“And He (Jesus) 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 18:3-4
Think about the children in your lives. They may be your own children, grandchildren, students, or other family and friends. What are they like? Often when people hear the phrase “child-like faith,” they think about a type of blind belief. I believe Jesus calls us to think of something different.
When we tell a child something new, they often have questions. One study I read recently said on average children ask 73 questions a day. They don’t just accept what they are told and move on, they want to know more! Children are curious and want to know the who, what, when, where, and why about everything. I think that is the kind of faith Jesus is calling us to have, and reminding us of when He tells His followers to be like children in our faith. We should be constantly seeking more, asking questions, and digging deeper. Child-like faith is not blind faith.
There are several other characteristics I feel Jesus is calling us to be more child-like in. Children are full of wonder and awe at the world around them. They see God’s creation in a unique and inquisitive way. Creativity and imagination are some of the wonderful qualities children possess. Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” As we grow, we tend to lose that artistic imagination. The definition of imagination is, “the action of forming ideas or concepts not present to the senses.” Think about that for a minute. As we study the Word of God, our imagination can add so much to what we read. Children read or hear the story about Jonah, for example, and can imagine what it was really like to be in the belly of the whale. What did it feel like? What did it smell like? I believe seeing these stories through that lens can create a deeper faith and compassion for the person who lived it. Now consider Jesus’s death…and His resurrection! As we grow, of course these characteristics need to be refined and examined through trusted biblical teaching.
Faith that is paired with imagination can also help us to realize who God is calling us to be and what He is calling us to do. This is why churches do vision casting and ministry planning. We are imagining what the future of our ministry could look like. Our imagination, especially when led by the Holy Spirit can take us far! I would encourage you to try to be more “child-like” in your faith. Ask questions, dig deeper, and always try to imagine things as they can be with the amazing power given to us!