Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Learning from Children

The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
   before you were born I set you apart;
   I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. – Jeremiah 1:4-8

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 1-2; 1 Timothy 3

When you want to learn something new how do you seek out information? Maybe you go to the library and get some books (if you’re old school like me), or perhaps you just google the topic on your phone or computer. Maybe you ask your friends and mentors? All of these seem like very logical options.

But I’d like you to consider another source of knowledge that could be more powerful than all of those combined.


When I was in Brazil back in 2001 I learned so much from the kids that I met. 
Children often served as my greatest professors in the school of life. In the evening when I came home from my classes to my host family I would shower, eat and then go out into the street to hang with the kids. That is where I learned the most about the local culture, and myself. They taught me the correct way to pronounce tricky Portuguese words (yes by clowning me and making a spectacle of my crippled Portuguese accent haha). They taught me about the neighborhood, and about having joy through varying levels of poverty, and many more things.

But most importantly they taught me how to not just be an American. They helped me understand what it means to be a citizen of the world. By accepting me, a stranger, unconditionally as one of their own they showed me a new angle on what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.

I feel that most of us ignore the wisdom of children. I remember as a child not being listened to and as an adult I have seen myself do the same thing to kids at times. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe we think that since we have been on this earth longer then they don’t have much to teach us. It is us that should be teaching them.

That’s hogwash.

Everyone and everything on this earth is a potential blessing if we are willing to stretch ourselves to see them for what they are: beautiful expressions of God’s creation.

So next time a child tries to tell you something try to listen as if it is coming from someone that you respect. The more you listen, the more that you will find that a genuine respect will start to grow within you. You will no longer see them as just a child; you will start to see their entire personhood.

And once a child sees that you are truly listening to them, really trying to see them for who they are, what was once a bud will open up and blossom into the most beautiful flower of life that you could ever imagine. 


  1. Hello Man of God, There is such wisdom in this post. Even Jesus said "we should come as little children". Children continually believe and love unconditionally without fail.

    I sometimes have hidden safely away from fully expressing who I am in Christ., but leave it to my little niece who has reminded me of who I really am by putting me on blast several times. The amazing thing is each time how I was able to reach out and minister to the needs of others, thanks to my niece.

    Some of my best teachers are yet children and babies. Thank you for the subtle, but gentle reminder.

    Much Love

  2. No problem! it was a reminder for me too. Last night when i was waiting for the train to go home this little boy who couldn't be more than 3 was teaching me about the trains. it was awesome to see the station through his eyes. Everything was magical and brand new. I gotta remember to see things that way.


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