Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
The Problem with Pride
We all deal with pride. I know for sure that I do. Do you know what’s right in the middle of pride? It is “I.” Just like the letter “I” is in the middle of pride, so am I! My human flesh tends to want to elevate myself in what I do. If I were more like a child, I would humble myself as a child typically does. I heard that there is no “I” in team, but there is a “me.” If we rearrange the letters of the word “team,” we can make it all about “me,” but that is not what a team is all about. A team is comprised of “us” or “we” and never “me” or “I.” God will resist those who are full of themselves and being prideful, but He will give His grace to only those who are humbled before Him and others (James 4:6).
Please understand that by using the word “FAT” I am not talking about someone’s weight. That really doesn’t matter. I am talking about the acronym FAT. God can use people who are Faithful, Available, and Teachable. That means God uses those who are faithful. We have members in our church who are there rain or shine, snow or sleet, sick or well. They are at worship services every Sunday, serving others, and that is what God desires from all of us. God also uses those who are available. When we started a nursing home ministry, a few hands shot up in the air when I asked who would be available to help. If someone is not faithful, they won’t be available, but perhaps the greatest of these is that they are teachable. Someone who isn’t teachable is not reachable or usable. If they feel that they can’t learn anything new, then they must feel that they have arrived, and God cannot use someone who feels that they have no room to learn and grow.
As a Child
For over 20 years, I taught Sunday school for a class combined of 3rd and 4th graders, and I believe that I learned as much from the children as they might have learned from me. What impressed me most about these children is that they were like sponges. They kept soaking up what they received, and nothing was lost. Many of these children grew up and still remember some of the things that we covered in Sunday school. You might not think that they were paying attention, but you would be surprised at how much they retained. I do believe that more was caught than taught, but most of these children were so humble that they didn’t have a problem with saying “I don’t know.” I believe adults can learn a lot from the way children are. Jesus was clear that whoever will not humble themselves like a child will not, indeed cannot, enter the kingdom of heaven because there is no room for pride in heaven. There is no room for “I,” but there is always room for “here I am Lord…what would you have me do or learn.”
A Closing Prayer
Great God in heaven, we know You love the children and that we are to humble ourselves as a child does in order for You to use us in a mighty way for Your glory. I know that I get so full of myself, but when I am full of myself, there is no room for You to fill me up, so please forgive me for not being more child-like and usable for the kingdom. For Your glory and in Jesus’ name I pray.
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