If you follow I’m Just Thinkin’ you know that I write a lot about being like a little kid. This whole train of thought comes from a message stuck in my heart, from Matthew 18:1-5, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
This seems to be one of the biggest deals we face: As time goes by we naturally, as humans, get more set in our ways. We stop asking questions and start making assumptions, and we can loose our child-like virtues of faith, trust, love and forgiveness found in a humble and sincere heart. These virtues are completely different from the self-centered childish tendencies that we at times can tend toward. So I’ve been thinkin’, reading and writing material related to spiritual growth and maturity. And the more I learn I start to realize the less I know. Remember, I’m just an average Joe, not a theologian but some regular old dude that God put the passion to write into his heart.
Along the way while writing this He throws this one into the mix: “It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every support ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:11-16.
So here’s what I’m learning: There’s not a conflict between the childlike virtues and qualities God wants us to retain and the he-man nature that our Heavenly Father hopes that we mature and grow into. Sometimes we Christians give our own lot a bad name: we grow older but don’t mature spiritually, and, like the lessons from the scribes and Pharisees in the Bible, knowledge of religion is important, but even more so is getting to know and growing to become more like Jesus. Jesus emphasized repeatedly in the Bible these very knowledgeable people didn’t really know him, that they were just judgmental hypocrites. And that’s my reminder of why I want to be like a little kid… to have faith and trust in Him, and to forgive and love like Him.
Rick Warren says “Thinking of others is the heart of Christ-likeness and the best evidence of spiritual growth.”
How can you continue to grow to be more like a child today?