Be a Childlike Grown-up

I was recently listening to a pastor I love and respect talk about childlike faith and how the Bible teaches us that we need to be like children. You get this from verses like Matthew 18:3:
I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

I was flowing with him. But then I also started thinking about all those verses where we’re told to be mature. Verses like Hebrews 5:13-14:
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature.

That seems a little bit contradictory. We’re supposed to be like children. But we’re also supposed to grow up and be mature. How do we handle this tension?

Here’s where I’ve landed:
Be a childlike grownup.

When it comes to your faith and your prayers, be naïve. Never lose your sense of wonder. Never get to the point where you know better. Always come before God with the belief that He’s your Father and is ready, willing, and able to do anything you need Him to. That the only limit to His power is your ability to believe Him for it.

But when it comes to things like your decisions, your ambitions, and what offends you, be a grownup. Continually increase your responsibility. Continually grow in wisdom. Make sure the development of your character keeps pace with the advancement of your years.

Far too many Christians have equated maturity with what is really cynical unbelief.
Far too many Christians have equated childlike faith with what is really juvenile immaturity.

While increasing in your maturity, never decrease in your faith. Or vice versa.
Do what the Bible tells you. Increase in both.

Be a childlike grownup.

This entry was originally published on April 28, 2011.