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Becoming Like Little Children: Lessons From Jesus

Children are openly receptive to one another and compassionate and so innocent. The next time you are around children playing notice how they’re in tune “with each other” and how they intermingle on almost a spiritual level in terms of behavior.  Things come naturally to them – where adults might struggle – children readily do things to help each other out.

For example, there were two children playing nearby-around 4 years old. One little girl dropped her ice cream on the ground and immediately starting crying. The child sitting to her right wiped her tears away and held out her ice cream cone!  The little one stopped crying and smiled and took the “ice cream treasure” without hesitation.

So sweet. So kind. So innocent. And such a natural instinct in a child.  Readily accepting the gift extended. Easily pacified by the “gift” she was rewarded with. A gift!

Ostensibly, as adults. If a person near you dropped their ice cream cone, obviously they’re not going to start bawling. But more than likely the person sitting adjacent to that individual isn’t going to “offer up their treat” nor would the person accept it!  (Okay – neither would I- Germs! LOL) But the point is as adults we get a “different set of rules to play by in terms of societal norms. Whereas children, (until they’re taught to do otherwise) act inwardly and then react outwardly in their behavior by that inward instinct.

The “gift” of ice cream as a child is akin to an adult accepting the gift and treasure of the “Holy Spirit” readily. How many are offered this gift and turn it away? How many have no interest in receiving Christ? Sadly, it happens more than we might want to admit.

Such as the little girl who accepted the “ice treasure” as a precious gift – she readily took it and smiled and became quite content and happy!  When we accept Christ readily – and receive the treasure and gift of the Spirit-we will be happy and content and smile more times than not!

We really can learn so much from interacting and observing children. They are truly so special. We really have to accept all things as “little children” in an adult world. Be prone to help, to give, show compassion-and interact with each other, willingly- while reflecting Christ in all we do. In the Gospel accounts, Jesus often used children as powerful symbols to convey essential truths about faith, humility, and the Kingdom of God. His interactions with children reveal profound insights that continue to resonate with us today. Some examples are as follows:

Jesus and the Little Ones

In the Gospel of Matthew, we encounter a beautiful scene where parents bring their children to Jesus for a blessing. The disciples, perhaps thinking the children were insignificant, tried to shoo them away. However, Jesus responded with compassion, saying, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). Here, Jesus emphasizes childlike trust, innocence, and openness as essential qualities for entering God’s kingdom.

The Childlike Heart

Jesus further elaborated on this theme in Mark 10:15: “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” What does it mean to receive the kingdom like a child? It involves humility, dependence, and a willingness to learn. Children approach life with wonder, curiosity, and a teachable spirit—a stark contrast to the pride and cynicism that often plague adults.

Morals of Today

Our understanding of morality has evolved over time. While some values remain constant, others have shifted. Compassion, care and safety are even more so than in the past, the emphasis on respecting authority has declined, and we increasingly judge right and wrong based on fairness and equality.

Reflective Questions

As we consider Jesus’ teachings and the changing moral landscape, let’s reflect on a few questions:

  • How can we cultivate childlike faith and trust in our relationship with God?
  • What aspects of our modern morality align with Jesus’ teachings?
  • How can we balance respect for authority with the pursuit of justice and compassion?  

Want to learn valuable lessons? Go to the Bible first and adhere to Jesus’ words and teachings, first and foremost.

And second – take time to sit and observe the children in your life, they will teach you more than you could ever possibly know!

“Dear LORD, grant us the innocence of children—the ability to trust, love, and approach You with wonder and eyes filled with love. Help us navigate the complexities of morality, seeking justice, compassion, and humility. May we receive Your kingdom like little children, embracing Your grace and living out Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

May we all learn from the little ones and find our way into the arms of our loving Savior…

About C D SWANSON

C D SWANSON is an Author of 22 plus books, freelance writer, contributor to various websites, including The Bottom Line Ministries/Faith News. She's an active member of Faithwriters- and has her online website/ministry for over 15 years. It is her greatest joy to write what’s in her heart, and thus her favorite form of expression is in her devotionals. She and her husband share a deep love of God and dote on their fur baby Mickey. Retired Director from Long Term Healthcare Industry, she continues to be an advocate for many. To check out other writings of this author you can go here:

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