Where’s The Beef? Assessing Your Spiritual Growth

A friend introduced me to Burger Fi. I love their grass-fed cheeseburgers. I’d clobber my husband if he promised to bring me one and showed up with a carton of milk. Oops, that attitude kept the church in Corinth on milk and hindered their spiritual growth.

Paul wanted to serve the Corinthians filet mignon, but they could handle only milk. Their quarreling and jealousy showed their lack of maturity and inability to digest deeper truths.

And I, brothers and sisters, could not speak to you as spiritual people, but only as fleshly, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to consume it. But even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like ordinary people?” (1 Cor. 3:1-1 NASB).

God has given believers His own Spirit “so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us” (1 Cor. 2:12 NLT). Those who walk by the Spirit have access to the mind of Christ. But those who continue to live powered by the flesh (old nature) can’t understand the things of God.

Steak would have been wasted on this church. They had no spiritual teeth.

Steak would have been wasted on this church. They had no spiritual teeth. #SpiritualGrowth #HolySpirit Share on X

Infants or Teachers?

This group of believers argued over worldly matters. (Of course, that never happens in our homes and churches.) Their worldly mindset effectively shut down their ability to receive deeper spiritual truths. Unfortunately, they weren’t an isolated case.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the actual words of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to distinguish between good and evil” (Heb. 5:12-14 NASB).

Adults who live off only milk end up weak and malnourished and unable to feed others. Thankfully, God has provided a better way.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16 NASB).

Sadly, the flesh didn’t lay down and die when we became Christians. It continues to crave the worldly cotton candy that hinders spiritual growth. We must consider ourselves “dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus”(Rom. 6:11 NLT). Only the Holy Spirit provides the power to overcome the strong drive of the flesh.

It’s time to add solid food to the menu. Let’s shed our worldly mindset and fleshy impulses and live each moment filled with God’s Holy Spirit so we can receive all God has for us and be all He intended.

For “all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God” (1 Cor. 3:22-23 NASB).

New Book Release!

Speaking of beef, my friend DiAnn Mills’ new book Concrete Evidence, which is set on a cattle ranch, releases today! I’m more than half way through my pre-release copy and am loving it. Horses, murder, secrets, and romance. Click here to learn more.

Comment here.


Debbie Wilson

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This doesn’t add any cost to the purchase.

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Photo by Lucy Wolski on Unsplash

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  1. Beth

    Your title grabbed my attention and immediately brought back the memory of the little old woman in the commercial peering between the burger bun and hollering “Where’s the beef?” All that to say, I’m relating more and more to that woman as I stand in church on Sunday morning singing the “latest” worship song and wondering “where’s the beef?” On the surface the songs sound good, aren’t theologically off base, they just lack any sustaining meat. You said it so well- “Sadly, the flesh didn’t lay down and die when we became Christians. It continues to crave the worldly cotton candy that hinders spiritual growth.”

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, Beth, my title came from the same memory. 🙂 And I have made similar observations.

  2. Wemi Omotosho

    I liked the humor woven through your post 🙂 “Their worldly mindset effectively shut down their ability to receive deeper spiritual truths” – caught my attention, I pray for the grace to live by the Holy Spirit and shed the worldly mindset

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Wemi! It is easy to be distracted by the world and miss the real riches we have in Christ.

  3. Anita Ojeda

    As a more mature Christian, I struggle with judging everyone else by the ‘meals’ I eat. Newbie Christians need mentoring and discipleship, not judgment!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Good observation. There is a time for milk.

  4. J.D. Wininger

    Great question to ask today in many of our “modern” churches. Here in cattle country, we have an expression that fits quite nicely with your message. “They’re all hat and no cattle!” Oh, the church looks the part. They have a great floor show before the preaching starts, but when you start listening to the message, and holding it up to the light of God’s Word, you quickly realize it is apostate and is meant to satisfy “itching ears” and not yearning hearts. Well-timed, much-needed message Ms. Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      “They’re all hat and no cattle!” What a great visual! Lord Jesus, give us ears to hear and hearts to obey. May we be the real deal.

  5. Nancy E. Head

    I love this message. May we grow to shine light and serve in a unified community of believers. Thanks, Debbie. God bless!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen, Nancy!

  6. Jeanne Takenaka

    Debbie, as someone else mentioned, as soon as I read your title, I thought of that old Wendy’s commercial. 🙂 But, your lead into the truths that to enjoy beef, we must have teeth—spiritual depth—is so true. And our flesh won’t just roll over and play dead when we become Christians. I guess that’s part of the training that grows our depth in the Lord so we can handle the meat of the Word.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I think you’re right, Jeanne. Part of what we must practice!

  7. Ann Musico

    What a great reminder to make sure we are truly consuming the healthiest diet spiritually and in order to move from milk to meat we must have the Holy Spirit guiding us. Thank you Debbie

    • Debbie Wilson

      Healthy diet is right down your alley! Thanks, Ann.

  8. Joanne Viola

    Your post made me realize how much we must pray for discernment. We need discernment as we grow so that we continue to take in what will nourish our souls. Otherwise we will take in what will lead to our detriment. Timely reminder!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Great application, Joanne. Yes, we need discernment more than ever!

  9. Yvonne Morgan

    A great message Debbie. It can be a struggle as we discern where we are in our faith walk and easy to convince ourselves we know more than we do. I pray for God’s guidance to help me.

    • Debbie Wilson

      May we all practice what we know and continue to grow in grace. Thanks, Yvonne.

  10. Katherine Pasour

    You are absolutely right, Debbie, “the flesh didn’t disappear when we became Christians.” That’s a battle I fight on a daily basis. I’m so thankful our Father is faithful and the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf when we need to zap the flesh and seek God’s will. Thank you, for sharing this thought-provoking message.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Katherine, what a great day it will be when we no longer have to battle the flesh!

  11. Donna B Reidland

    Yes, as has been said, babies do need milk. The problem is when we stay there instead of digging down into the Word for ourselves, being willing to listen to preaching that doesn’t just make us feel good, and taking the Word we do hear to heart. I love the Hebrews passage you quoted because it reminds us that we must be doers of the Word if we really want to grow (But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to distinguish between good and evil). Being hearers only stunts our growth.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Donna, I know you are one who studies and applies God’s word. How blessed we are to have access to so many translations.

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