Be Childlike

Childlike | Source


I was driving down my street the other day hurriedly trying to get to an appointment, yet going slow through our neighborhood. As I drove by a neighbor's house, a little boy, probably about 3 or 4 was standing beside a man getting out of the car in the driveway. As I approached, he looked up, right at me, and gave me a big smile and waved. I smiled and waved back.

As I continued on my way, I thought to myself, when does that die in us?

"What do you mean?" you may be wondering.

Think about it for a minute. Here is a perfect stranger who lifts his head, acknowledegs my presence in the world by looking at me, smiles and waves a greeting. How many times a day do we, as adults, do that? Imagine the looks you would get if you smiled and waved at everyone as they passed you by. People would probably think you had a little screw loose.

Yet here is a charming little boy who smiled and waved at me, reminding me that we were all like that at one time. So why does it die in us? As we mature, we are supposed to act mature, not like children. We are supposed to "put away childish things". While at the same time, be humble like a child.

Matthew 18:4
Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Here is the answer I think. We are too prideful, to self absorbed to keep that child within alive. Think about that for a moment. Why would we not wave and smile at a stranger? Because of what they will think of us. And why do we care what they think? Because of our pride.

Being humble like a child offers us a sense of freedom many of us have abandoned. The little boy on the corner wasn't wondering what I would think of him if he smiled and waved. He probably wasn't that concerned if I smiled and waved back. He has yet to grow a shield of pride.


In our world where we are surrounded by things that break our spirits, we react by building a shield of protection--of pride. It blessed me to be reminded of how free God really wants us to be. We are to be like little children, innocent and humble. When we move back in that direction, we begin to be free again.Our chains begin to fall off.

We grow less concerned what others will think of us--not in an arrogant, "I don't care what you think about me" kind of way. But in a natural, not even giving it a thought kind of way. Just like the little boy, he didn't think about it, he just waved and smiled.


James 4:6
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

If you see a crazy woman on the street corner waving and smiling, maybe she isn't really crazy. Maybe she is full of God's grace, free, like a little child.

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Comments 10 comments

Pastor_Walt profile image

Pastor_Walt 5 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

It doesn't hurt to smile and be friendly! We "train" ourselves and others that it is not natural as we grow older. Great hub!

May I ever be childlike!

Maranatha profile image 5 years ago

You made me think it's always best to be disconnected from what others think of us - it is only what THEY think of us but music teaches this childlike thing too - to be in oneself and deeply without (self-)criticism. I could never have got up and sung a song if I'd ever worried what others think but then I probably would never have continued if I'd been booed enough times. I'm all for not judging! or pre-judging!

DiamondRN profile image

DiamondRN 5 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

I'm with you 100% on this one, BAGT!

I love to watch children and their innate eagerness to reach out. The first thing a kid says to a child that they don't know is' "Hey, I'm so and so. What's your name?"

My wife has a gift for never meeting a stranger and then never forgetting their name afterward.

Oh well, I guess I'm good at other things.

Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

That was beautiful. Every word so true. God bless and thank you.

bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 5 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Pastor_Walt -So true! And it is subtle, over years of protection. I may be able to smile, but never would I want to sing in front of others. Yet I know it is God who gave me this voice, so maybe to him it sounds good. Sing away P-Dog!!

Make good judgments in our decisions and make no judgments in other's motives. I am with you on that Pdog.

DiamondRN-I love that your wife can do that. My mom is that way and so is one of my sons. They both know people all over the place that they keep in touch with. They are so amazing that way. DR- I have a feeling you touch a lot of people in your daily walk however. Just in different ways!

Dim Flaxenwick- Dim, I appreciate you stopping by today and sharing. May God give you smiles, I know you need them.

vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California

Hey Bagt, If I see a crazy woman on a street corner waving at me, I will know it is YOU!! I challenge everyone to make eye contact and smile at the folks at the end of the off ramp. Won't kill you!

I think we all still have that little person inside of us and when we realize it, how imprisoned the little person is, we will let out a loud howl, tears galore, signaling his or her release. The little ones inside of us are literally DYING to get out and be free.

Thanks for the wonder-filled hub


chancellor44 5 years ago

Great Hub. Really enjoyed reading. Makes you think about the simple things you can do to make things better for yourself and someone else.

bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 5 years ago from Bay Area California Author

vrbmft- Oh so very true vrbmft. Thank you as always for y9our thoughtful remarks.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Everyday experiences can be so poignant, can't they? Here in the South we get lots of smiles and hellos from those around us, not so much in your area, I think. Your smile probably stands out!

That passage from Matthew 18 (In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And he called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven...) always reminds me of John 10:10 (...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly...). Abundant life that gives us true joy is in this life and in eternity is available to us!

bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 5 years ago from Bay Area California Author

RT- that is so true. I used to live in the south for about 10 years. When I first moved there, it caught me off guard when strangers waved at me. I thought something was wrong and they were trying to get my attention. In the Bay Area you are lucky if a person even knows you are there...let alone smiles or waves.

I love that passage in Matthew. That is such a good reminder.

Thanks for stopping by!

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