On Being Childlike
It’s enough to make you sick. It causes some people a gnawing pain in the pit of the stomach. Others drink more or smoke more or eat more because of it. It’s caused more dreams to be abandoned, kept more people from pursuing a new career, robbed more people of joy in life, destroyed more relationships than all other causes combined.
FEAR just may be the worst enemy of the human race. And it’s been with us since the beginning. Adam hid from God because he was afraid (Gen. 3:10). Who can forget the classic line from Job when he said, “That which I feared most has come upon me.” (Job 3:25)?
For a few days I want to hang around this thought of being childlike. Please note that I said “childlike” not “childish.” Here’s what Jesus says, in Matthew 18:3 (ESV) “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Now, it is my opinion that Jesus is not referring to “the kingdom of Heaven” as heaven our eternal home, but rather living in the blessing and provisions of His kingdom and Lordship in our lives now while we are on our way to Heaven.
We start out childlike then as we age, we change, and Jesus says we must change again. He uses the word “turn” which simply means to go in another direction. There are a number of characteristics of childlikeness. Today I want to focus on the fact that they are “fearless.”
We’ve all watched a child stand on the edge of the pool and, without hesitation, jump into the arms of their dad when he said jump. In fact, they climb places and put themselves in situations that strike fear in our hearts because they are unafraid. They are unafraid because they don’t have data in their brains to make them fearful and because they trust.
We are not born to be afraid! I am told we are born with only two fears. The fear of falling and fear of loud noises. Every other fear is LEARNED. I remember the first time I went snow skiing. I was in my late thirties, and I was trying to negotiate my way down the mountain so carefully, afraid of falling, when passing me going so fast they were a blur was a group of children that couldn’t have been more than 5, 6, and 7 years old, some even younger! They didn’t even have ski poles! They had not yet learned to be afraid of falling. My fear had me paralyzed. Their lack of fear had set them free.
It is fear (and all of its cousins, worry, anxiety, depression, and self-doubt) that will turn your dream of success into a chilling nightmare that haunts you into paralysis. The lion is the king of the jungle not because he is the strongest, but because his roar paralyzes with fear.
Conquer your fears today and you have conquered what may be your greatest enemy. You conquer your fear by trusting in someone greater than you, just like a child jumping into the arms of their father.
PRAYER: Jesus, so many times I’ve allowed my fears to get between us. Please forgive me and help to place my trust in YOU. When fear begins to rise up I am running to you! AMEN