Last year, we opened a series on the topic of child-like faith. While none of us wants to be considered childish, we apparently do need to be child-like in order to genuinely experience the Kingdom of God.
A disclaimer is in order: not all characteristics of children are positive. For example:
- Children are egocentric. They are not capable of seeing life from the perspective of another person. They are not able to empathize or understand how other people feel.
- Children also tend to be selfish. Sharing does not come easy for a young child – as every parent knows! One word that children learn soon after “Mommy” is often “MINE!”
- Children do not score high in the area of patience, either. When they want something, they usually want it NOW.
- Children do not self-regulate very well. They express with vigor whatever they are feeling, whether that expression comes in a socially-acceptable form, or not.
But these do not cancel the need for child-like faith in our lives. Jesus did not give an option. He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Some of the ways of children are also the ways of the Kingdom, and we see them lived out among the children in our midst.
For example, how many of us believed in Santa Claus, or Father Christmas as some cultures name him, when we were young? Logical or not, many children are convinced that Santa Claus flies around the world delivering gifts every Christmas!
Or, if a father tells his 3-year-old, “I will take you to the moon tomorrow,” the child will likely believe it. He might run off to tell Mommy the good news that he will be going to the moon. He would not worry about how practical or possible a trip like that is. If Daddy promised, it is worth believing!
What does this mean for our kingdom walk? In a world where academic arguments are rising fast to refute belief in the supernatural, we need to regain this child-like faith. Science tries to convince us that we should live by facts, not by faith. But there is a purity, boldness, audacity, courage and foolishness about the faith of a child that we desperately need.
We will continue exploring child-like faith in the coming weeks. Welcome!