By Leonard Lauriault : QCS columnist
I like milk, even occasionally for slaking thirst after a workout. Although my daughters don’t care for milk as much as I do, they have a special talent. From a very early age, they were the first to know there was going to be a problem with the milk. This usually is an early sensing of the “blinky” off-flavor that comes right before milk sours. They also can tell if the milk has been frozen or if it has more fat than the skim milk we normally drink. Often, when they taste an off-flavor that’s not harmful, they’re told to add chocolate flavoring to the milk.
Peter tells Christians to view God’s word similarly to milk (1 Peter 2: 2, 3).
First, we’re to crave the word like milk so we can grow. This doesn’t mean one should slog down the whole gallon at once. Rather, we’re to consume it so that we can grow (Matthew 6: 11; Acts 17: 11; 2 Corinthians 4: 16), beginning with the basics of what makes one a newborn Christian and moving on from there (Hebrews 6: 1-3; Philippians 2: 11, 12; 3: 15, 16). Growth comes as the craving is satisfied (Hebrews 5: 11, 12), which also causes the craving to increase. The more we learn about the love God has for us, the more we’ll want to learn how to please him (Hebrews 11: 6).
We’re to crave the whole milk of the word (2 Timothy 3: 16, 17). Unlike the skim milk I drink, we’re not to remove or overlook anything in the Bible we consider undesirable. And the milk is to be pure; we’re not to add any flavoring to cover up the truth (2 Timothy 4: 1-5; Revelation 22: 18, 19). God sent the truth to us to demonstrate his love because that was the only way we could be saved (John 14: 6; 3: 16; Romans 5: 8). None of us can grow like we should without the truth. Sometimes it hurts, but we don’t show love for others if we don’t gently tell them the whole truth (Ephesians 4: 14, 15, 25, 29; 2 Timothy 2: 24-26; Acts 28: 26, 27).
Finally, milk substitutes are not acceptable. To revise an old saying, “If God wanted us to get milk from soybeans, soybean plants would have udders.” The fact is, milk does come from soybeans (and New Mexico’s No. 1 cash crop — alfalfa), but first it has to go through an animal God has designed for that purpose. Actually, our ability to synthesize milk from soybeans is an example of the wise use of our God-given responsibility to exercise dominion over his creation, but soymilk isn’t real milk. God never gave man dominion over the real, pure milk of his word. We’re to just do what it says without changing, adding to, taking away from or replacing it (Luke 6: 46-49).
Whenever we’re presented with anything other than the pure whole milk of God’s word, like writings and teachings of other religions, other testaments of Jesus Christ, and even this article, we need to remember that it’s from men rather than God. We’re to filter it through God’s word, practicing the principles of 1 John 4: 1 and 1 Thessalonians 5: 21, 22 (Test everything. Keep the good — whatever is consistent with God’s word — and throw out the bad). This is the only way to keep from ingesting spoiled milk and souring ourselves (Matthew 15: 15-20; Psalm 119: 11).
Did you look up all the verses quoted in this article to make sure they’ve been correctly used (2 Timothy 2: 15)?
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at 461-4421.