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Of Good Report

Growing into childlikeness

From the November 2014 issue of The Christian Science Journal

When I was a child and out with my mom doing errands, holding her hand was natural. If we were confronted with situations that involved potential danger, she would remind me to take her hand. Now that I’m an adult, I love to think of myself as “holding the hand” of our universal Father-Mother God. This is a hand we can be led by, no matter what age.

Sometimes the world tells us that as we grow into adults, we have to shoulder a burden of responsibility and stop thinking as children do. Contrary to this view, I like to think of growing up as growing into a true, spiritual sense of being more childlike. This spiritual progress has  everything to do with innocence and wonder and nothing to do with immaturity, ignorance, or selfishness. Spiritual innocence and receptivity mean we trust and depend absolutely on our Mother, God, for all our needs. Mary Baker Eddy provides such inspiration for this pursuit: “Beloved children, the world has need of you,—and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 110).

A kind of childlike dependence on God means that we don’t have to shoulder the burden of worry. It does require us, though, to express trust and unselfishness and to lean on God the way a young child depends wholeheartedly on a parent. Living the qualities that belong to a child of God seems to me to be the highest representation of spiritual maturity. I think this is what Jesus had in mind when he remarked, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

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