How To Have Childlike Faith Without Being Childish
I grew up in a small white southern evangelical town.
There isn't anything inherently wrong with a small white southern evangelical town. I am actually deeply grateful for the experience. I was raised in Churches with good-hearted, well-intentioned people who did their very best to teach me about God and faith.
I just had some questions...
I can also remember being told to "just believe" when it came to issues that I had questions about.
What happens to people who never hear about Jesus? Do they go to heaven?
What if they never hear about Jesus and are really good? Do they still go to heaven? What if they didn't hear about Jesus and are really bad? Do they go to heaven?
Wouldn’t it be better to not tell anyone about Jesus? That way, they would go to heaven and we wouldn't have to worry about them rejecting the message and going to hell?
Is it possible for a parent to enjoy heaven if their child is in hell?
Can God really love everyone and let them burn in hell forever?
Did the snake in the garden of Eden really talk? If so, when did animals stop talking? Or can they still? Do they not talk to us because of what happened to the snake when he talked to us?
You can imagine why my Sunday school teachers might have cringed to see me show up every Sunday morning.
It wasn't that I didn't believe. It wasn't even that I thought some of the Bible stories were impossible, just improbable and I wanted to talk about it.
But, the harder I questioned, the harder my teachers and pastors would push back. I was told things like,
Just have faith?
God’s ways are higher than our ways
Don't be a doubting Thomas
Don’t you know where doubters and unbelievers go when they die don’t you???
We cannot shut down our mind at the expense of our faith.
We must engage with both our mind and our heart.
We become Childish in our faith when we close our mind, stop asking questions.
There is a long and healthy tradition of questioning that we all have an opportunity to engage with. In fact, we find this through out the Bible.
Just a few examples. Abraham, Moses, King David, The 12, and even Jesus questioned God.
If you took doubt in questioning out of the Bible, you would be left with little more than a pamphlet
When we neglect this important and IMO essential spiritual practice, we are destined to turn our faith into a facade.
So, let’s together, engage our spiritual journey with ALL of our God given self.
No matter where you are in your faith journey. And even if you don't consider yourself a person who identifies with a faith at all, Childlike wonder is important if we are going to live life with an open mind and open heart.
Disclaimer: Misspellings and grammatical errors compliments of dyslexia.