Childlikeness. I think it is a quality of great value to Jesus since he told His disciples:
“…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-4)
I know a child who is great in the kingdom of heaven. Her name is Brooke and she was less than 4 years old when she made the comments I share below. She is the daughter of one of my clients. Brooke’s mother had become a believer almost two years before and had been diligent as a single mother to raise her little girl with an awareness of the real time presence of Jesus in their home. Brooke said some profound things that I truly wish some of the adults I minister to could grasp. Let me share a few.
“Mommy, I don’t want to do bad things but there is a sin bone inside of me.” (Brooke just summarized in one sentence the entire section of Romans 7 where Paul talks about struggling with sin)
Sitting next to mom on speakerphone with her dad who lives in a different state: “Mommy, Daddy, when you start to fight on the phone, you should both hang up and pray to God then call back and say you are sorry.” (I sensed at the time that my job was in jeopardy)
“Mommy, when I grow up I want to be a disciple.” (Reminds me of “Seek first the kingdom of God….”)
Okay, those were all fun; but I really want you to read this one, please:
Mom hears Brooke praying out loud to God in their bedroom. Her daughter is speaking with great intensity, saying, “My mom is so mean! God, please make her stop being mean.” Bewildered, mom decides to just walk away. A bit later, Brooke emerges and tells mommy she needs to talk to her; and here is what Brooke said:
“Mommy, I was praying, telling God how mean you are and asking Him to make you stop being mean. But God told me I was the one being mean and I needed to tell you that I am sorry. So, mommy, I am sorry for being mean.”
Folks, in that moment this precious child modeled for all of us what it means to “walk in the Light”:
- She talked honestly with God
- She listened for His response
- She accepted His response, even when it was not what she prayed for
- She was obedient to immediately do what God had instructed
We adults are such stubborn, resistive people. I guess that is why Jesus tells us that unless we change and become like children — like Brooke — we will continue to struggle.