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Childlike Virtues:-Except ye be converted and be as little children

Except ye be converted and be as little children | Qualities, Characters and Virtues of Little Children



"Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" Mt 18:3 KJV.
The above quotation, marks the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, when the disciples came to ask Him who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

"... Except ye be converted and be as little children..." what are the attributes, attitudes and characters of little children that has so earned them the recognition of heaven?
One character of little children is humility. If you read further to verse 4, the Lord says: "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little children, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven". Mt 18:4 KJV.

It is therefore, evident that humility with holiness and righteousness, through faith in our Lord Jesus, will not only qualify one for heaven, but also increase one's rank in heaven. Are there ranks in heaven then? Well, I think we can see it clearer in Mt. 11:11: "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

If therefore, there is a least in heaven, then, there is also a great, a greater, and a greatest. But we know that the greatest is God Himself. However, the least in the kingdom of heaven is actually a great. It is great grace, honour and privilege to be found worthy to behold the King of kings.

Humility which is lacking in our world today, is key to acquiring the treasures of heaven, and if you must find favour in the face of God and man, then be humble, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

It is this grace that makes us heirs and partakers of the heavenly blessings for we do not merit it by works but by the sure grace of God.
Another attribute or character/quality of little children is their innocence. As Christians, we need to be innocent to the works of darkness. Innocent here doesn't mean being naive or ignorant, for scripture says do not be ignorant of the devices of Satan.

Being innocent to the works of darkness, means not being found wanting when anything evil is mentioned. It means being dead to sin. It means no one would or could mention your name when partakers of evil are being mentioned. "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful". Ps 1:1 KJV.

Another character of little children, is their ability to forgive without holding grudges. Offend or beat a child now, and in the next hour, he/she will be playing and laughing with you. Their innocence, makes them forgive quickly and easily. This is the forgiving attitude that Christ wants us to possess when He said to Peter "I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven". Mt 18:21.

The parable of the unmerciful servant reminds us also of the importance of forgiveness, to entering the kingdom of heaven. Remember we all have sinned and deserve to die, and we need forgiveness from our heavenly father in order to live. Rom 6:23; Rom 3:23. But how can we expect to be forgiven of God when we refuse to forgive those who wrong us. In  concluding that parable, Jesus says "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses. Mt. 18:35. 

Similarly, we see when Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray,  that the prerequisite for obtaining forgiveness, is by being forgivers ourselves.  "And forgive us our sins for we also forgive those who are indepted to us". Lk 11:4; Mt. 6:12KJV.

One other character of little children I would like to point out, is their faith. Promise a child a thing, and he will totally believe you without doubting, because in his thoughts, you can do that which you have promised. Even if you have failed him before, it doesn't bother him much. What he's much concerned about is what you have said now. And he doesn't mind reminding you continuously till you have fulfilled that which you promised to do. Faith is key to our heavenly race. For "without faith, it is difficult to please God". Also, "...but the righteous will live by their faith". Hbk 2:4b; Heb 10:38.

That brings me to another character of little children that is worth mentioning. Their pesistence.

In the last paragraph, I mentioned that little children don't mind reminding you till you have fulfilled your promise. That's pesistence. Still in Mark 11, on the teaching on prayer, we see in verse 5-8, Jesus' emphasis on persistence, in the parable of the friend's request at an odd hour. Similarly, the parable of the window and the unjust judge, still lays great emphasis on persistence in prayer. In our heavenly race, we face trials and challenges everyday that could make a person throw in the towel, sit back and relax, saying let's eat and drink, for tomorrow, we die. 1Cor. 15:32. But it takes persistence, and one trusting in the grace of the Lord to continue and not give up hope. The case of Job, is a good example of this.
The last point I would like to mention, is that little children worry less. That is Trust. Whenever you trust God, you worry less. We see in Jesus' teaching in Matthew chapter 6, where He layed emphasis on trusting in God. Mt. 6:25-34. In the beginning of that passage, the Lord says: "Therefore, I say unto you, take no thought for your life what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?" Verse 25. And the last verse says "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Verse 34. These are the striking attributes or characters of little children that the Lord admonishes us to exhibit.This list is not exhaustive of childlike virtues, but are very perculiar and are the core biblical principles that the Bible is laying emphasis on in the above passage.
Remain blessed.

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