For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food.
Apostle Paul had wanted to share some spiritual depths with some Christians when he recalled that they could not receive it. In other passage of the scriptures, those with little spiritual knowledge were encouraged to desire the milk of the Word. But for this group, it was different. Paul did not encourage them to go for milk. He rebuked them for needing milk. They had heard the truth preached so many times that he expected them to be at a higher level. They were supposed to be at the level of teachers, yet they were still very much at the level of students (kindergarten pupils to be precise). Over the years, they had not increased their capability, and Paul was not pleased with that.
In the same vein, concerning our work or assignment, we make a concerted effort to grow. No matter how brilliant a student was in his primary school, if he does not increase his capability, he would be ranked as one of the dullest in his secondary school. Just as an A-student in primary school cannot compare to a C-student in the university, even so being the best or producing excellent jobs at a certain level would do us no good over time. We must continually build our capability.
We must learn new skills or at least new/better ways of doing the same things. We must not be static, no matter how beautiful the concerned level is. We keep moving from glory to glory.
Remaining static is a misnomer in the Kingdom, and it is unacceptable.
In the parable of the talent, the servant who hid his talent did not get commended for keeping it safe. His master expected him to have made some profit (increase).
We find a valuable lesson in Joseph's life. Every job is an opportunity for capacity building. Joseph first oversaw Potiphar’s estate, then the prison, before becoming the second-in-command in Egypt. With each stage, he had more responsibility and training than he did in the previous one. Thus, we must take each task as a training or capacity building process and be poised to learn as much as possible.
In our scripture of focus, Paul expected the people to have grown because of how much they have learnt. Thus, we see that seeking knowledge and actively learning new things is the key to growth. While learning on the job (or learning by experience) may offer some results, we cannot leave our learning experience to chance. We must have a well-detailed plan for our pursuit of knowledge, learning and capacity-building.
A hands-on approach to growth requires that we take out time periodically to actively search for knowledge/information on better ways to get our job done and to acquire new skills.
Refuse to be stagnant. Commit to endless capacity-building!
Proverbs 10: 14 The wise accumulate knowledge—a true treasure; know-it-alls talk too much—a sheer waste. (MSG)