How do you define greatness? The only perfect person to have ever lived summed-up greatness in one word – – – > CHILDLIKE. The most powerful person in the history of the universe says, “Whoever humbles himself like a child is the greatest in the Kingdom that is above all kingdoms.” Why is childlikeness so emphatically commended by the King of kings? Because children are vulnerable, curious, joy-filled creatures who are experts in receiving gifts, playing, and imaginatively inhabiting lofty realms of hope. By physically placing a child in the midst of His leadership team (Matt. 18:2) – an experience that would’ve felt simultaneously intimidating and invigorating to a child – Jesus emphatically instructed His disciples to experience and embrace childlikeness as their paradigm for greatness. So let us be intentional, persistent, and thorough in contemplating and applying the truth, goodness, and beauty of Christ’s command to become childlike (Matt. 18:3).
- Marvel at, and embrace the gift of being delightedly and desperately dependent on God (Prov. 3:5). God loves it when we radically rely upon Him. In fact, God Himself embodies and exemplifies desperate dependence in the incarnation of the eternal Son of God. Imagine the historical moment, when the King of kings – God in the flesh – was starving in the desert, and being tempted to tap into His deity to turn stones into necessary food …but the King of kings chose to radically rely on His Father and live by faith (Matt. 4:4)!
- Stop pressuring yourself to conjure solutions, and joyfully accept the fact that God has given us stories! Take hold of your God-given liberty to be curious! God loves our questions! God hates the pretentious air of the Pharisees, who strut around pretending they ‘have it all figured out’; God invites us to be stewards of His mysteries (1 Cor. 4:1), and He bids us into the joyful eternity of being curiously captivated with Him! (Rom. 11:33).
- Savor and share the jaw-droppingly lavish forgiveness experienced in Christ alone (Luke 7:47; 1 John 2:12). God insists that we enter the freedom of receiving and sharing His forgiveness! Children don’t wallow in self-loathing, and a chronic fear of failure; kids receive mercy without hesitation, and comply when commanded to “say you’re sorry” and/or “forgive your sibling!” (1 Cor. 6:7). Our Great God and King bids us to repent of childish pity-parties, and comprehensively embrace the playful maturity of childlikeness (2 Sam. 6:14, 16, 22; Psalm 104:26; Zech. 8:5; Mal. 4:2).