Thursday 23 May 2013


Childlike faith is commendable. But there are dangers when we are trustful and naïve like a child.

When it comes to appreciating spiritual truths, intellectuals have no advantage over anyone with childlike faith. Having the intellectual prowess of the likes of Bertrand Russell or Stephen Hawking is futile. It cannot bring anyone any closer to a state of personal intimacy with God. To touch God we merely need to believe that Jesus died for our sins and let Him take charge of our lives. *

Jesus said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

The disciples rebuked the people when the latter brought children to Jesus that He might touch them. But Jesus was indignant and said, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And He took them in His arms and blessed them (Mark 10:13-16).

When we seek God, we are to be like little children. We need humility and an attitude of dependency. If we are proud of the fact we know a lot, we will fail to appreciate the many blessings, promises and revelations that God has prepared for us.

Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children" (Matthew 11:25).

Being childlike implies a lack of corruption. We start off in life with a “clean slate” and along the way we get corrupted by the world, bad company and our flesh. Adam and Eve lost their innocence after they sinned in the Garden of Eden. And we inherited Adam’s sinful nature. Ideally, we should maintain our childlike innocence even as we mature: Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20b). But, of course, this is easier said than done. **


Having touched on the virtues of being childlike, let’s now move on to examine what childlikeness should not be like:

Firstly, being childlike does not mean we should be naïve—not aware of the potential dangers or pitfalls that might happen to us. Murphy’s Law states that “if anything can go wrong, it will”. To think that everything in life will turn out well so we do not need any backup or contingency plan is being naïve, to say the least. Doesn’t God make the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:45)?

“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (Proverbs 22:3). This axiom may be true of a breadwinner who needs to buy disability or life insurance to provide for his family’s needs in case he is disabled or he is no longer around, respectively. Or it may mean planning, saving and investingstarting from the early phase of working lifein order to build a retirement nest egg. People who fail to be proactive may suffer the consequences later in life. As they say, “People don’t plan to fail. They only fail to plan.” 

Secondly, being childlike does not mean we become so trustful that we fail to be vigilant against deception. The apostle Paul declared that we have to be vigilant so that we are not outwitted by Satan (2 Corinthians 2:11). The apostle Peter cautioned us to be alert and sober as Satan, the roaring lion, is prowling around waiting to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). Only those who are mature—those who have outgrown their childishness—won’t fall prey to the devil’s devices. ***

Believers need to progressively grow towards maturity. If we choose to remain like little children, despite having clocked many years in the faith, this sad commentary might become true:

In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:12-14).

Being childlike has both positive and negative connotations. We should have childlike faith, innocence and purity. But we should not be naïve like a child but be vigilant against the wiles of Satan and prepare ourselves for various contingencies. We must not let our guard down. 

Childlikeness is a virtue to be cherished and appreciated. However, we need to progressively mature in our journey of faithand grow out of our childish ways.


Man cannot know God through the rational process—no matter how great his intellect. Faith, the means by which man comes to know God, is not against reason; it transcends reason. Reason may help to build faith but it (reason) can never ultimately bring a person to know God.


How do we overcome evil in our lives? By choosing to ‘walk by the Spirit’, we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. What are some of the practical steps involved?

Be aware, be warned. It’s already here. We should wise up by preparing ourselves against deception. Jesus warned that deception will be a prominent feature during these end times.

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