As adults, we gain something when we graduate from childhood, but we lose something as well. In most cases the gains outnumber the losses, but some of what we lose may not be remembered, especially things far into the past. We are, for the most part, the totality of our experiences. Some of those experiences may have the effect of hardening us, causing us to be callous to certain things. Along with that comes a consciousness different than that of a child, a consciousness in which there is suspicion of the motives of others. Many times, this is fully warranted in today’s society in which the chicanery of man has left its mark. Why is it, then, some may ask, that Christ expects us to become child-like? First, we need to notice that the goal is to be child-like, not childish.
“Verily, I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein” (Luke 18:17).
Why did Christ say that? It’s because his disciples were trying to figure out who might be the big shots in the kingdom. They wanted to know who is the greatest (Matthew 18:1). So Christ’s reference to a child was to show that being great for God is different that being great in the sight of men. “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself like this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). The kingdom of heaven is the kingdom that is coming out of heaven in the form of the New Jerusalem, a replacement for the corrupt Old Jerusalem we see in the headlines, from time to time.
If we have the consciousness of a child, we will be trusting our Father, and Christ, our big brother, to be able to solve any problems we might have. We ought to be thinking about our Father, just like when we were children. Similar to the conduct of a physical father, our heavenly Father does not always say “yes”. If He did, we would all be spoiled brats.
While we are to be child-like in the trusting of our Father and the Son of man, we should not be childish, failing to mature.
“When I was a child, I talked as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:11-12).
We all possess a fragmented consciousness. That will not change until we are resurrected into bodies that don’t die. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible; and we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52). What the Father has in store for us is so much more that the religions have advertised. “For, behold I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17). Just as we do not remember when we were one year old, likewise we will be unable to remember this corrupt planet as it is now. That memory will fade like a faint cloud dissolved by wind, as we continue down into eternity, creating new things within a renewed universe because we will have obtained a whole consciousness. “And he that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new…” (Revelation 21:5).
Wily Elder, Behavior Scientist
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