How Meat Eaters Live

5:13-14–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.

In these verses our writer further distinguishes those who live on milk from those who digest solid food in relation to their ability to handle properly the Word of God which he calls “the word of righteousness.” I understand the “word of righteousness” to mean that revelation of the divine will that defines for us what righteousness is and instructs and motivates us to walk in righteous paths.

It seems the immature are always in crisis; always running from one counselor to another, searching for answers in the latest self-help book, but always confused about what they should believe and how they should act. Often the reason they fail to discover the proper path is they have been shown the proper paths before but each time rejected them. Thus, they have developed patterns of behavior that have incapacitated them for right thinking and acting. Thus, they are unskillful in the word of righteousness.

The mature, on the other hand, know the paths of right thinking and acting without having to scurry about frantically searching for a Bible verse to fit their latest crisis. Their powers of discernment have been trained by constant practice. They have practiced obeying the Word of God so consistently that knowledge of the right paths and willingness to follow them has almost become second nature to them.

Years ago when I was in Seminary a young Oriental woman who was studying in the same Seminary approached me one Friday morning and suggested that since we both lived in the same general neighborhood and both lived quite a distance from the Seminary we might want to consider car-pooling. I agreed and we decided she would pick me up at my apartment the following Monday morning. As I was fastening my seatbelt, she announced to me that she and her husband had purchased the car she was driving and she had spent the entire weekend learning to drive the five speed transmission vehicle. Mind you we were making our way toward the seminary at the peak of rush hour traffic, through a northern suburb of Washington, D.C. I noticed that every time she needed to change gears, she would take her eyes off the road and look at the shift knob to be sure she was moving it to the right position. I was relieved when we reached the belt-way and she didn’t need to shift anymore. She did quite well until we reached our exit. Traveling at the rate of about 65 miles per hour, she depressed the clutch but did not gear down or gently use the break to decrease our speed. Then suddenly, realizing that we were traveling much too fast to make the curve, she released the clutch pedal and slammed on the break. This sent us into a spin. In the kind Providence of God we were able to avoid crashing into either another vehicle or the guardrail, and I volunteered to do all the driving for the rest of the semester.

I suspect she became a fine driver after several additional months of practice. All she needed was to be trained by constant practice so that her responses to emergent situations would come naturally. I seldom if ever look at the gear shift knob or think about when to change from one gear to another or when to depress the clutch pedal. Why? Because I have been driving for many more years than I like to admit, and driving has become second nature to me.

This is the way mature believers live the Christian life. When we find ourselves careening into the slippery curves of life, we should not have to run to find our Bibles and frantically search for verses that tell us what to do and how to act in our crisis situation. We should be so accustomed to living according to the word of righteousness that discerning between good and evil is second nature to us.

The above is an except from a Commentary on Hebrews I have been writing. I eventually hope to publish it online on Kindle Books or in a similar venue. If any of you or any of your acquaintances can give me any instruction re: formatting for ebooks from Word, I would great appreciate your help.

3 Responses to “How Meat Eaters Live”

  1. June 21, 2013 at 10:17 am

    I like that analogy, but I have no experience with publishing anything.

  2. June 21, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Excellent work – the second and third paragraphs are exceptional.

    Jon Cardwell knows digital publishing and, I think, would be willing to help you: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=50614573&locale=en_US&trk=tyah

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