Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Did Jesus Mean by 'Heart Like a Child'?

“And he said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become
like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

-Matthew 18:3

                All too often, I hear people asking what Jesus really meant when he said to have a child-like heart. He does not mean to be childish and immature in your actions or intelligence. So, what does Jesus really mean?
                Children are totally dependent on their parents for food, clothing, and shelter, as well as guidance and protection. A child doesn’t worry about these things; they just assume they will be delivered. In the same way, we are to trust God as our heavenly Father, our parent. Children run to their parents first when frightened or hurt and in the same way we are to turn to God. When we become dependent on God, we have faith in Him.

                Children, when they hear about Jesus and God, often don’t question their existence until they grow older and start hearing other beliefs and viewpoints. We should not second guess the true existence of God; we must have faith in what is unseen. Children are filled with love and can sense the presence of it. They are humble and open to learning from elders. In the same way, we are to learn from God and the Holy Spirit. Children ask questions and receive an answer that will be for their own good. When we ask God a question, he will give us an answer that is for our own well-being.

                When a child is away from a parent, they keep an unquestioning hope-the promise of the parent’s return-because they have brought them home so many other times. They trust the promise that the parent makes. We are to trust that God will keep his promises and not second guess Him.

                To surrender to God a person has to empty himself or herself; their heart and mind must be in  total submission to God’s authority, just as a child is supposed to respect and honor their parents’ rules.