Childlike or Childish? // Matthew 18:3
Today’s verse might be fairly well known. Jesus said we must come to Him like little children. The context of this is found in Matthew’s gospel as the disciples were arguing amongst themselves as to who the greatest will be in the Kingdom of Heaven. Despite their childish behavior, Jesus called a little child into their midst and told His followers that they must change and become like little children. Ironic, isn’t it?
Jesus wasn’t approving of their childish behavior or instigating more squabbling. No, He wanted the disciples to be filled with the awe and wonder of God. He wanted them to engage their curiosity; trust God as their heavenly Father who has their best interests at heart; approach the Lord with the fear and reverence youngsters should for the parents who tower over them; and discover a more care-free approach to life. Think about how infrequently adults play while children rely on it to learn. Adults only laugh on average 17 times a day while children laugh about 300 times! How few questions do adults ask for fear of looking silly, yet a conversation with a child can feel like an endless litany of “whys?” Jesus didn’t want the disciples acting like children but He encouraged them to rediscover faith, curiosity, whimsy, and dependence on God.
How do you find yourself living today? Are you childish or childlike? There is a difference. Jesus wants us to change and become like little children which rises about irony and into intent. I hope you can find some of that today as you approach this world wide-eyed and open-hearted for who God is and what He is doing in the world.