In my home, we enjoy a lot of the old Winnie the Pooh stories-the original stories where no one seems to know how to spell and Pooh Bear is obsessed with one thing-honey. Tigger is one of our favorite characters as he seems to bring life to every page with his bouncing and lisping and adventuresome spirit. Nevertheless, as we read, I can’t help but notice Tigger’s infamous phrase:
‘THAT’S WHAT TIGGERS DO BEST.’
It would be understandable if Tigger said this about one or two particular skills. But, it seems that nearly every story we read about Tigger includes his boasting that he can do something-the particular something everyone wants to do-the BEST.
Of course the story often proves him wrong as he gets himself into trouble by biting off more than he can chew or bothering all his buddies in the process of being ‘the BEST’. The truth, of course, is that Tigger does not do all these things ‘the BEST.’
- Pooh is much better at eating honey and being kind
- Rabbit is much better at gardening and organizing
- Roo is better at hill bouncing
- Even Eeyore is better at carrying things
Reading about Tigger’s boasting has reminded me of my own desire to be the ‘Best All Around’ (do you remember that award in high school?) Though I can easily laugh with my kids at Tigger’s antics, it’s not quite as easy to laugh at myself when I realize that I’m not the best in a certain area…and maybe not in any area.
This division of skills and gifts among characters is not just something the creators of Winnie the Pooh dreamed up, but started with God’s design. I’ve been reading about the BODY that God designed in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Just like the human body, He’s put in lots of parts that are all designed to carry out different functions. And each part is vital to the LIFE of the BODY.
Sometimes, I must admit, I feel a bit like Piglet, the weak one that’s slowing everyone else down. Or, like Eeyore, who can’t even seem to keep my tail on straight. But, the best part of the Winnie the Pooh stories are the endings…when everyone is content in their own skin and doing their part to the best of their ability.
- Pooh is sharing his honey
- Rabbit is letting go a bit and sharing his garden’s bounty
- Piglet is making everyone laugh
- Owl is telling stories of his aunt or uncle or some estranged family member
- and Tigger is using his BEST skills to entertain or provide a new adventure for the group
Life in the body should be like this-where we are all content to be who God made us to be, certain of our calling and eager to use it in LOVE among the others God has called. In the body of Christ, I have to remind myself that Jesus said we’d be known in the world, not by being THE BEST, but by loving one another—different as we all may be.
How have you discovered your role in the body of Christ? Have you experienced times like Pooh’s stories, where individuals are fulfilling their roles in the body? What do you think made this possible?
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