re in my prayers.
PS. Click HERE to see James Fowler’s stages of faith.