Childlike or Childish?

Children at Play

Welcome back! Thanks for stopping by! I just want to offer you something to think about today.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 18 that we are to “become as little children” in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Some people take this scripture out of context and think that if they act like a child instead of an adult, they will please God and make it into heaven. They essentially have the mind of a child and try to use that to rationalize their childish behavior.

However, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that we need to grow up and “put away childish things.” He says of himself, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Is Paul contradicting what Jesus said about becoming like a child? NO!

What we need to understand is that Jesus does not want us to have the mind of a child. He does not want us to talk like a child or think like a child, causing us to behave like a child with childish thoughts. Like Paul says, when we become adults, meaning when we reach the legal age of adulthood, we need to stop speaking, thinking, and understanding like a child. If man’s law expects us to grow up and take responsibility when we become adults, don’t you think God expects us to grow up and be an adult as well? Of course!

When Jesus tells us to become as children, He wants us to have the heart of a child. Children are born with total dependence on their parents, or those giving them care. In the same way, as children of God, we are to have total dependence on our heavenly Father. As adults we tend to take on the world as we try to balance out our responsibilities. Unfortunately, it can become overwhelming because we are doing too much, and we have forgotten who is the source of all that we have. That is when we must STOP and surrender it all to God and totally depend on Him to help us.

Children are born with an innocence that has not been tainted by society. They are not judgmental. They are not looking for ways to get over on other people. They don’t see skin color and they don’t fault you for being different from them. As adults, we tend to notice every little difference and we look for ways to reconcile those differences in our mind. Unfortunately, as a result we begin to judge others for their differences and we fault them for not wanting to be like us. We switch from innocence to guilt. We are guilty of not seeing people the way God sees them, in all of the beauty that He created.

Children are born with love and forgiveness in their hearts. If you do them wrong, they don’t hold it against you. They have an unconditional love that never ends. Unfortunately, that love becomes tainted and twisted by the environment that they grow up in. The child becomes an adult with hatred in their hearts because of what they have been taught. They develop an unforgiveness because of the pain they have suffered. They no longer have the love in their hearts that they were born with.

When Jesus says, “… Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven,” He wants us to get back to being dependent on Him. He wants us to get back to looking at others with innocent eyes. He wants us to get back to having unconditional love toward others. Until we can be like that, there is no place in heaven for us. Let’s be childlike, not childish.

Until we meet again, I pray blessings for your life!

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