Spiritual Lessons From A Defunct HP Scanner
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” – Hebrews 5:12
Years ago, I purchased an HP scanner. Over time, Sarah and I had gradually collected shoeboxes full of old family photos and we wanted to scan them into our computer to preserve them in a digital format. When I got home from the store, I quickly went into the house with my new toy and began haphazardly setting it up. In my hastiness, I never really took the time to read the instructions. I wish I had; for this scanner was more than just a scanner. It also offered features such as printing and copying. But out a blinding arrogance, I suppose I felt that I had the machine all figured out before it had even been taken out of the box. Honestly, I’m not even sure what happened to the instructions. They probably ended up in the trash amidst the empty box, the styrofoam inserts, and the endless bubble wrap. The scanner lasted about 3 years. Through its entire lifespan, I never really did learn how to use it properly. I figured out the scanning, but I never took the time out to learn how to make a copy or to use it as a printer.
You might be asking, “What’s the point?” My point is simply this; I never used the machine to its fullest potential. I was simply using one of its many features. I was limited on my knowledge about it because I never read the instruction manual. May I suggest to you that the Word of God can be seen in the same light? The Bible is God’s “instruction manual” to His children. We are to read it with eagerness and anticipation so that we can be used for the glory of God to our fullest potential; for doing so will help us grow spiritually and help us progressively move past the elementary truths and embrace the deeper truths of the Christian faith. Allow me to illustrate; it would be a sad thing for a five year old child to be still sucking out of a bottle only because he had never graduated to solid food. Yet this accurately depicts the spiritual maturity of many born again believers. They are spiritual infants sipping on milk, and have not progressed towards the more solid meats found on the buffet of God’s Word. Such malnutrition should not surprise us; for nothing is new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Even the author of Hebrews addressed a similar problem to the early Christians in our text above. Time had taken its course in the life of the early church, and yet there was still a plethora of believers that were not developing spiritually as they ought to have been. He lovingly confronts them with his convicting illustration about the milk and the meat.
Many Christians respond to the Bible like I did the HP scanner. They are satisfied with a limited amount of knowledge simply to “get by” or “get out” of it what they want. They confine their spiritual potential by sipping on spiritual milk through the straw of lethargy, and have yet to pick up the fork of maturity to feed upon the meat offered by God on the banqueting table of the Bible. You may feel that you can’t afford to give up time out of your busy schedule to thoroughly feast upon the Bible. But in reality, you can’t afford not to. Remember, I didn’t see the value in taking the time to read the scanner’s instructions, and sadly it was never used to its fullest potential. Don’t let that be the story of your life. Know this; if you take the time out to daily read God’s Word, you will joyously find that it provides a wellspring of wisdom about living out the Christian faith. Oh and by the way; the next time you buy something that comes with instructions, take the time out to read them.
– Michael E