Traveling through Florida,especially closer to the Georgia border, a common site is Spanish moss gracefully draped among the branches of trees. It looks like beautiful greyish-green lace hanging from the bows of the trees. It is commonly seen on oak and cypress trees, but will hang from palm trees and power lines. My hubby and I wondered if it was a parasite feeding off the trees or if there was a symbiotic relationship between the tree and the moss, but we found out neither was the case. It's actually an air plant that extracts water the air and uses the sunlight it is able to access from the branches of the trees. Although it doesn't harm the trees by taking nutrients away, it does stunt the growth of the magnificent trees that act as host.The abundance and density of Spanish moss blocks some of the sunlight trees it's leaves need for photosynthesis.It can also weight the branches down, breaking weak limbs. In a hurricane, it can cause devastation as it catches the air turbulence forcing the tree to the ground. Sometimes people choose to remove it from their trees because they deem it to be a nuisance. Although not harmful nor helpful, it creates an obstacle for the trees' growth.
Both the Corinthian believers and the Christians addressed in Hebrews had some problems. They struggled to live out their Christian faith with maturity.The Corinthian church quarreled and squabbled. Paul sounds like a parent asking 10 year old kids if they want to be treated like babies as their behavior indicated! He must have been discouraged because he spent quite a bit of time and attention teaching them God's word. After leaving them for a while, he thought they should have grown more in their faith being evident in their actions.
The believers in the book of Hebrews had become complacent in the face of persecution. The writer of Hebrews said they don't even try to understand anymore. Worry and struggles made them question their faith. Some had strayed from meeting together as a church. Fear crowded out their desire to understand more. This stunted their spiritual growth affecting the life of their church.
Why were Christians in need of the milk of God's word again instead of more solid, mature teaching? Neither group focused their attention to try understand God's word nor did they behave like they belonged to the Lord. They weighted down their churches taking in only what they wanted while adding no value. This was causing difficulty for the Church.
Christians are no different today. A number of believers occupy space in the auditorium of the church. They glean what they wish from the worship service. If they attend Bible study, they drag down the discussions because they really don't care to know more about what the Bible says. Some become CEO-Christians-- they only attend on Christmas,
Easter, and other special occasions- yet expect the church to bow to
their wishes.Those who do live out what they learn from the Bible are a small army carrying on the ministry of the church. They do so as if bearing the heavy weight those who choose to not grow in their faith. When there are too many immature Christians in a church, their behavior and attitudes can wreck the church weathering a storm. Although they don't suck the life out of the church body, they do nothing to contribute to it's life and ministry. Instead they weight it down. Let us grow in our walk with the Lord gaining greater maturity in our faith. Our behavior will show by how we support the life and ministry of our churches.
May the Lord bless you!