SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
What does it mean to have faith like a child?
As a child, I could not wait to grow up. I remember I was so excited when I got my first job, my first paycheck, and opened my first checking account. I felt grown up! I was, however, not so excited when I had to start paying bills with that money. Children of all generations want to grow up fast. As children all they are able to see is a list of don’ts; they want to be able to do things under their own accord and not have to ask someone for their permission or advice.
In Matthew 18, the disciples came to Jesus and asked him who the greatest disciple is, a question whose answer was going to automatically elicit pride in the recipient. Christ recognizes the fact that children are not on their own, but they depend on someone else for their well being so he uses an analogy of a child. Jesus then explains that everyone should become like a child (child like faith), and it they don’t, then they will never enter the gates of heaven.
My children depend on my wife and I. They depend on us to feed them, clothe them, bathe them, shelter them, love them, care for them, entertain them, stay up late with them when they are sick, cry with them when they are hurt, and a number of other countless things that a parent does. What would happen to our faith if we depended on Christ like that? If we had child like faith in Christ the way that children have faith in their parents?
Christ calls for us to have that dependence on him, he does not ask for it, he tells us to do so, otherwise, we will not be admitted into heaven. To have a childlike faith is to be sold out for Christ, to do what he says, no matter if the outcome is good or bad. Adults over analyze most everything, children on the other hand act when they are told to. As Christians we need to be like that about our faith. Christ tells us to do something, we need to say “yes sir” and do it. We do not need to stop, think about it, and wonder if it is a good idea or not. If Christ says it, it is certainly a good idea!
Having a child like faith does not mean that you are ignorant or naïve, but it means that you care about what Christ says, and care about how you can accomplish what he says regardless of what your sinful nature is telling you.
Chase Smith is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Shelbyville. For more information from Chase or the church call 774-3636 or visit www.fellowshipinshelbyville.com.