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Childlikeness

“After we have repented of our sins, renounced our wickedness, and have been purified by baptism, we turn back to the eternal light, as children to their Father…The Educator and Teacher is naming us “[infants],” meaning that we are more ready for salvation than the worldly wise who, believing themselves wise, have blinded their own eyes. [Christ] cries out in joy and in great delight, as if attuning himself to the spirit of the little ones, “Yes, Father, for such was your good pleasure.” That is why he has revealed to [“infants”] what has been hid from the wise and prudent of this world [ Luke 10:21].” (St. Clement of Alexandria)


“To be saddened by the sorrows of others—this can be done by sinful old men. But to rejoice in another’s joy—this can only be done by children and those who are as innocent as children…No-one on earth is as God-like as an innocent child. God’s joy in our good, in our least good, is inexpressibly perfect. When the Lord Jesus came among men, He revealed the boundless riches of God’s blessings. Children rejoiced in these blessings, as did all who, in their unspoiled simplicity, were most like children. These blessings, though, not only did not give joy to men with twisted minds and hardened hearts but, on the contrary, vexed and embittered them.” (St Nikolai Velimirovic)


“….we always want things to go our way. That desire obstructs our willingness to struggle for the kingdom of God. Instead, we are ready to give orders to others, direct parish activities, and determine our affairs in our own way. The Lord must force his own disciples to cease from preventing a man who is not one of them from doing the work of His kingdom (Lk 9:50)! We need to acquire the consciousness of a tiny, dependent child. Lord, give us the heart of a child that we may love all that is simple and lowly on this earth. Let us resolve to give control over our lives to the Lord Jesus, thanking Him for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.” (Dynamis 10/21/2020)


“Becoming a child is a rather sophisticated notion. The Bible presents an apparent paradox for us to consider. Christ said, 'Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:2). We also have the words of St. Paul, "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways" (1 Cor. ). It seems to me that the purpose of this apparent paradox is to help us examine our adult behaviors with more reflectiveness, more scrutiny. Christ directs us to be simple, defenseless and trusting, as children are. St. Paul tells us to outgrow self-indulgence, narcissism and unhealthy dependence, thereby leaving the limitations of childhood. We grow into adulthood retaining the exquisite beauty of the child within us.” (Albert S. Rossi, PhD)


“As much as we might wish for God to heal us, to remove our brokenness, or to fix the circumstances that cause us grief, He sometimes does something far better: He picks up the broken things of our lives and transforms them into something beautiful. When we find ourselves facing sorrow, confusion, loneliness, vulnerability, and heartache, it takes a lot of childlike faith to believe the Master Artist is beautifying the breaks and shatterings of our life. It is often easier to expect God to offer a “silver-bullet” solution that will eradicate the effects of brokenness from our lives. It takes a lot of faith to believe that the Lord is using us, not in spite of our brokenness, but precisely because of it.” (Robin Phillips)


“When Jesus says “…unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3), it means something different than what most of us typically think. When we hear the word ‘kingdom’ we think of a place. But in the Greek of the New Testament its meaning is better expressed by the word “dominion” or “rule.” In Luke 17:21, when Jesus says, “…the kingdom of God is within you” a more accurate translation is the kingdom of God is “among you” or “in your midst.” So what He is telling us is that we have to become childlike (not childish) and never lose our sense of awe, wonder, humility, and love and then we will see, perceive, and begin to experience the kingdom of God (i.e., kingdom of heaven) which is the already present and invisible reality in our midst. It is a foretaste of what is to come.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“ ‘When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.’ (1 Corinthians 13:11). The Scriptures differentiate between being dependent on God, or childlike (Mt 18:3), and being childish or immature.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:11)

“In childlikeness we find spiritual maturity. This is one of the greatest paradoxes of the Christian Faith…” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“In Greek, paradox means literally “against opinion”; that is, a paradox rubs against our accepted notions of reality. We like to believe that we already know everything, that we have everything figured out; this is why true paradox is always painful. Paradox conflicts with our prejudices, challenges our assumptions, and flies in the face of our collective “truths.” This is why we prefer to call myths “fairy tales” and to relegate them to children. This is why we like to explain myths as fanciful inventions of primitive and childlike minds. If we take myths seriously as the statements of reality that they are, then we find all our comfortable platitudes, all our fixed notions of “truth,” called disturbingly into question.” (Robert A. Johnson)

“We are not to be childish (like the disciples, arguing over petty issues) but childlike, with humble and sincere hearts…All people need childlike faith in God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 18:1-4, 19:13-15)


#SacramentalLivingMinistries #OrthodoxStudyBible #FatherBarnabasPowelll #RobertAJohnson #LifeApplicationStudyBible #StClementofAlexandria #StNikolaiVelimirovic #Dynamis #AlbertSRossiPhD #RobinPhillips

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