Be Like Children
Every day my son and I sit in the parking lot of my daughter’s school waiting for afternoon dismissal. While I would love to spend this 25-30 minutes each day reading, my son loves to talk, as children do, and sometimes I can let this get to me and I end up choosing a bad attitude. I focus on what I want to do instead of listening to my son, and it was during one of these bad choices of mine, on a particularly cloudy and cold day, that my son looked out of the window, pointed up to the sky and said, “Look, it’s God’s sunlight.”
It was just what I needed to hear. Instead of focusing on what I wanted to do and choosing a bad attitude, I needed to look to the sky and appreciate God’s sunlight. I don’t know if any adult would have looked to the sky and seen the sun the way my son did that day. It takes a child to see things that way, and Jesus knew this truth. Throughout Scripture, Jesus taught the adults listening to him to be like children.
“Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.’” (Luke 18:16-17)
“About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?’
“Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.’” (Matthew 18:1-4)
So what does it mean to become like children? Children are extremely curious and inquisitive; they ask far more questions than adults. We should, as Jesus said, “receive the Kingdom of God like a child,” which is not to say with blind trust. We are to be curious as children are curious, constantly asking questions and wanting to know more. My children ask me questions all the time and they trust my answers because I am their father. I haven’t given them a reason not to trust me, and Jesus will never give us a reason not to trust Him.
As we grow up, we want to solve things on our own. Somewhere along the way we believe the lie that it is a sign of weakness to ask for help. We act like we know everything, we don’t want to admit when we don’t know something, we don’t ask for help when we need it, we don’t reach out to the Father for comfort. Far too often, we turn to our sinful desires for a feeling of comfort.
Children are humble and know they don’t know everything. We should be the same with our Heavenly Father: humble in our limited knowledge, not thinking ourselves wise and clever, and being able to admit that we don’t know everything and we don’t need to know everything—that’s where trust comes in. We should accept the Truth like a trusting child. A child will come crying to a parent, arms outstretched, longing to be comforted, and we should be this way with our Heavenly Father, reaching out to Him when we are overwhelmed or stressed because He promises we will find rest in Him (Matthew 11:28, Psalm 62:5).
Let us work harder to be like children: humble, curious, and trusting.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.