Friday after Christmas

Psalm 26, Matthew 18:1-4, James 4:7-12

A child-like . That is the greatest gift an adult could for. All too often, however, we get caught up in our own heads, s and hurts. A child can look to in and .

We are not talking naiveite or ignorance. We are talking about innocence.

Think of a baby. A parent tosses them up in play, smiling at this bundle of joy. The baby smiles, too, imitating the parent. Yet, for the first few times they are tossed up, they instinctively understand that this sensation is wrong. Despite that, their parent, their ed person, is smiling. Trust overrides. A child-like .

We ually have more child-like than we think, but it’s ing : engineers, mechanics, military and first ers. Even with other we have child-like that those around us know what they are doing, even though the traffic and accidents should teach us otherwise.

James takes the “adult” approach. He’s working with those adults. He has to unwind the ways of the world from their minds and s. Cast aside your worldly ways, he says. When he talks about mourning and weeping, it is to recognize what we are in the world. Mourning and weeping are s of grieving; grieving for our worldly selves; grieving for the world.

So much of what we have to unwind is ourselves. Some have claimed that it was pride that led to the Fall of Adam and Eve (and thus mankind). All of what James writes of comes from our pride. A child of has pride…pride in , not self. This is not to diminish self, for we are made in ’s image. We are not to see ourselves as better than , for all are equal before .

An untrained (or untainted) child will treat equally, no matter how different they are. Only when adults condition them to judge those different than themselves that children become cruel, and then we all have to deal with the of that cruelty.

1) What does child-like mean to you? How do you live that out in a world that is “adult”?

2) Why do we often put ourselves in the role of lawr and judge?

3) Why do we judge when we ourselves don’t want to be judged?

KD) What do you do when kids treat differently then they would want to be treated?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.