In the church where I grew up– a mid-sized, Bible church just outside of Memphis, Tennessee– leading others to a personal relationship with Christ was, as it is for most evangelical churches, a particularly important part of what church was all about. And, as with many evangelical congregations, the most common tool in the toolbox was what has become known as “the sinner’s prayer.”
The sinner’s prayer is a short, ritualized prayer meant to reflect what is commonly known as the “ABC’s of Salvation,” a mantra I heard most often growing up when I attended Vacation BIble School at a nearby Baptist church. Every year when the VBS wrapped up, the senior pastor there would give a message in which he invited everyone to “Admit they were a sinner,” “Believe Jesus Christ saves us from our sins,” and “Commit to love and follow Jesus for the rest of your life.” That basic theology was then reflected in a short prayer all those wishing to be saved that evening were invited to say together, usually with everyone in the crowd bowing their head and closing their eyes so that those who said the prayer could raise their hands to be counted without feeling embarrassed. While my family’s church rarely used the ABC’s mantra itself, we were regularly invited in our Sunday School classes to say the sinner’s prayer, ask Jesus to live in our hearts, and be saved.
Whatever else I was as a child, I was shy, and aside from a one year experiment at obnoxious attention-seeking when I tried (unsuccessfully) to don the role of class clown, I hated the lime-light and generally preferred to keep to myself. The result of this was that when I was about 5 or 6 and our Sunday School teacher was inviting us to pray the sinner’s prayer, which by then I had heard many times but never yet been compelled to say, I was too shy to join in the collective class prayer and I would have never dreamed of raising my hand to say that I had done so even if I had.
What did happen was that, after church, I ran upstairs to my room, laid out on my bed in what I took to be a reverent posture, and prayed by myself there.
But then, because I felt like this momentous occasion demanded some sort of recognition, I had to go down and tell my parents. Who then told the Sunday School teacher. Who then congratulated me publicly, and my plans of staying out of the limelight were ruined!
Looking back now I would say that whether or not that Sunday actually marked the moment of my “salvation” (something I’m a bit theologically suspect of nowadays), it certainly marked the beginning of a spiritual journey that has brought me all the way to the present.
The impression I had then was that “getting saved” was supposed to make me feel different somehow. I had joined a special club of the real Christians and that meant I was supposed to be forever changed. I drew that impression from the dramatic conversion stories I had heard from the older kids on Youth Sunday, the one day each year that the youth group got to lead worship, which was exciting for me as a kid because they had a rock band that included a real drum-kit and a couple of electric guitars. Whenever Youth Sunday came around, someone would invariably share a testimony about being totally lost to drugs or alcohol or some other form of sin and debauchery and how they radically turned around when they felt Jesus come into their life and save them.
When I said the sinner’s prayer I was too young to know what most of the things they talked about struggling with were, let alone have done any of them. But nevertheless, I felt like something needed to have changed in my life, like I was supposed to feel some sort of power working in me, and if I didn’t that meant something had gone wrong.
As if to confirm this belief, for the first couple of weeks after I “became a Christian” I did feel something different. Looking back now it was probably that I felt the warm accolades of a number of adults who were “proud” of my decision. After a while, when they didn’t feel the need to continuously congratulate me, the feeling faded and I began to wonder if I had done it wrong.
The real benefit of being a Christian, in my six-year-old head, was that it meant I got to eat the little crackers and drink the juice on the first Sunday of every month when our church celebrated communion. If you weren’t a real Christian and took communion, I had the impression that something terrible would happen to you (though to my church’s credit I’m not sure that’s something they ever explicitly said, more likely just something I made up when I was told I couldn’t take part until I was “saved”).
That first Communion Sunday after I started to doubt that the prayer had really worked I got very nervous when the communion plates were passed around, convinced I might be about to commit a grave sin by taking communion under false pretenses. To try and assuage my nerves, I prayed the sinners prayer again sitting in my seat waiting for the plate to reach me. But I didn’t feel any different. I tried a few more times and still nothing happened.
That’s when I really started to panic. By this time I already had the little saltine cracker that we used as bread in my hand and felt like I couldn’t reveal my doubts or else I would become the center of some sort of spectacle, which was about the worst thing imaginable in my mind. So I quickly ate the piece of bread along with everyone else so that no one would notice anything was amiss.
Then a wild idea entered my head. What if every other time you said the sinner’s prayer it negated the effect of the previous time? So the second time I had prayed it, I had become unsaved. But then the third time I had gotten saved again. But then the fourth time I was unsaved again. How many times had I said it by now? Was it an even number or an odd number? I couldn’t remember, which meant I was really in trouble: I would never actually know if I was saved or not!
By now the little cup of grape juice had reached me and I had to make a decision.
I decided to risk it.
And though I wouldn’t have known it at the time, that decision was the beginning of a journey. Of course, as I grew older I realized that my imaginative doubts about whether I had prayed the sinner’s prayer an even or odd number of times were entirely fictional. Even still, the lingering concern about whether I really was a Christian kept me intensely interested in learning more about my self-professed faith, seeking to discover what it even meant to be a Christian and, later in life, what “kind” of Christian I was meant to be. My intense interest in theology, my own search for meaning, and the spiritual journey that search has led me on, could be said to have begun with the “faith-crisis” of a six-year-old’s imagination.
This story from my past came to mind a couple weeks ago. What’s interesting to me now, as I am about to begin a new job as a pastor to youth and children, is to reflect on this story while thinking about what it means to have “faith like a child.” Growing up in southern evangelicalism, that phrase was almost always used to extoll the virtues of a faith without doubt– suggesting that those who truly had the faith of a child could believe without needing to ask for proof or evidence– but my own childhood faith was anything but doubt-free.
Recently I’ve come to believe that maybe “faith like a child” should be thought of instead as a faith that is open to imagination, open to being inspired. Sure, imagination can lead us to some fanciful and wild ideas, like mine did. But when we are inspired, such moments of imagination can shape the course of a lifetime.
So maybe that imaginative inspiration is what “faith like a child” is really all about. I’m convinced that the children of ancient Palestine wanted to see Jesus not because they believed, without any doubts, that Jesus was the son of God but because their imaginations were captivated by the stories they had heard about this man and, as a result, they believed that if they got close enough they would see something spectacular happen.
Suggested Link from Amazon.com:
Faith Without Illusions: Following Jesus as a Cynic-Saint
- My thoughts on the Sinner’s Prayer (markblock.wordpress.com)
- Some…thoughts from @ThomRainer on Sunday School @kregelacademic (unsettledchristianity.com)
- What Churches Can Learn From My Sunday Morning Visit With 3 Kids (matthewruttan.com)
57 thoughts on “The Faith Crisis of a Six-Year-Old (or, What Does “Faith Like a Child” Really Mean?)”
As someone who’s never really been involved in a faith-related community of any kind, I found your story really interesting. I remember wondering as a kid why my parents identified with different religions and why they’d chosen to put me on one of those paths instead of the other. Even today, I’m not sure there’s anything special about my particular brand of faith – it was just sheer chance that led me to it. But it’s not about the outward form your faith takes, is it?
Thanks for this interesting post.
I appreciate your courage in telling your story. I believe every Christian child has a similar story to yours. When I was a child I thought there supposed to have been something spectacular happen as well. It’s interesting because something spectacular does happen it just happens in the spiritual realm. My understanding as a Christian and what makes since to me is, follow Gods commandments lead a pure life and follow the Holy Spirit. And in my experience God does and has done the rest! I try not to lean not into my own understanding because when I try to understand and make since of everything God blows my mind. So instead of figuring it out I try to just rest in his love and obey. I found myself experiencing God deeper and deeper the more I crucify my flesh. Thank you for the post!
I think “faith like a child” derives from the amnesia most adults have about having been a child. They don’t remember all the doubts you so clearly recall. They look at children, who mostly do what adults say without expressing their million doubts, and assume those children are acting with complete faith–when in reality children who don’t voice their doubts usually do so because they are afraid of the adults, just as you didn’t. “Faith like a child” means “too afraid to say anything.” Which is what some churches are trying to create in their adult worshippers–fear of expressing any doubt.
Wow, nice perspective on having faith like a child, never really looked at it that way before.
On another note, I also enjoy your writing style, I literally envisioned a frightened little boy having a panic attack holding the saltine cracker while the plate was being passed around. Very vivid!
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the story!
Am I the only one who finds it sad that a child of six should become so panicked at the thought that he would be committing some sin so terrible by taking the juice and cracker? And luckily, you were not someone like myself, who is quite consumed with OCD, when you thought to count the times you negated the prayer by saying it a second time. This would have taken a large chunk of your childhood away if you had suffered an obsessive compulsive disorder. Just some thoughts. Anyway, you write quite well and I would like to congratulate you on being Freshly Pressed.
What an insight to a delightful perspective! Absolutely loved reading your write/your thoughts/your Journey to the here and now..As someone said earlier when adults use the phrase @Faith like a child; they’re assuming they know what a child thinks or feels..None of us truly know..But what I do know is some of the most sincere and purest form of “having faith”; can come from the mouths of children. When they truly feel the Holy Spirit within though; and not just when they’re repeating what their parents have told them..But how can we ever really know the difference? Really can’t…I do feel and believe that there are times even the most professed Believer; can falter in their beliefs…I also don’t feel that makes them any less of a Christian..What I do think though is that it makes them very human..Again, truly enjoyed reading your write ! Thank you for sharing..
I can relate to this. After confirmation at 12, I went through a period of performance based faith. I was on my best behavior and couldn’t understand why the other kids in my confirmation class couldn’t get their act together. I didn’t understand that the Christian life or conversion doesn’t have to have the bells and whistles. Its simply a daily journey and growing in faith.
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Thanks for the post and congrats on being FP! I love it when WordPress recognizes blogs that deal with faith and spirituality. I had a funny situation at church a few weeks back … I was a prayer partner in the back of the sanctuary and a fellow came back, maybe 40 years old, and asked me if I would pray the sinner’s prayer with him. I told him that I didn’t know it but was sure that if he wanted to pray it specifically he could find it online. As a “second best,” I prayed a prayer of joy and gratitude with him as he voiced his decision to turn his life over to God. It was a wonderful moment and we both cried. I’ll bet God is really amused by all our efforts to “do it right” – God just wants to love us!!
lots of words lots of comments… hmm I may be learnings something
When you’re younger faith is like a thimble, it doesn’t take a lot to fill it up. Unfortunately, as you get older the glass grows too. So it takes more faith to fill it up.
I think that is where some people fall down, when you grow up it is up to you to learn more about religion and faith, to help fill that glass. But, some people don’t want to put that effort into it and they loose faith.
Reminds me of an Outer Limits Episode – The Deprogrammers(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Deprogrammers). Guess some churches really need to work on their conditioning methods; a six year old discovering that it’s condemned to a fire pit just by being born is indeed a horror trip. Thank God Milord is there to save the day.
Hey Alex, congrats on the Freshly Pressed! What immediately came to mind for me, especially when reading the last two paragraphs of your post, is a concept I’ve come to love in a very different “discipline”. This concept is called shoshin, meaning “beginner’s mind”. It’s fun to read about other people experiencing a similar realisation about how one could try and deal with life and anything or anyone we encounter. Thank you for sharing your version of it! 🙂
Thanks for the comment! Where does the concept of shoshin come from? Would be interested to read more about it.
Hi Alex, I’m not an expert, but as far as I know, the Beginner’s Mind translation is from the Japanese characters 初心. There’s a Chinese translation of the same characters which means something like ‘one’s original intention’. The concept in the Japanese context is what I meant and is “used” in Zen Buddhism and also in different kinds of martial arts. I read about it when I practiced Aikidō a lifetime ago and found it useful on the mat but also very much so in daily life. Unfortunately I wouldn’t know of a specific book or website that I’d recommend for reading about this. I think it depends on from what directions you’d want to explore it more to find the right source. Does that help? 😉
What a great story! It makes me sad when churches try to encourage young children to say the sinner’s prayer or ‘ask Jesus into your heart’. The words aren’t some kind of magical spell to salvation. It is the true heart of a person honestly seeking God who begins his spiritual journey. I would rather my children come to Christ in their own way and time when they truly understand not feel pressured by it. To me the faith of a child is pure and innocent. When I was a child I didn’t go to church or had much of a religious upbringing but I chose to worship God when I was alone. I didn’t know worship songs so I sang to Jesus the songs I learned in French class. Do you think He cared they weren’t ‘worship’ songs? God knew my 9 year old heart I think 🙂
I just read your comment and although I appreciate the idea behind wanting your children to come to Christ in their own way, I also think as a Christian parent one is responsible for his/her child’s spiritual upbringing. I guess it is trying to find the balance between not trying to be imposing and pushy, but also letting one’s kid see how faith, the Bible and prayer really makes a difference in one’s life. I’m reluctant to quote the Bible on this one, but there is a lot in it about this. One verse in particular from Proverbs 22v6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Oh no, I do agree with you. I have known people who were missionary kids or pastor kids and they never said an actual sinners prayer type thing. They were just raised in faith and always believed. The ones I knew never went through a rebellious stage. They just simply were brought up to love God by godly parents. What I don’t like is parents, teachers, ministers who try to get young children to take a step by making a public declaration before they are ready. When my daughter wanted to be baptised, I explained to her she shouldn’t do it just because her friend was doing it but because she really wanted to give a testimony of something she really believed in. Which she did but it was her decision. What worries me are like some other people I knew who pushed their children into saying a sinner’s prayer and then a few years later those same children felt it didn’t really work for them so they don’t believe. It isn’t magic. It’s suppose to be genuine faith.
But of course parents should train their children and each to their own way because every child is an individual. I have another daughter who is slowly coming to faith but coming at it from a philosophical/intellectual way. She’s the only one of my six doing it this way but it is fascinating talking to her while she works it all out.
Thanks for the comment! And thanks for sharing this perspective! Great thoughts!
I love this! Thanks, brother!
I believe you hit the nail on the head. They wanted to believe and therefore their imagination lead to great wonderment. Over time we accept what may not have happened over what happened if it gives a special meaning to the story. I have always wondered how many lepers did Jesus cure and if so why not all of them.
I grew up in a Baptist school and I remember the constant fear that I wasn’t saved. It’s a difficult struggle, the doubt-free philosophy. I’m so happy you wrote this but even more happy that you’ll be guiding children through their religious journey.
Thanks for the vote of confidence!
I enjoyed your contemplations. Never be afraid to ask the tough questions (including the even/odd prayer questions) and never be afraid to use your imagination for God! God bless as you minister to kids and youth. 🙂
Thanks for the comment! And thank you for your blessings!
Love this post. As a child I used to pray the sinners prayer constantly to make sure it “stuck”!
I remember having anticlimactic feelings similar to yours after being “saved” as a preteen at a friend’s Baptist church. Over the years, I have continued to semi-regularly attend my nondenominational church. However, I’m glad the church I attend is more liberal and outreach-focused than that church I attended as a teen. Great post!
My journey is similar to this one, though I have ended up in a mainline denomination (The United Church of Christ). All the best to you as you continue to work out your own faith! And thanks for the comment!
I have always struggled with the saying “faith like a child” being told it means having no doubts, but I remember having plenty of doubts about my faith as a kid. I have less doubts now as an adult than I did back then. I have heard people say it is like the little kid who jumps off the diving board without hesitation because he knows his father is there to catch him. They just trust so easily like that. Well I taught swimming lessons and there are very few kids who are that trusting. Most need a good shove.
I think you said it perfectly in this blog. Faith like a child is imagination and excitement. It is being the child that wants to get closer, because”they believed that if they got close enough they would see something spectacular happen.” I love that sentence!
Thank you for taking the time to write this inspiring post.
Thanks for your kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed the post!
You have an interesting perspective on “faith like a child”. I remember having doubts as well. I remember wondering if it counted that I prayed, but didn’t raise my hand. Was I saved? Was I not? Children definitely have doubts too. Great post!
I love this blog post. We come from different faiths, but I found this extremely interesting, and of course, the faith like a child bit can be integrated into any religion. When I was a child my mom had a statue on her coffee table that was meant to be Ichabod from Sleep Hollow, reading beneath a tree. I thought for some reason, that he instead resembled God.
One day, under circumstances I wont go into, it was broken. Not by me, but I worried, because I had done nothing to save it, that maybe if it really did resemble God, that he would be angry with me for it breaking, and I worried all that week before Friday night services that I might be smote upon walking into Temple.
I realize now how silly that sounds- but children are children! I look forward to reading more of your blog and have followed you.
This is interesting. I will be sure to give it some thought. It is always good to re-examine old phrases that we begin to take for granted.
What an interesting take on child-like faith. It reminded me of something my mother read to me out of the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. My father had just died unexpectedly, and we had both just picked up Heaven is for Real during my dad’s brief illness, and I smugly informed her that there must be animals in heaven because that little boy said so! She had always said that animals didn’t have a soul, so blah, blah, blah. Whatever, my dog’s in heaven! How’s that for child-like, if not childish, faith. Then she started reading Heaven and would call me to tell me what got her attention. She said, and I apologize that I can’t quote it, that he asserts that it’s okay to use your imagination to envision what Heaven will be like. It was beautiful the way he discussed it, and now I wish I had the book.
Great story illustrating the mingling of doubt and faith. I wish I could be more like that 6 year old again.
My sister “got saved” when she married a guy from Texas. She then proceeded to tell our family, in the gentlest way, that it was “my burden on this earth that, when Jesus comes again, Ed and me and the kids will all fly up and y’all will go to Hell.”
Never mind that a college graduate shouldn’t say “Ed and me,” or that this was her first message to us as a newly minted “real” Christian. That drove me away from anything remotely Christian for years.
It wasn’t until finding the United Church of Christ that I met the Jesus I wanted to follow: social justice seeker, advocate for the poor and suffering, promoter of women to teaching the Gospel. Jesus didn’t want to be worshiped; he was always pointing UP. Worship GOD. And people are so sure they need a “personal” relationship with Jesus (forget his “dad”), they tend to put down other faiths as invalid, not “real.”
My sister still thinks I’m going to hell. That’s fine with me, because I would rather be supportive of my lesbian daughter and maintain my universe of alternative friends than listen to a pastor who would claim that God is anything other than pure love!
Great write. Thanks for listening, and congrats on FP! Amy Barlow Liberatore, Madison, WI
I still do a quick check with God to confirm my faith in him when someone comes around with a new ‘yard stick of faith’.
I used to have the same thoughts as those you expressed during communion, and refused it any time i had those fears. I guess six year old you had more courage than teenage me.
Great essay and congrats on being FP.
I really enjoyed this read. Thank you. I struggled when my daughter felt ready for baptism at 8, worried she didn’t fully understand the commitment she was making. But who does? It is the start of the journey rather than the “end all be all” as we were taught in aggressively evangelical churches.
Faith that is open to imagination is certainly better than faith that is without doubt – the latter is what encourages people to fly planes into buildings. Doubt is one of the most important feelings that human beings can have.
Jesus loves the children (of all ages) to come to Him and recognize their need for a personal relationship with Him. People, (usually well meaning people), are the ones who tend to lay pressure on each other. Whether it is a child’s lack of understanding of what is being said, or an older person’s fear of doing such awful things that they are unforgivable, we humans can sure get distracted to the simplicity of what Christ offers us in “salvation”. A personal relationship with Christ is so simple…..and so genuine. I am so thankful that God holds onto us; even if we ‘do it wrong’. I grew up baptist and felt that I could never be good enough….. so I walked away from my faith for a few years. I told the Lord that I didn’t want to walk away from HIM, just the horrible feelings of inadequacy in “how” I was a christian. I think it is possible that some of these feelings are the feelings that the devil wants us to have…..so that we walk away from God. I also think that some of our feelings are the transition from child like faith to our own personal, deep walk of faith that happens as we learn personally who GOD is, what His word says, etc. While ‘feelings’ are nice, feelings are not faith. I for one am very thankful that God looks at our hearts, and understands child like faith ~ regardless of our age. My prayer for our girls, and my grandson is that there is never a day that they don’t love and strive to serve Jesus to the best of their understanding.
I had the same thoughts and wild ideas, but I had them at 10 years old. Many were the nights I spent wondering if I was truly saved and up to college, the fact that I don’t know the date of my “spiritual birthday” bothered me. Thinking about it now, even those moments of doubt and fear were contributed to my growth as a Christian. 🙂
Thanks for the post. Interesting read.
I just wanted to comment as I have to disagree with your conclusion that ‘faith like a child’ is about having imaginative inspiration. Doctrinally, that really is a bit out there.
From my perspective, the orthodox interpretation stands up a bit better: like a child we should trust fully in our God the father. When everything around you is falling apart, let your faith be child-like, hold on, and trust in God your father.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t question, challenge and test things. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to “test everything” and hold on to what is good. I think child-like faith corresponds with Jesus’ commandment that we should “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” Luke 10v27.
James, maybe you can explain more what the “orthodox” understanding is and where it comes from? I know I heard about “faith without doubt” as a kid a lot, but I’m not sure I could tell you why I heard that or where it came from originally.
I prefer the term ‘orthodox’, because evangelical has got so much baggage attached to it. I think orthodox stresses the full authority of the Bible whilst also underlining the need for personal conversion. When I say that I prefer the orthodox interpretation, I mean a literal, Biblical interpretation – the evangelical hermeneutical methodology. This would read ‘faith like a child’ to mean one trusts fully in God our father. I once heard it put that we should trust God with a child’s receptivity.
I have not heard the phrase ‘faith without doubt’ before, but my eyebrows become slightly rasied upon hearing it. When it comes to doubt, I would be a bit reluctant to believe anyone who said they never had any. The important thing with doubt is that we should recognise it and use it to continue to search for the answer which deepens our faith.
God Bless man!
Thank you Alex for sharing that story. I remember as a child having my own problem with being “saved”. I prayed at VBS but nothing really happened. Yes I had fun and was in plays and what not…but in reality I was confused. As the years when on, I went to highschool and knew I believed in God, but I didn’t really go to church because I wasn’t really allowed to go…gas prices and all that they were at the time…So I struggled…it’s nice to know that others had some struggles to go through as well…I thank you for sharing your story…I am 25 and just starting my search, I have a deepened hope. Thank you again.
I laughed out loud when I got to the bit about the second “sinner’s prayer” undoing the first.
I was saved when I was eight, and I remember it vividly – and also that it was mildly disappointing, as others have said too. My parents were Christian and I remember saying to Dad that I didn’t feel any different, and him telling me that he had noticed a change – particularly that I became kinder to my twin brother. I “re-committed” when I was 14 and was baptised not long afterwards, which again, didn’t feel all that spectacular but my Dad described his sense that something “pretty powerful was happening in that water”. In hindsight I see that he was right, as I’ve never been able to let go of my faith since (though I’ve tried!) and I can see God at work in the way my life has progressed since.
Isn’t it funny, or odd, rather, that we expect so much emotionalness, drama, ecstasy, whatever, from a “religious experience”, and more often than not it’s the quiet moments of insight, revelation and prayer that have the longest-lasting impact?
Reblogged this on It's News to Me.
The amazing thing is that everything, including your faith, is from Jesus, and he has all authority. http://blackstoneinitiative.com/2013/07/29/changing-the-world-one-sunday-at-a-time/.
This brings back vivid memories of the church I grew up in. Any time someone younger than me had the courage to pray out loud during the worship service (we didn’t have children’s services), I always believed it meant they were more of a Christian than me. My fear of raising my hands during worship meant I wasn’t a good Christian because I wasn’t brave enough. Such a guilt-ridden perspective for one so young… I’m so thankful to be on the opposite end of that and be able to look back and see I’m not the only one who struggled with things like that at such a young age. Thank you for your honesty!
Thanks for this post. I love this. I think our spiritual journey is riddled with doubts along the way. I grew up in the church and often got ‘saved’ many times, because I wasn’t sure if I really was….add in all the ‘rededications’ as well. Church can be a funny place sometimes. Complicated. What a great opportunity you have to influence and guide these kids! (PS – I’m a Christian school teacher from Long Island, and several of my students went to Southeastern…probably a little younger than you…they graduated HS in ’08. But I heard good things about it!)
Enjoyed the post. Becoming as a child is something I have been thinking about lately as it was a common theme throughout our meetings this Sunday. There is a natural tendency to resist becoming as a child because we feel it will make us weaker. After all, we have spent our whole life “growing up.” But Paul points out that there’s a difference between being childish and becoming as a child. (1 Cor. 13:11) For me, becoming as a child means we as are quick to love and forgive as children are. It means we rely whole-heartedly on our Heavenly Father as children rely on their earthly father. I like your phrase “imaginative inspiration.” Most adults envy how children are able to appreciate the small delights of this world. It seems our goal in becoming as children is to regain the innocence which with we began life while also passing through the many trials this life offers. Letting the many wonders of this world inspire us, which should increase our gratitude for the Creator, seems crucial to becoming like children and to our overall happiness.
Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts! I think that idea of “appreciating the small delights of this world” is really insightful, thanks!
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Reblogged this on Philippians 3:13 and commented:
This story is much like mine when I was twelve and kept saying the prayer over and over again to make sure it “stuck” especially when I sinned. The church I went to then focused on “sinner’s prayer” but not much follow up afterwards. I believe that is why many church members think that all is needed is say the “sinner’s prayer”, without following the two main commandments, “Love your God” and “Love your neighbor”.
“.. they believed that if they got close enough they would see something spectacular happen.” Oh, that we would desire to draw near to Him with the same expectation! ~.~