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And Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

Everyone would agree children are adorable! Being the mother of a four month old, I have the privilege to play, admire, observe and even analyze the behaviour of my child. It is not only entertaining to watch them but there is also much to learn from them. I was reminded of this verse where Jesus asks us to be like little children.

Let’s look at some of the qualities and context of what could actually be expected when it is said to become like little children:

  1. Humility

If you take this verse in reference to the situation, you will find that – “Be like the little children” was Jesus’ response to the disciples asking him, “Who can be the greatest?”  Jesus places a child among them and says YOU NEED TO CHANGE and be like this child. I think He was trying to tell us to put aside the pride & the ego. God hates pride. (Pro 6:17) The arrogant cannot stand in His presence (Psalm 5:5). We may think that we are humble but ironically, the moment you say/think you are humble, the opposite may be true. Humility is an essential quality that God looks out for in the heart of a believer.

  1. Innocence

Children are synonymous with innocence. I was surprised to learn that the definition of innocence isn’t ‘not knowing good or bad’ (as most of us would believe) but it means ‘lack of guile or corruption’. The Latin word’s description means ‘not harming’. Our minds need to be tamed in such a way that it LACKS corruption or guile. The world will praise you for getting work done cunningly. That is worldly wisdom. No wonder Bible says heavenly wisdom is pure and peace-loving. (James 3: 17)

  1. Trust

No, not just trusting, it’s trusting FULLY. Ever seen a child jump from a high ground into the arms of the parent? They are FULLY confident that the parent will catch them when they jump. They don’t think. They don’t analyze. They happily jump.  Are we so confident to trust in our Lord? He wants us to be. (Proverbs 3:5)

  1. Loving

Somehow, children are so loving. You ask them for a hug or a kiss, they will simply shower you with it; maybe, because they are not judgmental or maybe because they don’t hold grudges. Loving one another was one of the greatest commandments given by God. (Matt 22:39)

I could list many more qualities of children that we ought to imitate – like being joyous & rejoicing always (1 Thess. 5:16), being ‘tension free’ (Phil 4: 6), being pure (Matt 5:8) and very importantly forgiving. The list could go on and we have much to learn from the little ones!!

May God bless us with His grace to be like little children so that we may be pleasing to Him.

God bless you!

Ann Robby James

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