Something I Am Learning

childsfaithI love the faith of little kids!  Their ability to believe, flat out amazes me.  I can tell a kid I put peanut butter and jelly on a table and ate it and they believe it.  Their faith is something that we know Jesus commended as well.  But what is it that makes their faith so amazing?  Here are some things I love about the faith of a child.

  • They usually do not assume the worst of others.  Their faith is a faith that leans into trust and believing the best.  The older we get the less we are like this.
  • They believe in the face of what seems opposite.  This is the faith that beats worry.  God has made some pretty  big claims.  Meet all our needs, love that surpasses knowledge, strength in every temptation yada, yada, yada…I wonder why I worry and stress so much.
  • They believe not only in the ability of God but also the heart of God.  We say, “I know God can, but…” and in that little three letter word my faith breaks down.  God can “BUT” will he?  My lack of faith sometimes puts God on trial as though he must act like I want him to act.

When we see the faith of kids we often say, “How cute!” but we really don’t think of imitating it.  Yet that is exactly the instruction of Jesus.  Have faith like a child.  But here is the rub, was Jesus simply saying nice things about kids or was he actually expecting me to imitate the faith of a child?  If he was really giving instruction then I will need a few adjustments.

I will need to take a giant dose of humility. Jesus wants me to learn from those I lead,  but more than that, from those whose lives need my leadership and yours too.  That requires humility.  That requires me to not pretend to be wise and call them cute but rather to ask what they see that I do not.  This requires me to lean into and learn from their faith.

It will require me to slow down. As a grown up I pass kids all the time, dropping some pearl of wisdom on them and then moving on to the next place.  If I am to imitate the faith of a child, I might (read “will”, still working on the humility thing)  need to slow down and spend some time with a child.

I need to surrender. A child’s faith believes the closer they are to someone they love the safer and happier they will be.  Ask any parent whose kid’s clings to them.  A child believes that parent wants them there.  The faith of a child is a faith that runs to a parent when frightened or hurt.  A child’s faith tells a parent everything because they believe the parent is interested.  Dang if this doesn’t get tough for me.

I sometimes steer clear of Jesus when I am hurt or frightened.  It don’t want to surrender my pain.  I avoid being clingy, I don’t want to surrender my strength or will.  I don’t talk with God nearly as much; I sometimes don’t believe he cares about the details.  I don’t always believe the closer I am to Jesus the happier I will be.  I simply operate off the fear of how much I will miss or how much work it will be to get and stay there.

So, hear Jesus again.  “Unless you have the faith of a little child…”  Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on September 11, 2009.

One Response to “Something I Am Learning”

  1. I’m a pre-adoptive father to two hurt kids. The downside of this is something I said in an email to you today, Leonard. If children are taken advantage of and lied to, they end up being very wrong about a great many things, and yet they still have a lot of those childlike qualities… only badly mis-directed…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: