A humble way to relate with the declarations of the New Testament is to always acknowledge that we know it not as we ought (1Cor. 8:2), and by approaching the epistles of the apostles this way, Christ-like change becomes inevitable because we would be positioned to receive much more comfort (coming forth) of the Holy Spirit who helps in comparing spiritual with spiritual and in paraphrasing the holy scriptures beyond the letters.
Barely beholding the behavior of infants (little children) would remind us of how unnatural it is to see adults who are child-like at heart or children of the kingdom! When we thus see someone who struggles to forgive, offends habitually, pays lip service to repenting, is burdened by the cares and fears of tomorrow, would rather be independent than dependent, or who disregards order/spiritual authority, we have simply witnessed a conversation of an adult at heart rather than that of a child at heart. The course of this world has been subtly causing such a one to “grow old” rather than “grow young” (Ps. 110:3/103:5)
David, in his childlike nature, found himself wondering why God’s mind was full of man because after all, man’s mind was full of everything but God (Ps. 8:2-6/139:17-18). Child abuse and drug abuse were most likely not rampant in his day, but pleasure abuse definitely was.
Great mercy comes our way the day the Lord confronts our theology concerning a long held notion that says, “Adam was made in the image of God”, and the Lord does so by comforting us with truth which says “Man was made in the image of God”. The first Adam was called to attain God’s image and likeness but didn’t, and the first man to do so was the last Adam (1Cor. 15:45c/Heb. 1:3).
If the Godhead is called The God of the Living, The Son of the Living God and The Spirit of the Living God respectively (Mk 12:27/2Cor. 3:3/Matt. 16:16), then it is spiritually safe to agree that the first relationship and institution that God intended was with a living man, a breed of faith and love whose eternal walk with God was archived in the volume of the book; in the scriptures of truth (Heb. 10:7/Dan. 20:21).
For not a few till date, it took quite some hustling to own things, to own a plot or hectare of land for example, but in the beginning it was not so. The first “thing” and/or the first “land” that God wanted His true lovers to own, inherit or be rewarded with was God (Gen. 17:8/Josh. 13:33/Num. 18:20/ Heb. 11:16).
When an unbeliever or an unbelieving believer treats us in ways natural to them, we as believing believers are meant to do what should be natural to us, like Jesus would. (Matt. 5:44/Lk. 6:35)
Class matters! Stature matters! Status matters - in this present world and in the world to come! So every man is either striving or hastening to attain the class, status or stature of this present passing world or of the world to come. (Matt. 11:8/Rev. 21:23-24/2Pet. 3:13)
While occasionally watching tennis, I like to see how champions play with skill, stamina, strength and speed, and how they crown their efforts with a resilient frame of mind that fights until the last point. So is the walk, training, dealings and trials, from faith to charity.
Not all believers would end up being shepherds, but we are all called to have a shepherd’s kind of heart like that of Moses, which can easily be led against our worldly arrangements. Hearts that’ll strive to keep the commandment of the New Testament that the Lord reveals, or that would look for opportunities to prefer others and thereby gradually interpret faith, hope, charity, mercy, and love; even eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21/Jn. 17:3).