Become like Children
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How Do We Become Like Children

My friends and I like to joke that I was born a small adult.

Though there were moments in my childhood where I was 100% a kid, I was always a bit more responsible than others my age. I functioned as a counselor for my friends in elementary school. In middle school (and still today), I was always the mom of my friend group. I’m usually the logical one, the responsible one, the one who can be depended on.

My consistent adult-ness has been a source of pride for much of my life. While friends were busy with things I considered frivolous (like boys, fashion, or pop culture), I focused on the future.

I was determined to always try to do the right or intelligent thing, which I thought was the mature thing to do.

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Become Like Children?

Because this has been my mindset, it should be no surprise that I have struggled with certain passages in the Bible, like when Jesus told the disciples they must become like children.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:1-4

That’s a pretty bold assertion from Jesus!

Though He is crystal clear in this passage, I’ve resisted this truth for years. It goes against my nature to be childlike. But the other day, I had a bit of an epiphany about this passage.

When I was a preschool teacher, I had one endlessly inquisitive student. He was constantly asking questions, and I loved his sense of curiosity. We had great conversations filled with question after question. No matter how many questions I answered, he just wanted to know more.

1 way we can become like children

Become Curious Like Children

I wonder how many of us had that level of curiosity as children, only to lose it somewhere along the way. We were taught not to ask questions. Our wonder at the world around us was dimmed by the cares of life. People ignored or mocked us when we engaged our inquisitive minds. So then we shut down. We closed ourselves off a little bit. We stopped asking questions, we killed our curiosity, and we ceased to imagine.

When Jesus told us to become like children, maybe He was inviting us to develop a holy curiosity. To shed our desire to be seen as the ones with all the answers and be okay being the ones with all the questions. Maybe He was inviting us to wonder, imagine, and dream with Him.

Asking questions, fueling curiosity, and imagining with God all require humility, which is a subject I surely don’t like talking about. But I think in that space of humble submission and unfiltered trust in our God is where we find true life and experience real freedom.

Don’t Become Something You’re Not…

When Jesus told us to become like little children, He wasn’t telling us to become something we’re not. Instead, He invites us to return to who He created us to be. Our God is wondrous, awe-inspiring, and infinitely multi-faceted. He’s not afraid of our questions; after all, He is the source of all wisdom and understanding.

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I believe God is inviting us into a life of holy curiosity and deep intimacy with Him. Let’s courageously accept His invitation and take a faith-filled leap into His loving arms today!

What did Jesus mean when He told us to become like children?

How Can We Become Like Children?

Have you thought much about God’s command to become like children? We’d love to hear from you! Join the conversation in the comments below.

6 Comments

  1. Sarah, I appreciate your thoughts on being like little children, “When Jesus told us to become like children, maybe He was inviting us to develop a holy curiosity. Maybe He was inviting us to wonder, imagine, and dream with Him. He invites us to return to who He created us to be.”

  2. Sarah, thank you for your powerful words and lesson. Your words made me have a recall from several months ago, when someone told me I have child like faith. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.
    ~Selah~

  3. My theme this month with my One Word Uncertainty is to stay curious. I love your term so much: Holy Curiosity. May I see his invitations all around me this month to practice holy curiosity.

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