A Child’s Kingdom

Kids are often much quicker at grasping the principles of God’s Kingdom than we adults. A fact which my grandchildren once portrayed while watching a TV rerun. No wonder Christ said his is a child’s kingdom!

During a rerun of Rafe Hollister Sings from The Andy Griffith Show, my 6-year old grandson observed Mayberry’s mayor and a leading citizen (Mrs. Jeffrie) reject Rafe as town representative for a musical event.

“Why don’t they want him to sing,Grandma?” asked my 6-year old grandson. “He sings good.”

“Yea,” added his 4-year old sister, “he sings better than that other guy!” So I explained that they didn’t like the way he looked.

GRANDSON: “What’s wrong with him? He looks OK to me!”

ME: “Well, they don’t like the way he’s dressed.”

GRANDDAUGHTER: “He looks OK to me. He just looks like a farmer.”

GRANDSON: “And he could always change his clothes.”

ME: “Yes, he could, couldn’t he…”

But all the while I thought, no wonder Christ says we must become like little children to enter his kingdom.

Not like Barney Fife, the mayor, or Mrs. Jeffrie. Or me, at times! Because my thoughts matched those of the snooty Mrs. Jeffrie and the mayor. “How could they let someone like him get up there to sing?”

Deputy Barney Fife had already cast himself as the winner, and strutted off, sure of taking first place. While Rafe Hollister, with his truly gifted voice, entered only because Sheriff Andy Taylor convinced him to. “You think I’ve got a chance?” was his sincere and humble question. Barney embarrassed himself with his out-of-tune singing. But humble, misfit Rafe Hollister took the place of honor, wining the competition! Why not listen to Rafe’s singing for yourself and see if you think he was good enough to enter, and even win, the contest!

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. — Matthew 18:1-4

May the Lord teach us to become like little children, for only then will we enter his kingdom. May he change our hearts, and help us to look beyond appearances to the heart. And help us stop viewing others with prejudice, but with eyes of love and acceptance, as my grandchildren do!

And you? Who are you like?

Like my grandchildren or like the snooty mayor and Mrs. Jeffries? Do you judge others by appearance, or by who they really are, inside?

“Preconceived notions are locks on the door to wisdom.” — Mary Browne
“Be humble or you’ll stumble.” — D.L. Moody

[Image ©TheScorziellos]

11 thoughts on “A Child’s Kingdom

    1. I agree and sometimes it helps to watch them with little children, because they don’t see things quite like we do! Oh, to have that kind of simplicity and lack of taught bias!

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  1. Oh, yes, I’ve got a long way to go too! I think that I’m not being judgmental, but I know I have harbored thoughts, judging someone by appearance. We have a neighbor, who is a bit quirky and “different”. We’ve invited him to church, but he declined, afraid that he just won’t “belong”. I love my church body, but I know the reality is that there will probably be people, who will judge him, even if just in their thoughts.

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    1. That’s sad, isn’t it? We really should get to the point where we can love the differences in people, and appreciate their quirkiness. And just when I think I have, something comes up to show how far I still have to go! Glad to know I’m not the only one working on these things! Thanks, Ai.

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  2. Excellent illustration! It is sad how easy it is to judge someone based on outward appearance. I know I have been guilty many times of that. I need to remember how ugly I looked when Jesus first chose me in my sin. Then it is easier to not judge so quickly.

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    1. Oh Tom, you’re so right! It is hard though, because society has set certain “norms”. And, sadly, we follow them at times – instead of thinking like the Lord. Remembering how we looked before the Lord helped us – that IS a great thing to keep in mind. But that also got me to thinking how ugly I must look to him when I think my uncharitable thoughts. Ouch! All I can do is pray and ask the Lord to fill my heart and mind with his beauty!!

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