Spiritual growth and development is important to the Christian life. If one is to live successfully as a part of the Kingdom of God, continual education and insight is mandatory. The Church has leaders such as pastors, ministers, priests, deacons, and laymen who aid others in their spiritual growth. However, we can often miss one group who can teach many truths about the Kingdom of God; that is, children.
1. Become as Children
In His own words, Jesus stated that we were to model the behavior of children if we want to enter into the Kingdom of God. He stated,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)
Jesus’ statement has nothing to do with becoming childlike in our understanding and insight, but with our attitude and approach to our journey as members of His Kingdom. Hence, to follow His words, we discover three lessons children teach us about the Kingdom of God.
2. Lesson of Faith
Most children demonstrate trust, reliance, and faith in their parents’ love, provision, and protection. They rely on their parents for their food, clothing, shelter, and comfort; trusting that if they make a request, it will be answered. The same holds true for members of the Kingdom of God.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (I John 5:4)
We must learn to have an unwavering faith in Christ. Faith and reliance on Him will protect and strengthen us when difficult situations arise. Our faith will guarantee success in this life and in the life to come.
3. Lesson of Forgiveness
Young children, especially siblings, know how to have disagreements and fights with one another and moments later, they are playing together again. We enter into God’s kingdom because of forgiveness offered in Jesus Christ. From this, we are to become people willing to forgive others when we are offended or disagreements arise. Children teach us to learn how to forgive as God for Christ’s sake forgave us.
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (I Corinthians 14:20
This is why Paul encouraged the Corinthian church to be children in malice. A child’s malice is usually short lived. The Christian’s malice should also be short lived because god offers grace and help that bitterness and unforgiveness will not rule in his heart or mind.
4. Lesson of Fellowship
Children love to play and be among their peers. It is essential to their social and psychological development. This demonstrates that members of Christ’s Kingdom need fellowship and interaction with others who hold to the faith. It is through fellowship we can exhort, encourage, and edify one another, contributing to success in the Kingdom.
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
The writer of Hebrews echoed this sentiment when exhorted his readers to not abandon coming together in fellowship, which includes the worship service.
Learning from children is hard for some adults to do. However, the Christian who desires success in the Kingdom of God will do well to learn from them.