Faith Like a Child

This has always been a mysterious phrase to me. How is it that you have faith like a child? It’s interesting to me that in all the other areas of our spiritual lives, we are supposed to be mature. We are supposed to be experienced. We are supposed to be “old.” But in faith, the opposite is true.

In the area of our faith, we are supposed to be like children. Inexperienced. Young. So you could say that in spiritual development, we start out as infants and we are growing into adulthood. But specifically in our faith, we are going backward. We are growing into children, because with faith, the most mature kind of faith is childlike faith.

That still doesn’t really answer what it means, though. Furthermore, it doesn’t answer why God values that childlike quality to faith. For me, it helps to ask the question in terms of relationship, and so I look at the relationship my own son has with me. What quality is it in that relationship that God would like in my relationship with Him? Though you could probably say a number of things, I’ll go with simplicity.

Joshua’s relationship with me is simple. He doesn’t yet have any big reason to distrust me. He knows what to expect from me, and when he needs something, he knows he can ask. And he loves me. He loves being around me. It’s a pretty humbling thing from the perspective of a father. Simple.

The problem is that as we grow in “maturity”, our relationships not just with our fathers but with most people become less “simple.” To me, the opposite of simplicity is self-consciousness. Instead of simply being ourselves in our relationships we become insecure, feeling like we have to be a certain way, act a certain way, or dress a certain way. Conversation becomes less honest and more like an attempt to impress. And spending time together doesn’t come so much out of enjoyment but out of a desire to fill a time quota, making sure that person still likes you.

So it is with God. As we grow, we become less and less simple and more and more self-conscious. We become more mature and less child-like. But today, I’d like to treat my 4-year-old as an example. I want to be more like him today.

Subscribe to MichaelKelley.co

Never miss a new post. Subscribe to receive these posts in your inbox and to receive information about new discipleship resources.

You have successfully subscribed. Click here to download your bonus.

1 Comment

  • Chris Ediger says:

    “To me, the opposite of simplicity is self-consciousness. Instead of simply being ourselves in our relationships we become insecure, feeling like we have to be a certain way, act a certain way, or dress a certain way. Conversation becomes less honest and more like an attempt to impress. And spending time together doesn’t come so much out of enjoyment but out of a desire to fill a time quota, making sure that person still likes you.”

    Wow – you hit the nail on the head for me! I really like the concept of simple vs self-consciousness. And isn’t God all about us losing our focus on self? Good words.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *