A Little Child
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 18:4
Children are the heritage of the Lord to every married couple. This means they are God’s reward and legacy for the next generation. Being a father and, now, a grandfather, I love to teach and play with little children. They are very inquisitive and have a huge capacity to acquire knowledge. They are good at imitating adults and think that what adults do is “cool.” Jesus used a little child to ingrain an important spiritual principle into our hearts.
We see the meaning.
The key thought is humbling ourselves as a little child. William Temple said: “Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself one way or the other at all.” John Flavel said, “They that know God will be humble, and they that know themselves cannot be proud.” Philip Brooks said, “The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.” Humility is the one area of our lives that we have so little of and have to work so hard at living out in our lives.
We see the model.
Jesus used a little child as a model for humility. A little child has simple trust. He has not been calloused by bad experiences to the point that he is skeptical, scornful, or suspicious about everything he hears. He has learned to trust his parents and those in leadership roles. He is submissive to authority. A little child is teachable. There is a willingness to allow an adult to teach him. He learns through repetition. He learns by making mistakes and trying to do it right. A little child is tenderhearted. His conscience is tender when corrected or when he has done something wrong. He cries when he has done wrong. He is contrite and seeks to remedy whatever it is that he has done wrong. This does not mean the child does not rebel or give resistance. It means that he is someone that can be led to do the right thing.
We see the merit.
Jesus said that the believer who humbles himself as a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. First, God is pleased when we are humble. "God resisteth the proud...." Second, humility is the door to answered prayer. Jabez prayed in humility, and God granted him that which he requested. Moses fell on his face before God many times for Him to be merciful to Israel for its sins: God heard him and answered him. Third, humility is the starting point for the forgiveness of sins. We must realize how terrible our sin is and how much we need God’s forgiveness. Fourth, humility is the foundation for forgiveness and reconciliation between people who are at odds with each other. Peter asked, “How often should I forgive my brother?” Jesus answered him, “Until seventy times seven,” or every time. That takes a lot of humility!
Humility is voluntary, but this is something we must have. It is a safeguard to our relationships, and it is the salvation to relationships on the rocks. Have the humility of a little child.
Have a humble God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 45-48