To laugh out loud and run free without a care in the world. It’s what childhood should be.
It sounds unbelievably wonderful.
As a child, all I could think about was being an adult. Adults have choices. They can make their own rules and don’t get disciplined for disobeying something they disagree with. They don’t have to do everything they’re told unless they want to.
Or so I thought.
Childhood is a time where the focus is a “grass is greener” mentality. Kids see what others have and immediately want it. They experience disappointment and want to avoid it. Refusal to follow through with parental requests brings undesirable outcomes.
“If only”, and fill in the blank. That thought filled my childish mind. If only I was older, If only I could make my own decisions. If only I had my own job I could buy whatever I wanted.
The problem is many don’t ever mature out of that life phase. Adulthood escapes many today because they’ve never owned responsibility for their decisions. What children often don’t realize is there are consequences to our choices that we must accept. Human frailty causes us to want more than we have and avoid negative results from bad choices.
Children learn from adults how to deal with disappointments. If never allowed to experience hardship, they won’t know how to handle life crises as adults.
In the book of Acts, the beginning of the gathering of followers of Jesus was done with a remarkable amount of sharing money and possessions with those in need; they met together often to encourage one another. All voluntary.
Ananias and Sapphira, a husband and wife, wanted to be part of this fellowship. They sold a piece of property and gave some of it to the disciples to use for others, but they said it was the whole amount received for the property. They wanted to be seen by others as generous and gracious, but they didn’t want to give up the full price they’d been paid.
“The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God.” Acts 5:4
They wanted the prestige of being seen as generous but didn’t want the discomfort of giving all that money away. It cost them their lives.
There are many things in life that we’re held responsible for. How we treat others. How we navigate life among other people. How we deal with the laws of the land where we live.
We also need to deal with our character. It reflects in everything we do and decide. We have the freedom to be who we want to be, but not at the expense of hurting others. We are responsible for how we treat others.
God has given us the freedom to be uniquely us. We also have the privilege of caring for the extraordinary differences in one another–responsibly.
Children may appear to have no cares, but they learn soon enough in this harsh world that we don’t always get what we want.
We can receive what we need, though, in Jesus. Sufficiently.