“Growth requires putting what we’re learning into practice. If every time you hear God’s Word you apply it—in your marriage, your children, or your life—you’ll grow.”
Have you had times in your life when you experienced huge growth in your relationship with God? You were like a sponge, absorbing everything. But many of us have also faced seasons where we feel stuck. It is not God’s desire that anybody should be stagnant.
In Hebrews 5:11–14 the writer addresses believers in that uncomfortable place. Their ability to learn had taken a step backward: “It is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time, you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.” These individuals weren’t necessarily backslidden, but they weren’t making progress. And God wants all of us to grow!
To grow in faith requires ”constant use” of what we’re learning (v. 14). If you don’t use it, you lose it. When I was 16, I got a job at a hotel in southern France. Submerged in a new language and culture, I began to learn to speak and understand French. But recently, I went back to that same location. And what I discovered is that the basics of French that I thought I knew so well, were no longer familiar to me. It was rusty from lack of use. Growth requires putting what we’re learning into practice. If every time you hear God’s Word you apply it—in your marriage, your children, or your life—you’ll grow.
But Jesus wanted His disciples to do even more, to go and become teachers themselves. He told them, “Come, follow me . . . and I will send you out to fish for people” (Matt. 4:19) and then He commanded them to “go and make disciples” (Matt. 28:19). When we teach others, we stretch and grow.
There is a diagram used in education that explains the best ways people learn. At the very lowest point of the Learning Pyramid is the lecture. When you sit through a lecture, you only retain about 5 percent of the information. The most successful ways to learn are: “practice by doing” (75 percent) and “teaching others” (90 percent). God does not want any of us to stay in the same place. He wants all of us to learn, using what we’re taught and teaching others to follow Him.