Kids are a hoot. And annoying. And sometimes both at the same time.
When I was a kid I lacked the confidence to be as annoying as I could have been. I now have more confidence.
The Bible refers to Believers as children a number of times. Sometimes in a good way, other times in a bad way.
Jesus tells us to have the faith of a child.
Paul says that when he became a man he put away childish things.
So, Bible, which is it: be like a kid or don’t be?
Kids have many good qualities and they correlate to what we consider to be “childlike faith.”
–they feel free to ask questions
–they desire to learn
–they think about things and aren’t afraid to express their observations
When we take all these things and relate them to God, I think you have childlike faith. A trusting worship of God that wants to know more and feels free to ask for more.
At the same time, kids can be awful human beings, and these are the things I think Paul is telling us to avoid:
–no consideration of future results
–reliance on what makes them feel happy
–immediate whininess when they don’t get their way
–selfish “mine” attitude
When we do these things, we express all the things that God detests about human nature. It is nothing more than an inflated view of self and a desire to do what makes self happy. I believe these are the things that Paul put off.
Unfortunately, many Christians put off the wrong list!
Many Christians invent theologies to explain why fulfilling their lusts is good. They ignore verses about mourning and concentrate on all the happy feeling verses. We make self-centeredness sound good by talking about a “personal relationship with Jesus” (which can be fine but often sounds more like self-centeredness).
Meanwhile, we cease asking questions and desiring to learn. We trust what people tell us rather than what God said. We worship people or creation more than the Creator. We turn childlike faith into an infantile, immaturity with a spiritual veneer.
Being like a child is good when it’s good and bad when it’s bad. Make sure you know which is which!