One of my favorite things in the ministry is discipleship but it is also one of the most frustrating. Why? Because I lack patience. Inevitably, we want to see the person we are discipling grow at a much faster rate than he/she is actually growing. We want to see great strides instead of baby steps. But one quick trip down “memory lane” will remind us that we didn’t take great strides either but rather that God worked patiently in us. Even when we fell or reluctantly took the next step, God was patient and continually guided us.
Even though this is true, I find it easy to forget my own “baby steps” and grow inpatient when others I am working with aren’t growing in their Christian walk by leaps and bounds. There is a time for babies to drink milk and a time for them to grow into eating more solid foods and the same thing is true for new Christians. We cannot expect them to be “dining on spiritual steak” any more than we can expect a newborn to be “gumming a T-bone”. As the father of an 8 month old girl, I know that it takes time for this baby to learn to crawl, walk, talk, etc. There is definitely a time for babies to “leave the milk” and move on to “solid foods”, but it takes time. The same is true with new Christians. We must have patience.