Childlike or Childish

http://bible.com/116/mat.18.1-4.nlt About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus used a child to help his self-centered disciples get the point.

We are not to be childish (like the disciples, arguing over petty issues), but rather childlike, with humble and sincere hearts.

Are you being childlike or childish?

***  Thoughts from Application Study Bible Devotions, 20 June 2015  ***

Define Childlike – (of an adult) having good qualities associated with a child.
Synonyms:
  • innocent
  • guileless
  • unworldly
  • Unsophisticated
  • naive
  • trusting
  • unsuspicious
  • unwary
  • gulible

Can you “receive the Kingdom of God like a child”?
Adults considering the Christian faith for the first time will have life experiences that take them way past the ability to be as innocent as children.***

Jesus does not ask us to put aside our experiences, but he does require a change of attitude:

  • adult self-sufficiency must recognize its need for the sovereign God
  • adult moral defensiveness must humble itself before the holy God
  • and adult skeptical toughness must soften before the loving God

Children do not feel supremely powerful, perfectly righteous, or totally autonomous.  These are adult fantasies.

Coming to Jesus means to accept his goodness on your behalf, confess your need, and commit your life to his tender guidance.***

“So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

http://bible.com/116/mat.23.11-12.nlt The greatest among you must be a servant.  But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

What type of Greatness do you see?

Themes

  • turn from sins
  • childlike faith
  • key to Heaven
  • humble
  • greatest in Heaven
  • self-centered
  • sincere hearts

***added thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 30 June 2015

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