In children’s church I once picked up a kid who immediately grabbed my ear and said, “Hey mister, why does your ear look like a chicken nugget?” I explained to him what cauliflower ear was but I should have realized that such an explanation would be lost on a 2-year-old. I didn’t get mad and I wasn’t offended. Something about the way he asked the question seemed so innocent, it was obvious that he just wanted to know.
As children, we were able to ask such questions with no malice in our hearts. Children possess innocence and faith at a level that we are no longer able to attain. As we grow older our experiences and disappointments take away some of that innocence and that faith in the unseen. We go through school and learn about science and it seems to take away some of the mystery behind the miraculous beauty of nature. It’s kind of like when we see a magic trick and you are completely awestruck until you find out how the trick is done. Take a look below at Jesus has to say about children.
18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
So when you consider the child in these verses. What was it about him or her that Jesus wanted his disciples to emulate?
Consider this, Jesus calls to this child and places them in the midst of all of these grown, adult disciples. The first thing that stands out to me is that the child comes to Jesus with no questions asked. How many of us would have responded to his request to come over with, a “why?” or “for what?” The child’s prompt response without questioning or seeking an explanation is an outward manifestation of faith.
Additionally, think back to when you were a child and you were in a room full of grown-ups. Did you ever look at the grown-up next you and consider, “do I make more money than this guys?” or “I bet I can out bench press this guy.” Silly thoughts to have but as adults, we are always sizing up the competition. Children on the other hand, (when raised properly) are usually much more humble in the presence of adults.
The last characteristic of a child that I’d like to point out is the ability to forgive. When I was younger I had a terrible temper. It was explosive. My youngest brother is almost 10 years younger than me so when my dad was not around I treated him like he was my child. When he would mess up I would get angry and yell and fuss at him. Once my anger subsided and I was calm enough to apologize he always instantly forgave me. In fact, I’m certain he would have done so even without an apology. Children have an amazing capacity for forgiveness that I think adults often take advantage of.
My Prayer Lord I thank you for another wonderful week and I pray that you help me to be more like a child in all of the right ways. Help me to have faith like a child, to be humble like and a child, and to forgive like a child. Also, help me to forsake the selfishness that we have as children but sometimes struggle to grow out of. In your son Jesus name, Amen!