It was the final minute of the game between the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Pelicans. During a quick break in the action, a little boy somehow made it onto the court. Before anyone could stop him, he navigated his way past a few other players and directly over to Carmelo Anthony, one of the best offensive players in the NBA. The little boy wrapped his arms around Carmelo’s leg and hugged him. After getting over the surprise of an in-game hug, Carmelo affectionately patted the boy on the head before the referee ushered him back to the stands (ESPN).
You’ve got to love kids. Their innocence and purity of heart is wonderful. Some wouldn’t consider Carmelo Anthony to be the best of role models, but in this kid’s eyes, what he saw was his hero. Despite the fact that this was a serious violation of the stadium rules, what this kid did simply displayed his good heart.
Jesus knew what wonderful examples children serve to us as Christians. Matthew 18 reveals the discussion that took place on the topic, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, ‘Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (1-4).
In order to reach heaven, there is much to learn from our young ones. Children are innocent and pure. Children are quick to forgive. Children are quick to love. Children are quick to accept. Children are tenderhearted. Children are kind and generous. Children overflow with joy and happiness. These are exactly the type of child-like qualities God wants us to have (Galatians 5:22-23).
While Jesus isn’t telling us to have the immaturity of a child, there are many wonderful, child-like qualities that Christian adults desperately need today. Our families will benefit. Our relationships will benefit. The church itself will benefit. Together let’s strive towards spiritual maturity while at the same time maintaining those wonderful child-like, and God-like, qualities.