There are two types of childish behavior at work here in our lives. One is positive and the other negative.
When we are children, we learn and grow, physically and mentally. However, some children learn good behavior and habits, while others learn bad behavior and habits. Some grow and mature, while some grow more immature.
When it comes to our personal faith. God wants us to have the attitude and purity of a child, while at the same time not being childish? Does that make sense?
Read these two verses below and see if that helps?
1 Corinthians 14:20 "Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults."
Matthew 18:3"And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Some people grow into adults but never fully mature. They are immature, act childish, behave childish, and because of their behaviors and atttitudes they seem to stay in trouble, cause conflict, and hurt others. You know anyone like that? Got them in your family?
However, on the flip side of that, though God wants us to mature in our faith, he wants us to maintain a child-like faith, which is of innocence, purity, and unconditional love.
There are people out there that will never grow in their faith because they refuse to mature and grow and act like an adult. Then there are those who grow and mature deeply because they work on staying pure at heart and keeping themselves innocent of sinful behaviors and surroundings.
Being mature means treating people with respect, not retaliating when someone hurts you, treating others how you want to be treated, and not accusing people falsely, and accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions. Being immature means being disrespectful, causing drama, trying to hurt others even if you don't have all the fact, and treating others badly out of your own selfishness.
Being Child-like faith is striving to have a pure heart. Doing things like praying daily and reading your bible regularly and being involved in bible studies and serving God and reading christian books and listening to christian music and things like this that will help you meditate and stay pure. It's protecting your innocence by avoiding things that cause you to be tempted, to lust, to cheat, and to hurt others.
We must grow and mature in our faith as we physically age and grow older. And the older we become the more we should grow in our faith. Which means we become more knowledgeable of God's word and will, we improve in areas of our lives where we are weak, we hone our spiritual talents and gifts and use them for God's kingdom. Our life becomes less about us and our wants and more about God and His needs. The more we grow in our faith the less judgemental we should be, the more wisdom and discernment we should have, and the more we make a positive difference in the world for God.
At the same time we are aging and hopefully maturing and growing in our faith we become more child-like in our faith. That simply means that God wants us to keep an attitude of purity and innocence like a child. Seeing the good in others, learning to share, avoiding things that corrupt our hearts and minds.
God is our spiritual father, we are His children. I hope we all can learn to have child-like faith, while the same time learning to grow and mature in our faith.