I often hear people confused about Christ’s illustration with a child in Matthew 18 giving instruction to the disciples to ‘become as little children.’ Although I have heard many expanations for this passage of text, I believe that Christ was exhorting them to be humble in spirit.
Humility is an attribute that is rarely displayed in today’s Western Church. For the most part, pastors and congregations alike exhibit a pride of accomplishment and prestige because of their walk, identity and their faith or lifestyle. Unfortunately, when we have this type of outlook, we are in direct competition with scripture. Paul tells us in Romans 7 that he is rotten throughout because of sin and that his life is a slave with sin as his king except for the Power of God working in him.
A child has a place in society that is completely dependent on others. A young child has no rights, has ‘no say’ nor are they a viable asset to industry or the work place. Jesus says unless we recognize our likeness to children in His Kingdom that we’ll never see it. In order to truly be ‘saved’ one must have a humility of nothingness and recognize their need for Christ as Savior and Lord.
All to often our position in life prevents us from being used at all by God. Then we wonder why things are fruitless or we begin to consider the count of heads instead of the change of hearts as our success. To be honest, the only measurement of success for us as Christians is in our heart and passion for God and how we express that passion to others by making ourselves nothing! Hmmm… seems vaguely familiar – oh, yes; Jesus did that for us!
So the next time someone considers the childlike faith, keep in mind exactly what it is.