As adults, our faith gets clouded with judgments, prejudices, and societal expectations and pressures. We stumble over so many things on our way to the cross. In Matthew 18:2-4, Jesus called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” I know Jesus doesn’t want us to act like children because we would be immature and the lack of experience and wisdom needed to make good decisions. But, I do think He wants us to come to Him with the wonder and awe of a child.
“Childlike faith sees the world as exciting and adventurous, and worth pursuing with our faith so opportunities to please God override our complacency and the attitude of ‘been there, done that,’ even though we may have. It is a part of us that we should never lose. It enables us to maintain our humbleness and enthusiasm and not become just a subculture or routine! We are not to act like children towards others, but our faith and example must be authentic.” (Discipleshiptools.org, The Character of Childlike Faith)
I do think we can learn a lot about our faith from children. That is one reason I love ministering to the children in our community. They talk about God in authentic ways that make sense to them in their world. When asked where they see God at work in their lives, they talk about their families, friends, pets, rainbows, sunshine, flowers, and yes, their toys! Some of these things may seem simple and trivial to adults, but what they show me is the pure joy children have in God. This joy comes naturally to children, but becomes marred with the weight of the world as we age.
My own children teach me so much about what it looks like to have the faith of a child. It is rare that we drive by someone standing on the street asking for help and not stop to help in some way. Not because I decide to stop, but because my children notice these people and tell me we need to help them. There are times when I’m in a hurry or I just don’t want to take the time to help because I’m so caught up in my business, or my judgments to slow down and take notice. How can I not stop when my children are telling me this person needs help?
We teach our children to listen to God, pray to God, and do God’s work. And that’s exactly what they do…without question, without fear, without doubts, and without judgment. I want to have that kind of faith, the faith of a child! – Dee Ann Lord, Children & Family Ministry Coach