You simply cannot argue with a four-year-old.
Well, actually you can, but you can’t win the argument. It’s simply best to leave well enough alone.
I learned this amazing truth when Brad and Emily (my daughter) Kirby and their two children came to visit this summer.
Reagan is eight years old and becoming quite a young lady. She’s smart and using logic. Her brother Luke just turned four, and he doesn’t use any logic at all. Reagan reads really well and is learning a lot about a lot of things.
Luke, like a lot of four-year-old boys, is convinced he’s right whether he is or not. He’s at a “don’t bother me with the facts” point in life.
When I heard Reagan repeatedly trying to convince Luke to her way of thinking, I finally counseled her to the truth that you can’t argue with a four-year-old. It just won’t work.
Isn’t it amazing how often we do the equivalent of arguing with a four-year-old?
Are you worrying over things you can’t do anything about? We know that Jesus told us that worrying would not add a second to our lives and yet we persist in worrying. He also told us that we should deal with today and do our best. Tomorrow will have its onset of difficulties. But we still go about worrying about tomorrow.
Are you fretting and fuming over things in the past? Isn’t it amazing how often we rehash old troubles and difficulties as if hurting over them one more time might make the outcome different? Do you remember the old saying, “If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts, what a nice Christmas we all would have?”
You can’t turn back the past and make things different, but we act as if we can.
Are you expecting the world to be perfect? This is where I see Christians make serious theological mistakes.
We live in a fallen world that needs redemption; not a nearly perfect world that needs reforming. As long as we look at the world wrongly, we will never be able to deal with the world as it is.
Lost people will not act like saved people. It’s impossible. They can’t discern spiritual truth because spiritual truth is (only) spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). They can’t see through the eyes of God or even your eyes.
You can’t argue with a four-year-old, but you can show them the truth of God. You can give an account of the hope you have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). You can live as salt and light and let your light shine before others (Matthew 5:13-16).