Wednesday Word 8.30.2017
1 Timothy 4:11-13 New International Version
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
“Out of the mouths of babes.” We’ve all heard that old expression. Any one old enough to remember Art Linkletter? He was on television in the afternoons for more than 25 years. He had a segment called “Kids Say the Darnedest Things” where he interviewed three or four tykes. I was a very, verrrry young child myself, but I can still remember how funny it was. “America’s Funniest Home Videos” is chocked full of adorable children. We can all attest to what happens to grown men and women when a baby comes on the scene. Children bring so much to the world around them. They give a fresh perspective, without guile or cynicism. Children can bring so much joy, especially if you aren’t the ones worrying about college tuition!
Of course, children are not there solely for our entertainment or to flatter our vanity. Even non-parents like my husband and me can appreciate the great responsibility of raising human beings. Along with food and shelter, their emotional and spiritual health is of paramount importance. Happily, the days of Puritanical beliefs that children are born with the weight of the original sin firmly on their shoulders and must have their wills smashed and submission beaten into their little beings are past. Today, we can value the sprouts, not only for the solid oaks and lovely willows they will become, but for the inquisitive minds and loving hearts they possess from the start.
Jesus talked about children, as notably recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke (for example Luke 18:15-17). Jesus loved the little ones. His warning to us was stern and plainly spoken. Until you can approach God with the same openness as a child, without defenses and without excuses, don’t bother. Until you learn to surrender your personal autonomy and depend entirely upon the Father, forget it. Jesus said that the Kingdom belonged to “such as these.” We have a lot to learn. Maybe by spending time with the young, we can recapture the qualities we thought we outgrew. Perhaps, while the young are to be mentored, we might wind up being the ones most encouraged…something to pray about.
Your sister in Christ, Vicki