“The great man is he that does not lose his child’s heart. (Mencious) …whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4)” These saayings greeted me on my calendar this morning before I turned to Proverbs 10 in my Bible. Mencius, a Chinese philosopher second to Confucius, talks about a child’s heart. Matthew sees children as humble. The dictionary would define humble as coming from “low”. I do not think it means low value but perhaps acknowledging the other as understanding more, a source of wisdom. Proverbs 10 contrasts the righteous person with the fool and sluggard. Verse 8 and verse 10 talk about “the chattering fool” who comes to ruin. Hmmm.
Last night I spent time with my granddaughter who “chattered” on about a book she was reading and a little weaving loom I gave her. The chattering of a child brings strong memories. I remember walking across the desert compound in Kenya with her father, sharing about life. This kid started talking in full sentences with descriptive adjectives. I could not tell one pickup from another but he could tell me it was a blue Toyota, 4WD, with a winch – at age 2. He would chatter on, describing his life to me. A child’s heart reports with joy to the parent. Angry children may well explode about an injustice but as I reflect, I tend to think anger often focuses on the injustice the other did to reporter. It is not chatter.
Verse 8 shares that “the wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.” That ties talking with humility and teachableness. Is chattering, seeking to share and learn? I ponder as I go about my conversations today, am I chattering to the Lord as my parent, talking about my day, open to being taught or am I reporting in to defend myself and tell Him what I think He should be doing? I suspect I often come as an adult, bearing the burden of responsibility, rather than as a child sharing with a parent who has “the whole world in his hands.” I would pray that today we might connect with our child’s heart that shares with “the father” and does not just chatter to hear our own voice. Blessings. He’s listening for you.