1 Peter 2:2 – As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Ezekiel 17:22 – Thus saith the Lord God; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent:
It is not the best way to fall foul presently with young beginners for some lesser vanities, but show them a more excellent way, and breed them up in positive grounds, and other things will be quickly out of credit with them. It is not amiss to conceal their wants, and to excuse some failings, to commend their performances, to cherish their towardness, to remove all rubs out of their way, to help them every way to bear the yoke of religion with greater ease, to bring them in love with God and his service, lest they distaste it before they know it.
Richard Sibbes – “The Bruised Reed”
Young plants and young Chrisitians are a lot alike. Young plants are often grown in greenhouses where conditions are strictly controlled and the plants have a much better chance of survival. A young plant needs to start growing in the best of condition. A storm or draught is too much for them to bear at such a young age. Young plants also need extra nutrients, plenty of water, good potting soil, warm conditions throughout the winter, lots of sunshine and plenty of room to grow. They need to be free of weeds too. They need the help of the gardeners hand. The bottom line is the young plant should not need to do much for itself.
Like a young plant, a young Christian is often doing good just to drink milk. God gets the young twig growing and he needs good preaching, good exhortation, encouragement, and basic instruction. They are growing but only with a lot of help. Getting on their case about every little sin or lack of conviction in their life is not good. You need to be positive with them at times. You need to encourage them in what they are doing right.
There is nothing wrong with excusing the failings of others as they grow and commend them as they come and go. The new yoke they took on them is easy but may be hard to get used to when you had no yoke at all. Make it easier for them rather than harder. Eventually they will get it once the love of God starts to take root in their heart. They just have to get a taste for it. Make sure that you are not the cause of them falling out by the way because of a critical, self-righteous spirit. Can you be a Gardner for the Lord and help some young plant grow in the Lord today.