theology from a 4 year old

Tuesday night before bed I heard Eliza singing a song that I didn’t recognize.  The lyrics were, “I change and grow, I’m a part of nature too.”  Nothing too earth-shattering.  I asked her where she learned it and she said from Sid the Science Kid (a pbs show).  Here’s our conversation.

Me, “So, do you change and grow, Eliza?”

Eliza, “Yep.”

Me, “Does God change and grow?”

Eliza, “Nope.”

Me (pleased), “That’s right-God never changes and doesn’t grow, because He’s perfect already.”

Eliza, “Well…actually, I thought of a way He does change.”

Me, “Really?  How’s that?”

Eliza, “He changed when He became a man and came to Earth.”

Me, “Ummm, well, I guess that’s right.  He did change to become a man.”

You can count on a 4 year old to bring a fresh perspective!  This little conversation got me thinking about God’s unchanging character.  Of all the attributes of God, unchangeable has got to be the most comforting to me.  And the Scripture says, “Be imitators of God..” however, this is one area that, when trying to imitate God, we end up changing.  

Being like God, even in the smallest way, requires constant changing and growing from us (change wrought by God, thankfully).  This is why I will never, in this life, be unchangeable.  Only God can say, “I AM who I AM.”  

To the contrary, I am who I ought not be.  I ought to be perfectly sanctified, a holy child of God.  

There is one way I do reflect God in being unchangeable, however.  My status as his child doesn’t change.  I am His daughter.  That will never change, not because of who I am on my own, but because he has called me by name, I am His.  His unchangeable character gives me an unchangeable status.

The Word of God is true and right to tell us to be imitators of God, even His unchangeable character.  We are to be the kind of people who have a character so holy, loving, just, compassionate, and truthful that we need not change.  Of course, we will not arrive…just like we won’t fully arrive at any of God’s attributes.  But it’s right for us, with God’s help and strength, to try.

Feel free to relay any cute conversations you’ve had recently with your budding theologians!  Other comments also welcome.

4 thoughts on “theology from a 4 year old

  1. What a great moment. We don’t have anything too exciting to report on this topic yet.

    Today Brad asked Alaina what she learned. (I told him I explained Christmas to her today). And her reply, “Jesus is born!” It is interesting to observe a two year old sum up a story!

    Last week at church I asked Alaina what she learned during church class. She said, “Adam and Eve…in the garden. They disobeyed God.” She said this with a horrible look on her face…that would be the deliverance of “bad news”…they disobeyed. I’m curious to know if they said, “disobeyed” during her class or if she used the term relating it to what she knows to be disobedience…

    That is all I have…

  2. Hey Ab-

    Interesting ideas. The philosophical concept of God being unchanging in one I’ve struggled with for a long time, especially in terms of the incarnation–as Eliza pointed out so succinctly. The conclusion I have come to, though my philosophical mind doesn’t want to stop trying to work out the problem, is that God’s knowledge of how he works within is for him to know. We can’t know fully here on Earth how he works, though it’s okay for us to question and wonder.

    I’m glad to read your blog. I’m interested to know what you have to say about global warming in your above post.


  3. Taking a slightly different spin on this topic, our ability to change is perhaps one of our only “redeeming” qualities. Without an ability to at least attempt change we would never have the chance to turn from our sin and learn to make appropriate choices.

  4. I’ll reveal the depth of my reformed beliefs and say that our ability to change (even in making good choices) is not really our ability, but Christ’s work in us.

    I agree that it is redeeming, in that God redeems us in Christ, to enable us to live godly lives.

    I’m guessing we’re on the same page, I’m just knit-picking 🙂

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