2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said:“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. — Matt. 18:2-5 NLT
As adults, we can become like children in two different ways. We can make decisions based on our wants and feelings with no knowledge or concern of what the consequences might be. This happens when we want to exercise control or when we make decisions that are based on what we wantt and not what is good for ourselves and others. An example is not sharing with others as we should and beoming angry when we are asked to do so. Another example is being disobedient. This is being “childish”. The other way we can become like chiildren is to live our lives with the innocence of childhood, accepting others without question, being humble and being obedient to parents and authority figures. This happens when we base our decisions on knowledge and when we consider the outcome of our decisions. An example of this is to do what is best for the family and/or those around us regardless of what our desires and wants may be. The best example is that of Jesus and that is to love without conditions and without expecting anything in return. This is being “childlike” and that is the attitude that Jesus says we must have to enter the Kingdom of God. If we are childish, we seek to satisfy our wants and we seek the approval and praise of men. If we are childlike, we humble ourselves before God, do His work and seek His approval.
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. —- 1 John 3:17, 18 NLT