Faith is the heart of Christian life. Throughout the Holy Bible, faith is emphasized and portrayed as a fundamental need. Absolutely, “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). Hebrews 11 is a whole chapter devoted to discussing faith and the people who have it. Faith, as we learn in Ephesians 2:8–9, is a blessing from God, not a virtue that we can earn on our own through effort.
The Bible never, at least not explicitly, pushes us to possess “childlike” faith. But should we have childlike faith? What are the advantages of having childlike faith? And what are some practical exercises that help us reconnect with our inner child?
What Is Child Like Faith?
Childlike faith depicts undoubted trust and absolute humility. When individuals speak of “childlike faith,” they are implying what Jesus declares in Mark 10:14, Matthew 18:3, and Luke 18:17, wherein he preaches that the kingdom of God belongs to little children.
One instance is noted in Mark 10:14–15 when the disciples hindered the little children from coming to Jesus. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them, for to one such child 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.”
In these chapters, Jesus is describing what an individual would need to become to join the heavenly kingdom, and he does so by using young children as an example. It may include a child’s faith. However, it may also include several other childlike characteristics.
Should We Have Child-Like Faith?
Yes, Jesus instructed his disciples to look at things differently regarding his kingdom and purpose. It would fail to make sense or follow worldly reasoning. Status and influence would not allow one to gain access or develop faith. As opposed to this, eternal life would be given to people who had converted and became meek, modest, and humble, just like children.
If they wish to enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus encourages his people to “receive him like a little child” and “humble themselves like a little child” (Mark 10:14; Matthew 18:4–5). In simple words, the childlike worldview has something truly important for someone who desires to see God’s kingdom.
What Are The Benefits Of Embracing Childlike Faith?
1. When we have childlike faith, we will be truthful to ourselves, other people, and God. Nothing is concealed from God. Thus, nothing we say will offend him. We, like little children, will approach him in humility and honesty, seeking forgiveness and mercy (1 John 1:9).
2. When we have childlike faith, we will be carefree. As the Bible instructs us in John 8:36, “If Jesus has set you free, you are truly free.” Following Jesus Christ frees us from punishment, strength, and, one day, even the influence of sins. It holds no power over us.
3. When we have childlike faith, we won’t be easily angered or carry resentments, which locks us in an endless state of bitterness and fury (1 Corinthians 13:5). As articulated in Ephesians 4:32, “We are to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us.”
4. With childlike faith, we will become joyful. As Romans 15:13 reads, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
5. When we have childlike faith, we will be reliant on God like a little child relies on their parents. In a society that shouts for independence, we will realize the tremendous necessity of our Almighty Father’s governance (Psalm 62:5–12) and that life requires humility.
6. With childlike faith, we will have unfettered trust. We will put our trust in God because he is trustworthy (Proverbs 3:5–6). We will put our faith in Christ for our salvation and everything else in life.
How Does Childlike Faith Impact Personal Growth?
Being a small child entails keeping the great and awesome attributes of children that living in this fallen world tries to rob us of. Butterflies, rainbows, and flowers bore us as we grow up. We lose interest in conversing about nothing with other people. We lose enthusiasm and become weary.
Furthermore, adults hold unnecessary grudges, overthink worries, and become resentful. Also, grownups are unlikely to forgive others. They lose confidence because they have had so many hopes shattered and broken. They do stuff “because they’ve usually done it that way” and have difficulty imagining anything else.
In accordance with this, Jesus desires that we become the exact opposite. He desires for us to possess childlike faith. He hopes that we have everlasting hope, unending love, infinite enthusiasm and energy, complete trust, quick and easy forgiveness, honesty about feelings and sentiments, imagination and creativity, as well as wonder and awe. He wishes we would become joyful, happy, playful, and eager to learn and develop.
These are the traits that tend to distinguish children, which are gradually destroyed as grownups meet the wickedness and suffering of the sinful world. If we begin to live with childlike faith, we will be delighted with the awe of life, the natural splendor of creation, and hope for mankind.
How Do We Achieve Childlike Faith?
Rejoice With Awe
Childlike faith beams in God’s astounding and wondrous works. This is one of the wonderful and beautiful characteristics of children that praises the Lord and motivates others to love. Our sins will never be counted against us because of Christ. Romans 4:8 says that this is a cause for celebration and happiness.
Trust God’s Word
According to the Holy Bible, written in Titus 1:2, God cannot lie. So, once we accept God in his own word, we must truly believe what he says. We must put our faith in who he claims to be and who he claims us to be. A childlike faith trusts and respects God’s Word. We will have doubts as a result of our sinful nature. However, the way we react to uncertainty can indicate a childlike faith.
Learn And Grow
When we are willing to learn and grow, we are prepared to be shaped into the person God made us to be for the sake of his kingdom’s prosperity. Indeed, the Bible is useful for guidance and correction, enabling us to be fully prepared for any good mission (2 Timothy 3:16–17) and for experiencing God’s life in ours.
Raise A Lot Of Questions
The questions we pose do not surprise God. We can’t confuse him or ask him a question that he can’t handle. God sincerely encourages his people to pose more questions since he thinks it will bring us closer to him. We, like children, can freely face his throne and raise questions. Children have no hesitation in asking questions whenever they don’t comprehend something, and neither should we.
Practical Exercises To Reconnect With One’s Inner Child
- Devote more time to kids. Be mindful of their carefree faces, eternal hope, everlasting delight, and enthusiasm for life. Ask the Lord to assist our journey to becoming kids in all the necessary ways.
- Maintain our sights on the Word of God. We reject feeling guilty or disappointed when we fail to have our private moments with God. Our amazing and merciful Father in heaven awaits our return with arms wide open, ready to pick up where we all left off. We must not let our adversaries influence us.
- Memorize Bible verses. Children are exposed to biblical passages at home and in church. When we choose to retain God’s Word deep in our minds, we remain free from sin and can make better decisions every single time (Psalm 119:11).
Yes, young people can be easily deceived and misled. They are prone to missing the truth and easily become drawn to tales and imagination due to their lack of awareness. However, this does not reflect what “childlike faith” looks like. Jesus modeled a humble, truthful faith in God by using a child’s purity as a role model.
Thus, let us keep the great and exquisite attributes and virtues kids possess that living in this cruel world tends to take away from us. Let us rekindle the child within ourselves and enjoy life with Christ in the present moment with the humility of a young child once more.