Uncontaminated lives

Although the world might argue otherwise, childlike humility is what opens the way to progress—and healing.

Christ Jesus put a stringent requirement on his followers. He said, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Some may consider becoming as a little child a step backward. Yet it is in the guileless simplicity of childlikeness that we discover our innate spiritual character, and experience genuine progress.

Man, the very likeness of God, is not a mortal with a dual nature, part good and part bad. Expressing the nature of his divine originator, infinite Spirit, man is totally spiritual and good. This is our own true selfhood. Childlike qualities such as uncontaminated joy, eagerness to learn, trust, and honesty are therefore natural to us. Innocence springs from man's status as God's own image. It is strong and enduring because its source is omnipotent and eternal. It cannot be lost any more than God can be lost.

To discover this innate innocence and purity in our character, it is important to note that Jesus did not direct his followers to remain, but to become, as little children. To become something requires effort and growth. The Master was surely not talking about remaining childish. He was not recommending arrested development, immaturity, or a return to naive traits outgrown. Rather, he showed by his teaching and example that purity requires spiritual maturity. To be increasingly free of wrong tendencies and unmoved by temptations means to follow the straight course of spiritual growth.

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Second Thought
February 8, 1993

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