As Christians we have become children of God. We have gone from being worldly adults to spiritual children when we were born again but we have taken the baggage of all the adult knowledge with us. Jesus said that we must become as little children:
Mat_18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
What are the characteristics of little children?
- They have no fear.
- They have no preconceived ideas.
- They have unconditional love.
- They have forgiveness.
- They have simple faith. They can believe the impossible.
- They have Self-Confidence.
- They have perfect dreams for the future.
- They trust their parents.
- They imitate their parents.
- They have no regards or understanding of Money.
Fear is something that we learn; we are not born with it. It starts off with learning a respect for things that can harm us, we learn that fire burns and if we fall it often hurts. This respect for things that can harm us is used by our sub-conscious to protect us. Sometimes because of happenings in our lives this respect starts to become fear.
A definition of fear is:-
A painful emotion or passion excited by an expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger. Fear expresses less apprehension than dread, and dread less than terror and fright. The force of this passion, beginning with the most moderate degree, may be thus expressed, fear, dread, terror, fright. Fear is accompanied with a desire to avoid or ward off the expected evil. Fear is an uneasiness of mind, upon the thought of future evil likely to befall us. (Webster)
If a child was born with fear it would never take its first steps, it would never try to climb, in fact it would just sit there motionless. It is only through activities that we learn to grow and to have respect for things that harm us and unfortunately this opens the door for fear to control us. Fear is a spiritual thing and it stems from the knowledge of good and evil that we inherited through Adam and Eve. If we do not overcome it, it can kill us both spiritually and physically.
The love of God casts out fear:
1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Fear is not of God and he has equipped us to overcome it;
2Ti_1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
To overcome fear we have;
The power of the Holy Spirit,
The love of God, and,
The mind of Christ.
When we rely on this we will overcome fear and again become as a child.
In all people there is an inherent desire to know their maker, to know where they come from and to know where they are going. There are many religions and they all have their own ideas and as people we tend to follow the one that suits us or the one that our families have followed. Therefore we have all built up our own preconceived ideas about God, heaven, angels, Satan and all the religious quirks that go with them.
When we are born again we need to forget all these things of the world and renew our minds so that we can conform to the real truths of God.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We know that God is love. We know that because God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to bring us back to Him.
The main things that Jesus preached were the Kingdom and the love of God. When a child is born it has this same unconditional love and loves everyone. Because of the knowledge of good and evil we learn how to dislike, which turns into hate, certain things and certain people, normally those that have done wrong to us or to those that are close to us.
When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment he said that we must love God with all our being and our neighbour as we love ourselves.
Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
We need to love ourselves and then we can love our neighbours, we must forget about dislike or hatred and only love as a child does.
God tells us to bless those that oppose us.
Rom_12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
1Th 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
Love is one of the strongest powers that we have as Christians, as we use it, it will not only change the lives of others but ours also.
Naturally children do not hold grudges and they forgive easily. As young children they have not been affected by the knowledge of good and evil and they behave with the nature of God that is part of their natural make up. They have not learnt the values of evil which it makes it easier for them to forgive when something happens to them. Unforgiveness comes from experience of hurts that happen as we grow.
Faith is simply belief. As children have no preconceived ideas they tend to believe what they are told. They believe the impossible because they have no otherwise knowledge. If you give a young girl a doll she can believe that she is a mother with a family, or a young boy a car he can believe that he is a formula one driver. In the time that the children play with their toys they believe that they are real, their imagination makes play realty. Faith is a simple thing but once we start to gain knowledge of good and evil it becomes a lot harder.
Trust is Confidence; reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person. (Webster)
A child trusts its parents; it has to rely on them for growth, food for the body and knowledge for the mind. A child believes that whatever the parents do is right and trusts the parents to look after them and keep them safe. They also tend to trust other older people, teachers, caregivers, thinking that they will be as their parents. This trust starts to fail as they are introduced to evil.
We are born with self-confidence; we have the ability to do all that we need to do for ourselves. It is self confidence that lets us have faith, lets us be able to trust others and lets us become the person that we need to be. Our self-confidence starts to wain once we start to be aware of the knowledge of good and evil.
Perfect Dreams For The Future
One of the characteristics of God is to be a creator, He created the heavens and the earth and He made man in His image. We are born with the ability to create. This starts with a dream, ideas, imagination, visualisation, and then thought is added to add substance to it, and it eventually comes into reality. If we look at where we have got to today with all the material things that we have we see that man has created all sorts of things, from the wheel to the mechanically driven vehicle to rockets to take us to the moon, these all started as dreams. Children must be allowed to have ideas and dreams as it is part of their inherent nature.
We always want to be like others, we look at the best points of others and try to copy them. Children think that their parents are perfect and therefore they try to copy them in all ways. The tendency will be to do as their parents did rather than to do what their parents said as actions speak louder than words. It is a natural thing for a child to want to be like their parents.
A child does not understand money and therefore has no regard for it. It is only as they grow and start to understand that they see the power of money, that they can use it for their benefit. While they are young they have no need for it as their parents supply their needs. As we get older the power of money can control us if we are not careful.
1Ti_6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Mat 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
The Knowledge of Good and Evil.
This is something that affects all our thoughts and actions in life. It is what makes us judge everything that we think and do. It causes us to way up the cost of all things and how they will affect us. It also causes us to judge the actions of other people against our own standards, and to condemn them if they do not live up to what we believe that they should. As little children this knowledge of good and evil does not affect us as, it is something that we learn as our mind develops. It happens when we come to the age of understanding which varies with everyone but is normally around the age of seven. This is when we stop accepting everything that we are told and start to question things.
When Jesus aid that we must become as little children, He was referring to it mentally and not physically, He was saying that we must go back to simply accepting God in the same way that a child does and not using the knowledge of good and evil to judge things of God by our standard and not Gods.
God gave man dominion over the earth and when He created the earth, He created it in such a way that it would always be able to supply all the needs that man would have. To benefit from this we need to stop judging, and trying to understand all things and put all our trust and faith in God, letting
Him be in control of our lives, walking in His ways of righteousness. As Christians we are one with Christ and we need to accept that and behave accordingly, on His terms and conditions and not ours.
2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.