CHILDISH OR CHILD-LIKE?
“Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to Me. Do not hinder them. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’ ” –Matthew 19:14
When Jesus sees children, He thinks of His Father’s kingdom, for “the kingdom of God belongs” to those who are like children. Jesus teaches that to be like children of the kingdom means to:
- choose to become lowly (Mt 18:4),
- choose poverty in spirit, that is, voluntary poverty (Mt 5:3). When we as disciples of Jesus imitate Him by living below our means, the kingdom of God is ours (Mt 5:3),
- live so faithfully and openly for the Lord that we become “persecutable,” for the kingdom of God belongs to the persecuted (see Mt 5:10),
- resist temptations to intellectual pride (Lk 10:21), and
- be innocent of evil (1 Cor 14:20; see also Mt 10:16).
In summary, Jesus teaches that to be like children means to be as dependent on Him as little children are dependent on their parents. To live in God’s kingdom is to depend on Him for everything, for without Him we can do nothing (Jn 15:5).
The purpose of life is to give all to live in God’s kingdom (Mt 13:44-46). Therefore, obey Jesus and become like children.
PRAYER: Father, make me more childlike as I get older.
PROMISE: “Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die?” –Ez 18:31
PRAISE: Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus were exiled, reconciled, and martyred. They modeled reconciliation after grave disagreements.