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We generally don’t complain when things are done for us. And certainly part of the beauty of community life is that we don’t have to know and do everything ourselves. All the same, the path of maturity requires us to exercise our senses, which means we must actively use them and not grow lazy deferring everything to others.

To be sure, a baby doesn’t yet have the dental strength to eat steak. But he must be introduced to increasingly solid food to eventually gain this strength. And his diet will remain immature if all he’s given is milk. The same is true for us. 

In much of life we expect to now simply be entertained with soundbites and messages that make us feel good. This is milk and it all many of us can truly digest. Things that are difficult to understand, challenge the status quo, or offend our delicate sensitivities are quickly dismissed. While some of this is done with a sincere heart of compassion, we’re left immature and weak when we don’t exercise our senses by engaging in hard things.

For instance, this might be reviewing original sources on a topic rather than relying merely on popular commentaires, practicing truly listening to someone we disagree with, or wrestling through why a particular issue or comment is so offensive to us. 

To be clear, this is not shifting from an uncritical dismissal of hard things to a passive acceptance of everything new. It’s discernment. And we must be trained through difficult matters to recognize the difference between true good and evil, as looks are often deceiving.

In the end, freely receive the gifts of others, but grow in maturity by exercising yourself with hard things. This gives you the strength needed to make an impact for good. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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