“Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:15
“And he said: “I tell you the truth, 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. “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” – Matthew 18:3-5
- A very common way people have described the type of faith we should have is “Child-like”, but what does that mean?
- A child can be naive, troublesome, ignorant, etc. So which metaphorical characteristic is intended to describe the type of faith we should have?
- Humility is presented as that characteristic
Understanding the type of faith we should have is fundamental as it underlies our view of God and our serves as the framework for our relationship with Him.
Those who attend church often have probably heard of the reference to child-like faith and I have always sat there wondering if this was contradictory to the numerous passages that speak to testing with evidence (John 20:19-29), or growing up from infancy in Christ (Ephesians 4:14), or growing up in our salvation (1 Peter 2:13). I wasn’t assuming it was a real contradiction but I wanted to find out how I could understand it correctly. After all, saying to have “Child-like faith” can mean many things can’t it? Children can naive, naughty, or nice can’t they?
I present that although many traits of a child can be linked to describing our walk with God, after all He is our Father, that the intent of the most quoted piece of Scripture that begets this terminology focuses on humility being that defining characteristic
After careful study, I understand that God calls us to be His children and that many of the statements pastors have made about the faith that we should have can be considered true. For example, we should trust God (Proverbs 3:5-6), we may not always understand God (Isaiah 55:9), we can approach God (Ephesians 3:12), etc. But at the same time I feel when quoting from Mark and looking at the words and also the context (apostles arguing about who was the greatest) it became very clear we are truly called to humility here.
It really helps hone in on the beginning of our walk with God. I submit that humility’s posture is always prostrate… the only vantage point with which to understand OUR condition, GOD’S grace, and LIVE in tune with His Spirit.
We need to start with humility (click here for post on steps for humility) as that is the only logical position to end up when we realize the chasm between us and God.
C.S Lewis once put it: “According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. . . Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of Mind.” – C.S. Lewis