The Kingdom From A Child’s Perspective

9 06 2014

We’re all familiar with the verses where Jesus references that we must be like children to enter the Kingdom. Just in case you need a refresher it reads, “And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3 – NIV)” the things that intrigues me is that Jesus says we must change and become like kids. What is it about children that Jesus wants us to emulate?

jesusandkids

But wait…I’m getting ahead of myself. We all know that we have to grow up sometime. It’s an inevitable event. Time passes and we all get older. It’s an irrefutable law of the universe. Some children are too eager to grow up and we have to encourage them to enjoy life as it is in the moment.

Growing up is a necessary part of life. It allows us to learn and grow. It offers us experiences to be a successful adult. Just as we grow up physically we should grow up spiritually as well. This process allows us to experience new, fresh things in God. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church stressing how important this is. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11 – NIV)” But doesn’t Jesus tell us that we have to change and become like children? How can we do that if we’re already growing up? Sounds like Nicodemus, huh?

Well in reality we need both. Paul wasn’t contradicting Jesus in any way. He was talking about a separate issue. Paul is talking about growing up in God. He talks in other places that the deep things of the Bible are like meat for food. The writer of Hebrews put it this way, “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! (Hebrews 5:12 – NIV)”

So…what DO we need to change? I suggest that we need to reclaim some of our ‘childish’ traits. Children have an uncanny capacity for trust. They will believe what a teacher, police officer, or pastor tells them because of who they are. They don’t question it, they don’t argue their point, and they don’t reason it out. Their teacher said it so it’s the truth. As we grow up we lose this quality. We begin to question things and try to reason them out. We have traded our trust in God for insurance and a paycheck. When the money runs out we don’t run to God…we pull out Visa or MasterCard instead.

trust

One of the things that I loved to do when living in southern California was visit Disneyland. It was always best with the kids. Their awe and wonder was inspiring. They were giddy with anticipation of seeing Mickey, Donald, or any of their other favorite characters. They were excited at walking down Main Street and would excitedly point out all the things they saw. It didn’t matter if it wasn’t real. They were there, in the middle of it, and that’s all that mattered. We’re too worried about the monthly budget and the electric bill instead of pointing out the things that amaze us. The wonder of God is lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

When a child draws their parents they always draw a really big head and small body. Their perspective of mom and dad is a direct result of that. They’re more familiar with the face than anything else, thus the bigger head. If we start looking at God with a child’s perspective the same thing can be true for us.

Growing up is a good thing. It’s necessary and it’s going to happen. We need to remember, though to keep a child’s perspective on the Kingdom. If we lost it all we need to do is change some things.

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4 responses

10 06 2014
SaintlySages

And Jeff, I think, too, that faith is primarily not what we believe, but who we believe. If the Person we believe is trustworthy, then we will believe everything that Person tells us. How greatly we value the what depends upon how highly we esteem the who. That, I think, is another hallmark of the faith of a child. God bless!

10 06 2014
revjeffwilson

Great point! Thanks for the comment.

10 06 2014
devotedteachersheart

Good thoughts, Jeff. Trying to remain childlike without being childish has everything to do with how your heart is positioned toward God. Blessings to you!

10 06 2014
revjeffwilson

I think the hardest part is not being childish. You’re right…it’s about our positioned heart. Thanks for the comment.

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