This is a phrase we usually hear when we are being a little immature. We might be pouting because we didn’t get our way, and someone will inevitably tell us to grow up. There are countless ways we act childish.
Childish is living in the world as if there are no consequences for our actions. Childish leaves pain and suffering in its wake. Childish is exhausting.
Childlike, on the other hand, involves wonder. It is the ability to see the world through fresh eyes. It is the ability to see the world as it truly is and the ability to see what the world could be. Childlike takes the world as it comes to us and makes the most of every situation.
I have been an adult for longer than I want to admit, and I have a confession to make: being an adult is overrated. Being an adult is hard work. When I was child and lived with my parents, I didn’t have to worry about where my next meal was coming from or how I was going to pay the mortgage.
Now, the concerns of adulthood often captivate me, and I am often concerned with things that my younger self had no idea I would need to be concerned with. When we progress into adulthood, we are expected to act a certain way and, usually along the way to putting aside our childish ways, we lose our sense of wonder.
We lose our childlike wonder, and we stop asking the questions that truly matter. Children ask questions; they are curious about the world around them and want to know more and more.
We do well when we seek to be childlike, and that is possible without being childish.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Pastor for Care and Community