I think we take the idea of having the faith of a child to mean that we just have to believe whatever someone tells us. We just need to have the faith of a child. Children believe that storks brings babies, that a fat guy can fit down a chimney, and that if you give baby turtles enough green jello they become mutant ninjas when they mature to adolescence. So does God want us to have faith like that? Just believe ridiculous stuff?
Let me paint an alternative picture. I have a 6-year old and a 3-year old. There is no doubt that they will believe whatever I tell them. But that’s not the end of the story. Kids ask a million questions! Three questions of “why” or “how come” and I’m pulling my hair out trying to explain the 2nd law of thermodynamics to a kindergartener.
I think the difference between adults and kids is that grown-ups ask a million questions before they’ll believe, and children ask a million questions after they believe. Why is that important for Christianity? Well because God does some impossible things. They can’t be logically deduced.
I think there are some great evidences for the veracity of miracles and the truth of the biblical narrative in general, but I obviously can’t prove it. You either believe the Bible is true or you believe it’s a cleverly disguised web of lies and deceits. So is the Bible true? Did Jesus perform miracles? Did He rise from the dead? Is there only one way of salvation? Adults approach these with skepticism. I get it. Their usual line of thinking is something like: what extra biblical evidence is there? Is there some alternative scientific explanations? What does Bill Nye have to say on this issue?
Children on the other hand believe in events like the resurrection because their parents or Sunday school teacher told them about it. But then they start asking “Why?” The theological discussions that are birthed from such a simple question are astounding.
So Jesus died on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead
Because Jesus loved you very much.
Because otherwise you’d have to face the punishment for your own sin
Because sin has to be punished.
Because otherwise God wouldn’t be holy and heaven wouldn’t be perfect
Because sin is the opposite of holiness and perfection
Because God created the world and everything in it, and what He does is good and the opposite of God would be bad.
Because God’s always existed and always good.
Because He just is, ok. Go back to coloring the green sheep that Jesus is holding.
See the difference in the questions. To believe in something and then ask “why” brings about an incredible amount of truth. It covered answers found all throughout the Bible. God is looking for those with child like faith because He knows if you want to be skeptical, you’ll be skeptical. Ravi Zacharias debates people all over the world. He answers whatever question people have for him. I’ve never seen that guy get stumped, but still there are atheists, agnostics, and the like that don’t trust Jesus as their savior. Why? Because they just don’t believe. They don’t believe the Bible is true. They don’t believe that Jesus is the Savior for mankind. They just don’t believe, and there isn’t an answer to a question that will change their mind. Child like faith isn’t easy for some people.
Children learn about 2,000 words per year as they grow up. That’s 2,000 new concepts and new truths that they learn each year. They learn so much because they trust their parents and teachers. They learn because they believe and then ask questions to learn more. Sometimes they obviously figure out that some things they were told were a lie. Like you can sit as close to the TV as you want, and you don’t literally turn into a Twinkie if you eat too many. But they learned that from asking questions and experiencing life.
Sometimes our adult skepticism keeps us from learning. We put up road blocks and stop because we need proof before proceeding, even though the evidences are just around the bend. Take notice of how children see their world. They are less stressed, happier, and seem to have a lot of fun. Maybe those little whippersnappers are on to something.
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