Jesus told the crowd around him, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3
What could Jesus possibly mean by this?
I am a father of three with a fourth due any moment. Over the years, my wife and I have learned a few things about little children. First, little children have nothing of worldly value to offer you. They can’t get a job, dress themselves, bathe themselves, feed themselves and in fact they are horrible decision makers. My son would decide to eat ice cream three meals a day if we let him (he’s lactose intolerant). My daughter would eat chocolate incessantly (she’s allergic to chocolate). Children left to care for themselves would not live healthy lives. In fact, most would become unhealthy and die. So what is Jesus saying when he says, “become like little children”?
First, I believe Jesus is saying come to Him with nothing to offer. Come to the feet of Jesus knowing you have nothing to offer Him. He is God and has everything; you come to Him recognizing that you are like a little child who is completely dependent upon him. For those on this journey of addiction recovery, this is a game changing thought. When we realized:
“…we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.” AA p.62
We come to Him in total surrender, total dependence, like a little child.
Second, I believe Jesus is saying come to Him with a childlike faith. Every day when I return from work, as I approach the door, I can hear a stampede ensue on the other side of the door along with, “Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!” Before I’m able to get the door completely open, my children jump on top of me and nearly knock me to the ground with their embrace. My children simply want more of their Daddy. When we finally approach God like a child, we begin to realize the void inside of us we’ve been trying to fill with drinking or drugging can only truly be satisfied by more of our Heavenly Father. Run to God today like a little child.