Like A Child

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Photo by Sidharth Sircar on Pexels.com

I remember one of the first days I experienced the joy of the Honduran children of Las Flores. Wild, sweet, overflowing joy that radiated from their faces when you so much as smiled at them.

I couldn’t engage in conversation with them very well because of my lack of Spanish, but I soon learned that they didn’t care. They hugged, laughed, and played. They ran around, creating chaos.

Beautiful chaos.

Usually I take a step backwards from a high-energy crowd, but this was different. They needed me. They needed my love.

I didn’t know enough Spanish, so I couldn’t give it in words. And what are words to children anyway? All I could do in that moment was forsake all and plunge into the chaos. And what a relief that was, breaking the language barrier with the unspoken message loud and clear: “Yo te ama,” or “I love you.”

I didn’t know them, but God gave me unrelenting love for those kids. I couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t stop trying to make them smile. I chased them around, tickled them, played games, and proved to myself that I must be a kid person after all. It makes sense, I guess. God loves children, and His Spirit is inside me.

Not only did God give me love for the kids, but I learned to be a child myself that day. I learned joy. I learned childlike faith. That’s what God wants for us. When we are like children, we can rejoice in God’s love for us without a single doubt of our Father’s goodness.

Sometimes I don’t understand how God could truly love us. But even if we can’t completely understand it, like a simple child, we can understand that it makes us feel alive.

People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” — Luke 18:15-17

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When Words Hurt

Sometimes I gossip. Sometimes I take pleasure in tearing others down just so I can make a tighter connection with the people who gossip right along with me. It’s such an easy, seemingly harmless thing to do, and a lot of times it brings laughter.

But it’s wrong.

One way of gossiping I often fall into is the “funny” kind. I believe humor is a tool the devil can use to ease us into an idea, ease us into hurting others. Not all humor is utterly evil, of course, but the gossiping humor that tears people down is simply wrong.

And yet in the moment of a fun or even outright disdainful conversation about a person’s weird ways it can be so hard for us to stand firm in the truth.

What is the truth? Well, if we look in the Bible, God’s truth is plain: Gossiping is wrong.

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” – Proverbs 16:28 (NIV)

I believe He would go so far as to say that putting someone down is, in fact, despising them in your heart. Perhaps it’s not full-out hate, but it certainly leans way more on the side of hating a person more than loving them.

It’s not loving at all.

In fact, it’s not even loving the person you are gossiping with! It’s bringing that person along with you the road of judgement, when God wants us on the road of mercy, loving people whether or not they look or act weird, loving people even if they’re doing something wrong–because that’s the way He loves us. Continue reading