I’ve always really loved kids. I work at a Pediatrician’s office. I babysat as soon as I wasn’t considered a kid anymore. I’ve nannied full-time. I’m a sub for daycare. I get excited about volunteering to spend hours with kids, whether it’s VBS or an after-school program. Kids have my heart; they always have. Even when I was still in a car-seat, I was mothering on anyone smaller than me: holding their hand, pretending to be a little grown up, children have always, always had a special place in my heart.
And I feel like this scripture may get a little skimmed over sometimes, but I think we should all try to memorize this one or jot it down or put it in our iPhone notes or something because these words from Jesus explain in very simple terms the solution to most of our complicated problems.
Truly, I tell you, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.
That scripture may seem kind of harsh, but really, let’s think about it. It’s spot on.
I’ve spent plenty of time with adults, plenty of time with the elderly, plenty of time with people my own age, and I’ve felt loved in a special and unique way during all those times, but when I’m with children, it’s different.
Children have a love that mirrors the love of Jesus in an uncanny manner. Their first instinct is to help and to care. The majority of kids I’ve encountered, whether they were in the Dominican Republic, or in my own home church in SC, had a natural tendency to accept and love the people around them. I wish we all had that nature; I wish it was in our nature as adults to reach out to those around us and love them simply because they were God’s children.
Because that should be enough. They shouldn’t have to earn our love because we didn’t earn God’s love. Children have a beautiful way of loving people just for the sake of loving them. I think a lot more people would be saved and know the love of Jesus if we all started loving like children.
All these kids had an inner motive to be good. Not just well-behaved, but good.
I’ve found in my time disciplining children that they behave not because they are terrified of punishment or seeking reward but because they learn what is right and what is wrong. They learn that bad behavior, like stealing, lying, cheating, cruelty, they learn that those things hurt other people, and that’s why they turn from them.
What if that was our mindset?
Not just that actions are wrong, not just that actions are inappropriate, not just that actions are unacceptable, but that these actions can inflict pain?
I think our lives would look a lot different. I think if our actions reflected that mindset, the way we love God and other people would look a lot different because our actions would show that love, not just our mouths.
So I challenge you today.
Turn from your negative thoughts.
Turn from the enemy telling you that work is long and hard, that school is difficult and stressful, that life is horrible and dull.
Turn from the weeds that drowned the seeds of hope you planted as a child.
Turn from what the world deems as normal, and remember who you were when you were 7.
Full of life. Full of hope. Full of love.
I challenge you today to love like a child, and see how it turns your world upside down.
I challenge you to never let your world be that dreary, adult right-side up again.