Child-likeness (like a child, especially in having a sweet, innocent, unspoiled quality.)

Playing in the rain, making mud pies, laying in the grass and finding ‘pictures’ in the clouds. Going to grandma’s house, playing with my doll, blowing bubbles, running through the sprinklers. Playing in the creek and catching frogs. Most of those things can be summed up as child-likeness,  not having a care in the world.

Matt 18:3-4 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Now, as always, God [discloses] himself to “babes” and hides himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to him. We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few). We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood. If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond. A.W. Tozer

Sounds easy enough to “simplify our approach to him”. How do we become as little children? How do we restrain our ambitions and our desires to be the greatest? How do we rein in our pride? Is it fair to say we struggle with wanting to be the strongest, wanting to have the most power, be the most influential?

To become like little children we have to be changed. Change involves child-like traits such as trust and humility. Even the disciples argued over which one of them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. They had not yet understood that the kingdom was not an earthly kingdom.

We have to do our best not to want worldly ambition. We must learn to “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things” as mentioned in Col 3:2

Mark 9:35 “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

We don’t have to deny the gifts God has given us, if we use them in humbleness we glorify God and we encourage and build up others.

Child-likeness is similar to like-mindedness. Consider Phil 2:1-5 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Last Sunday night in our small group meeting, I saw a beautiful example of the innocence of a child. My husband Larry was asked to pray. We were sitting, gathered in a circle. Joe, who is either 5 or 6, is the youngest son of our youth minister. He sat with his little hands tightly clasped, eyes closed and head leaning against the back of his chair. After the ‘Amen’ heads were raised and we looked at Joe. His hands remained clasped in prayer and his eyes remained closed. We all waited for a moment thinking he was still praying. We soon realized he was fast asleep. He must have been in that exact same position close to 15 minutes before his little head started bobbing around as he fell into a deeper sleep. That image has stayed with me all week. It was an extremely precious sight



5 comments for “Child-likeness

  1. Priscilla Hill
    May 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Janice, I loved reading this. You are a very gifted writer. I am honored you invited me to view this site. Best of blessings to you in the future as you manintain this blog. In fact, may God bless always!

  2. Stan Tharp
    April 18, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Note to Larry: In the future, perhaps you can present your prayer offerings with more zest and greater energy. If and when you pray in front of the congregation, and after your “Amen” you look up …and they’re all asleep …better seek His guidance.

    Or, maybe your speech has slowed-down, somewhat, over the years, because you’ve licked one-too-many stamps, Bro.

    ST 🙂

  3. April 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Sarah-Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy visiting your blog. I will come back and check out your blog survey. I visited earlier, had to stop and feed my hubby. 🙂
    By the way, I love your new hair do…it looks great both ways!

  4. April 17, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Janice — I have just now noticed I’m on your blog roll. Thanks for the link love! 🙂 I actually have a survey about blog rolls on my blog today — feel free to weigh in!

    I LOVE the last story you tell about that precious punkin’ praying himself to sleep. Oh, that we all would! My children frequently challenge me to be more like them!

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