The Kingdom of Heaven and Christmas are for children. In Luke 18:17, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” In thinking my way through the characteristics that God desired in us adults that reflect a child like faith, I think we need to consider the idea of untutored humility. What I mean by “untutored” is that children don’t need to be taught to be humble it’s a part of their characteristic of living in a grown up world. When you live in world where you have to look up at everyone around you, where you are fed by others, clothed by others, cared for when you’re hurt by others, and just about everything necessity of life is met by others, you just understand your place in the overall scheme of things. But grownups get tall, strong, self sufficient, competent, and learn how to take care of themselves in life. That leads to confusion in our overall lot in life.

There was an interesting article in the Omaha World Herald last week about saying Grace and praying in public in general. Several people interviewed argued that it wasn’t necessarily a public display of religious pride on the part of those who prayed, but rather it represented a sincere desire on their part to reflect an honest attitude of gratitude to their maker for the many daily blessings in their lives. I like to think that’s the reason I do it. We become confused by our grownup economic system. It’s easy to believe that we deserve what we have and that we’ve earned everything we have and that there’s no such thing as a free lunch and we all have to pay the price, etc. But the bottom line in it all is that we have been blessed to be part of a country in which we have the freedoms that we have, the opportunities that we have, the resources that we have, etc. A truly childlike humility looks up at those who’ve gone before them and paid the price for the great freedoms we have. It looks to the maker of heaven and earth as the supreme providers and acknowledges its helplessness to provide and sustain all these blessings by itself. None of us would enjoy this life if weren’t for others and for the God that made us and sustains us.

Proverbs 16:19 tells us that “It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” Someone said, “If you are too big for a little place, you are too little for a big place.” A. W. Tozer wrote, “Humility pleases God wherever it is found, and the humble person will have God for his or her friend and helper always. Only the humble are completely sane, for they are the only ones who see clearly their own size and limitations. Egotists see things out of focus. To themselves they are large and God is correspondingly small, and that is a kind of moral insanity.”

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3