Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it. Luke 18:17
Many people use this verse to say that we should have faith like a child. Where does it say that? It doesn’t!!!
It bothers me when people say that we should have faith like a child. Why does it bother me? Because children believe anything. We’re not supposed to believe like that. You can tell children that the boogie man is in the closet and they believe it. You can tell them that a fat man comes down the chimney every Christmas and they believe it. You can tell them that if they jump off the roof and think happy thoughts that they can fly and, watch out, they’ll believe it.
We are NOT to have faith like children. What the above verse is talking about is humility. We are to humble ourselves as little children. That’s a whole different ballgame.
When you give something to a child, are they ever too proud to receive it? Can you imagine a 3 year old saying, “I don’t want your candy, I’m going to go work for and buy my own candy.”? And children are never to ashamed to ask for help. That’s what this verse is talking about; humbly receiving the gift that God has for us.
But our faith should be something entirely different. Faith means belief. Belief means that you are persuaded something is true. Correct beliefs are formed from information you get from eye-witnesses and other reliable sources. For example, if I said, “Susie went to the store,” you could choose to believe me or not. I could be lying. But if I said, “I saw Susie go to the store with my own eyes,” and then two other people said the exact same thing as me, you may be inclined to believe it is true. You couldn’t prove it was true. But the chances are it’s true more than it’s not true. Why would three people lie about it? And what if Susie-going-to-the-store was of utmost importance and you had to decide whether to believe it or not? What would you do? Would you decide to believe it????
It’s very similar when you are talking about faith in God. We believe the gospel is true because of the witnesses. What witnesses are we talking about? This verse tells us:
But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. John 15:26-27 (Jesus speaking)
The Holy Spirit will testify. The apostles who were with Christ from the beginning will bear witness. To testify and to bear witness are the same thing. When you are in court as a witness you testify what you saw, “I saw so and so do this,” for example.
The apostles bear witness through the words they have left us (i.e. the bible). The bible is their eye-witness accounts put on paper. The Holy Spirit testifies to our hearts:
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit (or ‘our heart’) that we are the children of God. Rom 8:16
The Holy Spirit also testifies through miracles, signs and wonders:
God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit… Heb 2:4
So you see that we aren’t believing on blind faith. Not at all!!! We don’t ‘just believe,’ like children do. We believe based on logic and witnesses. Good logic will strengthen your faith.
Don’t believe like a child. Believe like a well informed, mature individual. Make sure you are able to explain why you believe to those who ask.