Matthew 18:3 – And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
1 Corinthians 13:11 – When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
As Vance Havner used to say, “we need to become childlike but not be childish.” We need to have the trust and innocence of a child while at the same time have the wisdom of an adult that properly applies the Word of God in our lives. Children have several characteristics that are critical to our conversion and growth as a Christian.
- Children Have an Innocence and Trust – When you are innocent, you have a naivity about you. You don’t know a lot so you are very trusting about anyone. We need to be the same way about trusting Christ. As we grow older, we have more bad experiences and this destroys some of the innocence of childhood. We need to live as though we are ignorant of what is going on around us and not let things bother us. We will have peace with God and things will not offend us if we can maintain an innocence.
- Children Easily Forgive – Children do not let bitterness stew in their lives. They do get mad but they quickly forget about wrongs. As we grow, experience more things, and are injured, we learn to carry grudges. Children have short memories. Children can forgive easily because they do not ponder and think things through. They don’t have the mental capacity to produce evil thoughts over and over for long periods of time. They can therefore forgive quickly and easily. We need to have short memories when it comes to wrongs against us.
- Children Don’t Care About the Cares of This World – Children are not concerned about where their next meal is coming from or whether they are going to have a roof over their heads tonight. Because of this, the things of this world do not control them. Because a child “does not have a care in the world,” they can go about doing what a child needs to do to grow and be strong. If we do not have a care in this world, we are free to accomplish the will of God for our lives.
- Children Are Quicker to Make a Profession – Children are quicker to get saved than adults. Their innocence produces faith and trust. They do not have pride that holds them back like adults. They don’t worry about what people think about them. Thus makes it easier for them to make a profession. They are also quicker to see sin in their lives. The pride of life has not taken hold on them. We as adults need to come to Christ quickly like young children.
We as Christians are to become as little children with regards to our faith, trust, innocence, and cares of this world. At the same time we are not to be childish. We are to put away childish things and talk and act like mature believers in Christ. A childish Christian is like a new-born babe in Christ who still drinks milk. He has not matured. Make sure you have the good characteristics of a child while being a mature believer. Have the innocence and wisdom together at the same time. Be childlike but not childish.