What does it mean to have a child-like faith? And how in the midst of their stormy youth are we adults to guide little ones away from childishness and toward the child-like maturity which Jesus commends as the only way to receive his kingdom? We could begin by shoring up our understanding of “child-like” vs. “childish.” Often without realizing it, and always to kids’ detriment, we adults tend to get those categories confused.
Have you ever met a mature Christian? That question’s not meant to be snarky, no matter how many smirks it may inspire. It’s meant to call attention to the truly special experience of interacting with people who sincerely (and sometimes unknowingly) exude from the core of their being what Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5). Their demeanor is calm and calming. Ordinary conversations with them feel holy, and when you leave, you feel understood, taken seriously, and loved. These people scare the stuff out of me.