The Innocence of a Child…

“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” -Mark 10:15 NIV

Recently, I was reminded of this verse when I heard about a friend of mine, that home schools her children. This year she started teaching her son about American History. She began a lesson on slavery and was bothered by the look of horror on her sons face as she taught him what we had done to people during that time.

I can only imagine how heart breaking it must be to a child to discover for the first time what we humans are actually capable of. His little heart does not yet have the capacity for the sin that our adults hearts have. I think as we grow older we fall into a kind of complacency with the evil around us. If it even bothers us at all it tends to anger or disgust us more than break our hearts. We become cynical and judgmental rather than empathize or sympathize with people and their struggles. The very behavior that makes us hate other may even be exhibited by us at times.

I know I find myself there very often. I have led quite a sinful life and I came to Christ in my mid-thirties. But, more often than not, instead of using my past experience to have this empathy or sympathy and to help others in need I find myself being disgusted by their behavior. Even though not too long ago I may have very well been walking in their shoes, on the very same path. If only we could keep those innocent eyes to see people with. That innocent, untainted heart to love them with. The same kind of eyes Jesus sees us with. The same kind of heart He loves us with. But, we have to mess it all up with our selfishness and our sinful nature.

We view pornography or fool around with our girlfriends or boyfriends thinking “what’s the big deal?” but all the while we are ruining our thoughts for our future spouses.

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” -Matthew 5:28 NIV

We smoke, drink or over-eat thinking “I can control it!” but it often leads to excessive or gluttonous tendencies, which are sinful.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, …” -Galatians 5:16-26 ESV

We dislike those that are not like us which can lead to out-right hatred.

“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” -Matthew 5:22 NIV

I have spoken to various teenagers over the past few years and I’ve tried to explain to them, the opportunity they have to not pollute their minds and souls with the garbage that is out there, all around them. To keep their hearts and eyes as pure and innocent as possible so that when they do encounter this sinful world it might just break their heart rather than anger and disgust them.

This is something God is working on in my life and I ask for your prayers as I will pray for you to either keep yourself from this trap or for you to be pulled from it. I have found the current, “40 Days of Love” message series as well as the Life Groups study lifting me up and challenging me every day so far.

Thank you Father for renewing my heart and eyes so that I can see others as you see them.

-Rick Phillips

One response

  1. Christa

    I needed to read this right now. So thank you for sharing it.
    I agree completely and also struggle with retaining my compassion.
    A movie that changed my life, and my direction as a Christian (from a cynical, angry one to a more sympathetic, compassionate one) is called ‘Lord, Save Us From Your Followers’. I think it is unfortunately named that, and it turns off Christians. I mean, who wants to watch a movie that seems to be putting down our beliefs. BUT… it is such a strong, loving message. It is inspiring and reminds us to LOVE, as Jesus loved. HE loved the sinner while hating the sin. HE understood that people are weak and fragile and tempted, and HE gives us strength. But HE also taught us so that we would be like him and spread his message… not just HIS message, but His love! How can someone change their sinful ways if they are not shown that they are loved and worthy? So much sin comes from self-hate. If we pile more hate onto that person we are not helping them. And I think we do that because our motives are wrong. We are being self-righteous, probably pointing fingers at “those sinners” so no one will notice our sins.
    But we can change our motive from one of selfishness to one of helping, and then change our actions from finger pointing to hugging and soothing, and that will change our hearts from angry to caring and compassionate and loving.
    I’m glad to know there are people like you in this world.
    Choose LOVE, choose PEACE, choose HAPPY.

    October 31, 2011 at 11:33 am

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