Thought of the Day August 12, 2020 The innocence of a child

By 10:45 AM

 

Jesus said: “Unless you become like a little child, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” The key word is “become”. Jesus is not suggesting that we physically return to the state of a child, but to the true and saving qualities of a child. When we became an adolescent we lost something essential to our life with God, in fact a number of qualities. We lost the lens of a child looking at reality. We put on new glasses which in a sense gave us a distorted view of life. We saw life no longer as God sees it but as the world presents it.

One of the qualities of a child is innocence. A child has the blessing of being free from the awareness of sin and evil. Let's take the example of the sin of prejudice. A child is not prejudice but sees others as they are. Where does prejudice come from? It is learned from those around us, especially our parents or peers. I recall a story about a little white first grader who had an African-American teacher. He didn't know the difference between white or black. One day he heard some older students talk about people of color, using the "N" word. He was frightened. He ran to his teacher and said that he was afraid of those people. He did not see her as white or black, just as someone who could protect him from whatever. Such is innocence. 

Even though we may have lost our innocence because of sin, we still can become innocent by choosing not to live in sin but to live in the life of Christ as fully as possible. This is what Jesus is urging when he says we must become like a little child. Turn away from sin and cling to the Lord. 

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