The Childlike Attributes
“At that time the disciples came up and asked Jesus, Who then is [really] the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And He called a little child to Himself and put him in the midst of them, And said, Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all]. Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18: 1-4 AMP).
As a Christian, you have to ensure you’re only moved by God’s Word; have a child-like response to the Word. This kind of childlike response is described for us by Jesus in our opening scripture. God expects us to respond to the things of the Kingdom like little children, “trusting, lowly, loving and forgiving.”
When He says for us to be trusting, He wasn’t in any way suggesting that we be gullible. Rather, He meant for us to have confidence and faith towards God; accepting that He is everything He says He is. To be gullible means that one is easily persuaded; and children are not easily persuaded, though absolutely trusting. They trust your character and believe whatever you say. It’s this kind of childlike faith God expects us to have towards His Word always.
The Bible says for example that Abraham trusted God and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Galatians 3:6). Like a child, He trusted and followed the Lord, even though He didn’t know where God was leading Him: “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went” (Hebrews 11:8).
Another attribute of children we’re admonished to emulate is their lowliness. Children are humble. They’re not high-minded; they are just themselves. Jesus said the one who humbles himself as a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Also, children are loving and forgiving. They hardly recall offenses. No wonder the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:20, “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.”
Children don’t know how to keep malice; they’re quick to forgive. So be like children; be quick to pass over an offense. Let the person who has offended you go! Some people are easily pained over issues, and hold on to the wrongs done to them by others. Don’t be that way; the Bible says love takes no record of wrongs.
Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for your love that’s in my spirit, which I express lavishly to everyone around me today. You’ve taught me how to live in your Kingdom and be effective in my day-to-day walk of faith by trusting you wholeheartedly and maintaining a humble and forgiving spirit, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Proverbs 16:19; Colossians 3:13