When You Should Stop Being Careful


When it comes to following Jesus, we need to throw away our careful pride, humble ourselves, and become like our carefree children.

I walked into their room and sighed. All the bedding from the top bunk was on the floor. Again. My boys get so involved in their games of superheroes and bad guys that anything not nailed down is in danger of being used as some sort of prop or weapon.

My reaction was to fuss at them for being so careless. It's no easy task to make up that top bunk, and the extra work was all I saw.

But after I climbed up and wrestled the sheets and blankets back on, a thought came to my heart.

Am I too careful? Do I need to watch my kids and learn to be more carefree?

Too Full of Care

I thought of the friend who needs Jesus. I've been very careful, knowing that she gets touchy when we talk about salvation. So careful that I've stopped talking about it at all.

I thought of the times in worship when my heart was full to bursting and my hands were itching to raise up in praise, but I was careful not to draw attention to myself. So careful that my focus was drawn away from the glory of God and onto my own reputation.

I thought of times when my kids were outside playing and begging me to join them, but I was being careful to check off my list for the day. So careful that I missed an opportunity to make a memory with the people at the top of that list.

I thought of times when I've felt like God wanted me to invite people over, and I didn't because I was too full of care about the condition of my house. So careful that I failed to show genuine hospitality to those who needed it.

Like a Child

In Matthew 18, the disciples ask Jesus who will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. He answers in an unexpected way:

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:2–4).

When I am so full of care about my reputation or my own agenda that I fail to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit, it is a manifestation of pride in my heart.

Children are great models of humility for us. They are completely dependent on others for their care, and that's okay with them. They are notoriously careless. They break things and make messes and play so hard they don't even notice people watching them, and none of that bothers them a bit.

And yes, while they need to eventually learn to be careful enough to play without stripping every bed of its covers, we would do well to not only encourage them to remain carefree when it comes to obeying the Lord, but to imitate that carelessness when we feel a prompting from the Spirit.

Throw It Away

We need to throw away our careful pride, humble ourselves, and become like our carefree children when it comes to following Jesus.

Is there something God has been nudging you to do, and you haven't obeyed because you were being too careful? Have you been so full of care about what people think of you that you have neglected to worship Him as you ought? Or to talk to that neighbor about Christ?

I challenge you to search out the pride in your heart that's causing you to be too careful and find the ways God is calling you to be carefree, like a little child. Let's learn from our children how to be carefully careless as we follow the paths God lays for us.

By Monica Hall

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