Kids are stupid. I know, because I used to be one. And now I have three of my own.
For every incredibly smart thing that little Johnny says or does, every parent has three more stories of the dumb things he’s said or done. That’s because he’s a kid, and kids do dumb things. Paul said it like this:
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
1 Corinthians 13:11
So there–Paul agrees, children are stupid.
(Don’t start barking at me about how your little Johnny isn’t stupid. I bet he can’t even explain the distributive property, can he?)
Turning The Tables
But they sure are fun when they’re acting stupid. My daughter threw a temper-tantrum the other day and banged her head against the wall as she was thrashing around on the floor. That was entertaining.
But my point isn’t that kids are stupid.
In one of the most interesting turns of fate in scripture, Jesus made a bold declaration about these stupid little creatures with their un-formed processes of reason and logic:
15People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Just because kids are stupid doesn’t mean we don’t love them as parents. It means we love them and care for them all the more. We keep them away from the stove top because we know they’re going to burn themselves. We keep the knives away from them. We know they don’t have it together and so we protect them. We value them more than our own lives. We give them opportunities beyond what we have ourselves. Like sitting on the lap of the Messiah. Gazing into His eternal eyes.
These parents gave their children the opportunity of a lifetime, and the other adults, the apostles, didn’t like it. They knew Jesus wouldn’t want to be bothered with those stupid children. So they shewed them away.
And Jesus rebuked them for it with eternal damnation.
My son is six years old, and everything I tell him with a straight face is the gospel truth. If I told him that the moon was made of cheese with a straight face, he’d fight to the death on the playground against any kid that told him his Daddy was a liar. So I have to be careful, because kids are stupid that way. I like to kid around like that, so I have a “silly face” when I’m lying to my kids.
If I tell them the moon is made of cheese, I have to made a stupid face so they know I’m kidding. That way they can have confidence that when I tell them something with a straight face that it is the truth. And they will believe it with everything they have in them. They have 100% faith in what I tell them.
And that makes them even more stupid. Because I know me. I know what I don’t know. I know how I fail. I know how much I miss it, and yet I still have these little creatures who have 100% pure faith in me.
And I don’t deserve it.
One Who Is Worthy
But our Father, He does. He is 100% trustworthy. When He puts on His “serious face,” He never tells a lie. We can trust everything He says. He created us. He created the stars. He holds them all in alignment and will one day extinguish their fusion-fueled flame. He will one day be our light, just as He was when the first day was created, before there was a sun to give light (look at Genesis again).
But we don’t put our faith in Him. We doubt Him. We don’t trust Him. When He says something, we waffle. We question. We wait. We turn away.
And until we choose to believe the One who holds all the keys in His hand, we cannot inherit His eternal life. We must embrace that child-like faith.
And if that means looking stupid to those around us, then we have to embrace that, too. Because no matter how stupid my son or daughters have ever acted, I’ve never loved them one iota less because of it. It’s actually pretty endearing, really. And if you ever told me that MY child was stupid, I’d knock your teeth out.
And I know there’s a God who will do the same for me.