Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Take Up Thy Cross"1 (Lyrics)
1 Corinthians 14:20 – Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (KJV)
Years back, when I was much younger in the faith, I had a little dispute with one of my friends on a certain day. After our argument, we didn't talk to each other for days. But my friend, who was older and more mature, taught me a lesson that I will never forget, a lesson of forgiveness and humility. He walked up to me on the fourth day after our dispute, gave me a hug, and said, "Please forgive me, friend. I am sorry for the other day." And that was the end of our score.
In our opening Scripture, Paul clearly distinguishes the character of children from that of grown men and women. He is saying that grown-ups are supposed to be full of understanding, unlike children, who do not understand much, but at the same time, when it comes to doing evil, adults must act like newborn babes.
Although children lack much grown-up knowledge, they can be very rich in understanding how to forgive each other quickly when they have a score. Kids can fight one minute, and the next minute, be the best of friends. When two grown-ups have a score, oftentimes it metamorphoses into malice — a poison that has killed many beautiful relationships.
Matthew 18:3-4 – Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (KJV)
Friend, it's not easy for an adult with raging emotions to become childlike in forgiving, but in this passage, Christ is saying that we must be humble like children to make heaven. It takes humility to admit before God that we are wrong and to ask for His forgiveness and salvation.
Humility causes us to overlook the mistakes of others, and with humility, we can, like children, forgive any offence against us, no matter how hurting we are.
From this moment on, decide to quash every beef you have with someone, and when you perceive malice in the air, swallow your pride and be the first to say, "I am sorry." May God exalt us as we choose to be humble in Jesus' name. Pray with me:
Prayer: Father, help me to be humble today. Help me to forgive every wrong done to me and to quash every beef that I have with someone. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.