When I was a little girl, I remember someone telling a story about a person getting into their car while holding a baby on their hip. As they fumbled around with their keys to unlock the car door, the baby saw a big pile of bird poop on the roof of the car and reached out and grabbed it. Thankfully, the parent noticed the fistful of poop as it was on its way to the baby’s mouth and managed to keep the child from cramming its mouth full of bird doo doo. Although the parent was horrified at what the baby did, they didn’t reprimand the child because it was too young to understand what it had done was wrong.
Now imagine this same child being seven or eight years old, reaching out to grab the pile of bird poop from the top of the car and shoving it into their mouth. The child is old enough to know better, yet chooses to do it anyway. In both cases, eating the bird poop is wrong and shouldn’t be done. Yet in the first case, the child is given mercy because it is just a baby. It is incapable of understanding that what it is doing is wrong. But in the second case, more is expected of the child because the child should know better.
This illustrates where many of God’s people are in their spiritual development in these end days. We are old enough to know better, yet we choose to do what God clearly instructs us not to. I tolerate my one year-old pooping on herself in her diaper because that is normal at her age and development. I would not be so tolerant of cleaning up such a mess from my nine or eleven year-old. Because God is perfect in mercy, He is merciful on the ignorant and He is longsuffering on those who are doing their best to move forward in spiritual maturity. He gives us room for mistakes. However, God makes no wiggle room for outright rebellion. When we know better, He expects us to do better. When we consume the things of this world more than we consume Christ and His word, we may as well be eating bird poop.
“..it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 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. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to 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 discern good and evil.” (Heb 5:11-14)
“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly–mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly..” (1 Cor 3:1-3)
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal…I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats this bread he will live forever;” (John 6:27,51)