Love & Forgive Like A Child
As a child I can remember loving people quickly without preconceived notions and ideas … without expectations and with an innocence of faith.
There is much in the Word about being like a child … there are admonishments about growing up and becoming more mature … such as 1 Corinthians 13:11 …
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.”
Yet, I heard Him say … there are three areas in which I desire for you to remain childlike … in the way we love, in the way that we forgive and in the area of faith. Could it be that spiritual maturity is directly linked to our ability to be childlike in the areas of loving, forgiving and faith? Could it be that simple and yet that complex?
In Matthew 19:14 Jesus said “Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such (as these) is the kingdom of heaven composed.”
I believe that He was referring to their ability to love as He himself loves … unconditionally and unfailingly! It is an area where children excel and we as adults often fail. Children forgive quickly and easily. Children believe without seeing … if you say it is so … it is so and they don’t need to see it to believe.
Childlike Faith – requires sacrifice … it requires trust … it requires believing without seeing. Tell a child that Santa Claus is coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve to deliver gifts to them and they believe … They believe without actually seeing him come down the chimney and eat those cookies that they so preciously left for him. Children believe with a Hebrew type of faith. Hebrews says that Faith is the evidence of things hoped for … the substance of things not seen. The Love Walk requires faith … faith that when we walk in the love of Christ it will make a difference in another person’s life whether we see the end result or not.
The essentials of Loving Like A Child is found in I Corinthians 13:4-8 … and we as children of God should walk this out in our daily lives.
It is in these verses that we find loving as children do easily recognizable … Especially in verse 7-8 … “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, it hopes are fadeless under all circumstances and it endures everything (without weakening). Love never fails (never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end).
Often you will see this love exemplified by a child that has been abused by their parent in some fashion. Yet while they are being rescued or taken out of harms way … they cry out for the one that failed to love them as they ought … wanting their parent even though it is not safe for them.
Childlike Forgiveness is found in John 15:12-13.
“This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love (no one has shown stronger affection) than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.”
When you forgive like a child … you lay down your life for another person. You are forgiving them despite the wrong they may have done … you are dying to yourself. You are holding no record of wrong … with a child it is as if it never happened. Shouldn’t it be that way with us as well? People say that they can’t forget but they can forgive … I understand that it is an unrealistic expectation to forget but I think that the real expectation should be that we don’t meditate on the wrong that was done to us. Meditate on that which is good and worth meditating on regarding the person that caused the harm. Find something noble in that person and meditate on that instead … and in doing that the good will overshadow the bad in a form of forgetfulness.
Read … I Corinthians 13:5 … Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking, it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong).
The Reward – Luke 6:36-38 “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” This message of prosperity goes beyond financial rewards and benefits to eternal ones. It is our greatest reward and a promise that goes beyond the natural to the spiritual.
Hindrances to the Love Walk
Wicked thoughts and imaginings
Doubt and Unbelief
Bitterness and Resentment
He gave me this scripture verse … 3 John 1:2
“Beloved, I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.”
The Love Walk …Loving Like A Child – allows for us to live this way … Living our lives daily walking in the love of Christ … our souls will prosper … our minds will prosper … our hearts will prosper … and our health will prosper.
I encourage you to become more childlike in the way that you love, forgive and have faith … He did … how can we do anything less?