LIKE A BABY

{Matthew 18:3 ,Mark 10:15, I Corinthians 1;26-29, I Corinthians 14:20, I Peter 2:2}

Jesus came as a baby and wants me, also, to come as a baby.

If I come to God , all grown-up and “wise”, like the pharisees, I will never enter the kingdom. Not many wise, not many strong are chosen but God has chosen the weak of this world to confound the wise. I Corinthians 1:26 It is good to understand truth but be like a child, without malice (shameless desire to get the better of others). I Corinthians 14:20 As a baby desires milk I need to desire the sincere milk of the word so that I may grow. I Peter 2:2

When I was a student at the U of M, I attended a student Bible study. Something felt wrong and I think I figured it out. They were not using their superior IQ’s to (like a baby) soak in and comprehend God’s wisdom and have their own thinking revamped. No, they were deciding whether they agreed with God’s wisdom. They were leaning on their own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 Right then I asked God to help me use my intellect, (like a baby) just to soak up and understand and apply what he was saying and let his truth reprove me and hopefully straighten out my reasoning to see things as he sees them. I understood that his ways are not my ways and his thoughts are not my thoughts,. His thoughts are as much higher than mine as the universe is broader than my horizon. Isaiah 55:9 In other words I needed to be open to learning as a baby is.

Jesus came as a baby so that he would not overwhelm me with his power and might. I must come to him as a baby so that I might be open to learning and growing . I must go to the world as a baby so that they might not be defensive and be more likely to listen to God’s marvelous truth and open to his love.

So what are babies like? They are not into power and control, they prioritize relationships, are hungry for more, learn from others, enjoy what they are given, delight in other babies, grow daily, ask for their needs and accept help and thus give others purpose in life, do not stagnate but keep developing new strengths and skills, delight and wonder in the beauty of the ordinary etc. Little children do not seek to run from life into video games or substance abuse. They do not need everything to be new and entertaining. Life is about people and delighting in the ordinary. They do not ignore the here and now and want to be elsewhere and tomorrow. Matthew 6;34 They do not ignore anything that is “old” but eagerly learn from those who have gone before. They look to their authority as to what to fear or not and they run for help and safety to their protector when danger attacks.

We go through stages as we age. I need to keep the lessons of the previous stage and just add to and refine them for fuller balance. The disciples had lost the childlike wonder and trust and become angry and cynical. In the first stage from 0 to about 12 we suck up the learning of older and wiser parents and adults without much questioning. We learn to do what is right to please their authority and avoid punishment. God’s purpose is to allow the transmission of truth to the children grand children and great grandchildren. Deuteronomy 6:7

Then from 12 to about 16 we actually lose the ability to see anything from another’s point of view. You can show teens a model of a sailing ship from the side and ask them to draw it “as if it was coming straight towards them. They may not move the model or themselves, but must imagine the ship from another angle. The 10 year old does fine the teen has no idea what you want. They can not come out of themselves and see anything from another’s viewpoint . God’s purpose is no less than the defense of free will and accountability. Every teen has to decide, “Yes, but what do I think, what do I choose to do or not do?” We need to gain choice yet keep the baby openness and motivations.

As a young adult we have our own opinion of what is right and know what society thinks and have to try to fit in. We don’t want to abandon our new principles or our baby motivations but add the ability to be all things to all people in order to win some. I Corinthians 9:19-23 Paul wants to move people on from pablum and porridge to adult food but has to stick to the basics because his people are not ready. I need to do things because they are right but I also need to tone my delivery to be more likely to have an impact. (You can go up to people on the beach and warn them that there is a judgment to come and ask them if they ready; no one will listen; or you can minister to people and seek a chance to invite them to find what you have found.)

“Lord help me be more like a little child so that as my outside ages daily, my inner self might be getting younger daily. Help me to approach others with a childlike love of people. 2 Corinthians 4:16

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