Sha’ul (Paul) wrote: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 (BSB)
“(Yeshua) said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn around and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven!” Matthew 18:3 (NET)
What is this seeming contradiction?
How can we “set aside childish ways” while simultaneously “becom(ing) like little children”?
Sha’ul and Yeshua were talking about different aspects of our life in YHVH.
Sha’ul’s reference to childish ways is in the context of “the Love Chapter.” He has offered several analogies for the idea of gaining maturity, or of moving on to a more complete condition. He says prophecies, tongues, and knowledge will “pass away.” He says what we know and do in this present life will someday be surpassed by perfection. He says right now we “see in a mirror dimly (a glass darkly),” but in a time to come we will see “face to face,” and then we will “know fully.” Likewise, his “childish ways” analogy is about progressing from the relatively simple condition of a child to the more mature condition of being an adult. In the same way, when we see Him face to face, our condition and our understanding of LOVE will go beyond what we can comprehend while we are in this world.
Yeshua is talking about our need to start over. We need to be “born again.” As He puts it, we need to “turn around and become like little children.” We will need to unlearn many things we have learned as we progressed in our lives, and we will need to have a clean slate in order to trust Him completely and learn from Him.
So, the two passages are apples and oranges, yet they are similar and congruent. On the one hand, the threshold between this life and the next will be like “growing up,” and on the other hand, the threshold between our “old life” and new life in Him will be like returning to a childlike condition.
You must “turn around” to walk into the arms of YHVH, then He will walk with you through this life and into the next.