I worked at Hurley Medical Center, a city hospital, for many years and one of the top medical diagnoses billed for children was a condition called FTT (failure to thrive). Failure to thrive refers to children whose current weight or rate of weight gain is significantly lower than that of other children of similar age and gender.
Treatment depends on the cause of the delayed growth and development and there are many possible causes. But the immediate cause is inadequate nutrition due to an underlying etiology.
Failure to thrive is a rather controversial term because it tends to define a set of symptoms that are not diagnostic. Some experts prefer to use more specific definitions, such as undernourishment, growth failure, or growth deficiency.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems there is a failure to thrive epidemic among today’s Christians. We do everything possible to feed our physical needs but are content to be malnourished and deficient in our spiritual growth.
When we fail to increase our intake of God’s Word and ingest all the nutrients it contains to sustain us, we stunt our Christian growth. And just like in the medical profession, there are a number of causes for our inadequate spiritual nutrition, but the immediate cause is SELF.
“There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
2 Timothy 3:1-5
Our inability to thrive spiritually is because we are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. We profess our faith, but it’s only on the surface. If you are a Christian and continue to remain undernourished in your Christian faith, then it’s time to evaluate the intake of your spiritual calories.
Study God’s Word, take time to pray and serve God. They are the spiritual feeding tubes that nourish the soul and cause us to thrive.