Having a young daughter helps me understand Hebrews 5:12. God’s word can be considered spiritual food. We need the word to live the life that God has for us. Ignoring His word leaves us starving for His truth.
Much like my daughter learned to drink milk first, there are first principles of God’s word that are key to obtaining spiritual maturity. As my daughter learned to drink milk, she also matured as she learned to eat solid foods – which is not a quick process. She must learn how to chew, use her tongue, swallow and use hand-eye coordination. These are all basic principles of eating.
Hebrews describes spiritual maturity as having the reason to be able to discern both good and evil. Can we recognize God’s righteousness? Knowing the basic principles of God gives us the building blocks for spiritual maturity – being able to think on our own two feet and discern good from evil. I believe that people have a responsibility to learn and to teach others so that spiritual maturity can be passed on from one generation, or one person, to another.
Going back to the hardened heart, our aim must be that we do not become “dull of hearing”, as Hebrews says. For this does not allow spiritual maturity.
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:12-14