Understanding Like a Child

2And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:2-4 (ESV)

I love watching and listening to my grandchildren play; and I learn a great deal. About life, about me, and about faith. I suggest that you try it!

A few weeks ago my grandson Graham met a little girl, the sister of his brother John’s baseball teammate. Graham and the little girl, both of them 6, played together the entire game. The next day at Graham’s soccer game that same little girl was on the opposing team. And she ran him ragged! She knocked him down, pushed him over, and once hit him with a convincing elbow. Her grandmother was standing next to me on the sidelines and laughed, saying, “She’s flirting with him!” I knew that, and the grandmother knew that. But Graham is a 6-year-old boy! And he couldn’t understand what was happening. Now this means that women while they are still little girls know exactly how to throw us guys off-balance; and it confirms that we men, even as little boys have absolutely no clue!

But I also watch as all of these young soccer players run directly to their mommies and daddies with the perfect faith that they are loved and cared for. Isn’t that the faith that Jesus told us about? Children’s faith is complete, but not unquestioning. It is faith based on the experiences of unconditional love; however, any parent knows that children can ask lots of questions. They need to test their understanding with trust. In fact, it’s that trust that is the foundation of a child’s faith. A child’s faith is about perspective, isn’t it? I think that’s what Jesus was telling us in Matthew 18 – that we must have the trust of a child’s perspective, absolute and unshakable trust in Him and His word.

So let’s put that kind of faith into the adult vernacular. We must build the foundation of our faith on that same unconditional love that He shows us. We must trust Him because we know that we can’t handle all of the challenges of this life without his shoulders. We must humble ourselves to lay every one of our burdens at His feet, because He went to the cross for is.

Love and have faith like a child. Then, my friend, enter the kingdom of heaven!

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