Sunday, May 25, 2014
May 25: The path to greatness
Then He called a child to Him and had him stand among them. “I assure you,” He said, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one child like this in My name welcomes Me. (Matthew 18:2-5 HCSB)
A child looks at a loving parent with total trust, and will believe anything that parent says without a doubt. A child tries a new skill, falls down, and gets right up to try again, over and over until he learns. A child finds delight and laughter in the simplest of things, and when he is tired or in need of comfort, he runs to his parent’s arms and finds complete safety there. A child knows that he is small and incapable of surviving on his own. He sees himself as an extension of his parents, more like an extra limb than an independent person. A child lives for the smiles, hugs and praises of his parents, and even when he is disciplined, he knows that it is out of love and does all he can not to repeat that mistake.
The pride and stupidity of human nature loves to be exalted. We judge ourselves, and others so wrongly when we become impressed with social status, knowledge or wealth. We may not admit it, but our social reputation often blocks us from doing what is right, because we are too embarrassed to be seen behaving in a way that would make us look ridiculous in their eyes. We won’t try something new, we won’t seek out help, we won’t admit our faults or ask forgiveness, because we don’t have that kind of humility that Jesus is talking about.
But Jesus says that becoming humble like a child is what makes us great in the eyes of God! And if we are great in God’s eyes, our power and effectiveness to defeat our problems is greater still. “Unless you are converted and become like children…” can we assume that those who refuse to be humble are not truly converted? Yes. To convert from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God requires humility, and the sacrifice of pride.
Look at the examples in the first paragraph, and put yourself in the place of the child and God in the place of the parent. Is that the way you relate to God? Let go of the reins. Forget about embarrassment. Become great in His eyes. Become humble like a child.