Some thoughts from “Learning from Living.”
If a child lives with criticism…he learns to condemn;
If a child lives with hostility…he learns to fight;
If a child lives with ridicule…he learns to be shy;
If a child lives with shame…he learns to feel guilty;
If a child lives with forbearance…he learns to be patient;
If a child lives with praise…he learns to appreciate;
If a child lives with security…he learns to have faith;
If a child lives with approval…he learns to like himself;
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship…he learns to find love in the world.
When Jesus wanted to describe to His disciples those who would enter into the kingdom of heaven, He brought some little children into His midst. Those who would enter the kingdom should become innocent as little children are innocent (Matthew 18:1-6). Just a short time later, Jesus is still with the disciples and again some children are brought into Jesus’ midst in order that He would pray for them (Matthew 19:13-15). Yet, the disciples rebuke those who brought the children, as if to say -- Jesus is too busy and important for such trivial things. The disciples obviously did not learn from the earlier situation concerning the importance of children and what it is to be innocent. Jesus reaffirms that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. I believe that this is one of the most critical of spiritual realities -- innocence. And this is not to be naïve or gullible, but to be fully and completely submitted to God’s will as His child! As we learn and grow, we learn to invest in love, submission, grace and maturity. We are never going to be sinless people, but we must be humble people…and if we are, then we can and will be blameless, because we are living according to God’s will. If we have truly been made right in our relationship with our Father, through the blood of our brother, His Son, then we can and will be innocent like the little children that Jesus called to Himself...for the kingdom of God is for such as these!