Unless You Become like Little Children . . .

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio


“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.


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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is March 1, 2021, and this is Episode #4 of Series 2021. This episode is titled “Unless You Become like Little Children”

In a very telling story in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 18, Jesus called a little child from the crowd and placed the child in the midst of the people. Then Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18: 3).

This is a pretty serious statement made by Jesus Himself. It behooves us, therefore, to take strict heed.

What does it mean to become like little children? Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of children:

1. Children are naturally humble. They don’t have to try to be humble; they just are. They don’t act as though they are better than anyone else. They are accepting of others, with no strings attached. When we are proud and boastful and think the world owes us something, we are not acting like children. 

2. Children are not intimidating. We are not afraid of them. They are approachable, and they invite relationship. When we become threatening to others and unapproachable, we are not acting like children.

3. Children are free of guile. That is, they do not pretend to be what they are not. They do not put on airs. With children, what you see is what you get.  Is the same true of us?

4. Children make poor liars. They are open books. If a child lies, he is easily found out because his facial expression and guilty mannerism reveal the lie. Are we open books to others, or do we try to hide and deceive?

5. Children are unassuming. They don’t care about social status, the impression they make, the clothes they wear. They don’t care about skin color or financial status. They freely accept others for who they are and do not judge them. When we ascribe value to others based on their financial status, their looks, or their skin color, we are not acting like children.

Jesus taught that becoming like a little child requires conversion. In other words, it requires a turning away from pride and embracing humility. It is not in our human nature to be humble. We naturally gravitate toward pride. But in order to become like a little child, we must renounce pride and embrace humility.

In Matthew 18: 4, Jesus also said that whoever humbles himself like a little child would be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. I believe that what Jesus was pointing out here is that whereas pride is the foundation of destruction, humility is the foundation of greatness.

There is only one way to become like a little child, and that is, to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. In His life we see exhibited every one of the beautiful qualities that comprise the heart of a child. When you receive Him, you receive the qualities of childlikeness. 

If you have not yet accepted Christ as your Savior and Lord, pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I want to become like a little child so that I may enter Your Kingdom. But I know that I can do so only through You. So, I choose now to receive You as my personal Savior and the Lord of my life. Forgive me of my sins. Cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Give me Your grace to follow you as a little child all the days of my life. In Your Precious Name, I ask and receive. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer sincerely, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a free e-booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers. It is critically important in these last days to fellowship with other believers who are mature in Christ and can guide you as you grow in Him.

If you are not yet a subscriber to the Winning with the Word blog and podcast, I urge you to click on the link below to subscribe now so you won’t miss a single weekly episode:


Now it’s your turn: What is your best childlike quality? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you.


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Until next time, remember that God loves you just as you are and just where you are and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word! 

PLEASE TWEET: “Unless You Become like Little Children” (CLICK TO TWEET)

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Featured Book of the Week:  THE IRON SAINT by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

The Church in America is on the verge of a tremendous spiritual awakening, an awakening that will first be fueled by persecution unlike anything we have ever seen before in this land. Indeed, a prophetic word given in my home church during the month of November gave this warning to the Church: “Prepare for the fire of persecution!”

But the Church is not ready for this persecution. For the most part, the Church in America has been weak and lukewarm. Flabby and lazy. Consumed with the world and not with the things of God. As a result, the Church has been deceived and has subverted the divine order of things.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. MaryAnn Diorio seeks to help equip the saints for the work of true, integritous, and effective ministry. As a teacher in the Body of Christ, it is her burning desire to help correct this devastating error.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. Diorio has outlined a plan of action for strengthening the Church through uncompromising obedience to the Word of God. This plan of action is based on her own 50 years of walking with the Lord and being led by His Holy Spirit.

If you are a born-again believer and member of the Body of Christ, make this book a top reading priority.



Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

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“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

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Copyright 2000-2021 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart: is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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Life is a matter of priorities. What we focus on will grow. So it behooves us to focus on the right things in life. 

Well, what are the right things? God answers this question in His Holy Word, in Micah 6: 8. Here is what He says: ” . . . what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Three simple things, yet three things that will help us keep our priorities in tact and lead a Godly life: 

  1. To do justly. What does this mean? It means to treat others according to what is morally right. Justice is the virtue of treating others as we want to be treated. When we do justly, we are living a Godly life.
  2. To love mercy. Webster defines mercy as “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” Is there someone whom you wish to punish for having wronged you? If so, show that person mercy. God said that He will be merciful to us to the same degree that we are merciful to others. Let mercy triumph over judgment (James 2: 13).
  3. To walk humbly with our God.  What does it mean to walk humbly? According to Webster, it means to walk “in a way that shows or suggests a modest or low estimate of one’s importance.” So, to walk humbly with God means to recognize His supremacy over all things and our total dependence upon Him.

As we endeavor to implement these three simple things in our daily lives, we will be living a Godly life.

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  How has applying these three keys to our life changed your life?  Please leave a comment in the box below.

TWEETABLE: “Three Keys to a Godly Life by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

The Italian Chronicles Trilogy is now available in its entirety. Will Maria Landro Tonetta allow God to turn the horrific sorrows of her life into great joy? Read this page-turning series to find out! Makes a great gift for any occasion!

 Book 1: The Madonna of Pisano    Book 2: A Sicilian Farewell    Book 3: Return to Bella Terra


If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

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Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or if you prefer to subscribe via another venue, you may do so by using any one of the other subscription options listed under the Networked Blog section in the sidebar on my website: www.maryanndiorio.com/blog. Thank you!

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and my other resources, and please pass this post on to them. Thank you! 


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