Winnie-the-Pooh débuted in 1926. Pooh is a friendly naive little bear with a round belly and a huge craving for honey. Two of his best friends represent polar opposites: Tigger (pronounced T-i-double -guh-r) and Eeyore. Tigger is an endless ball of energy and exuberance, bouncing here and there and everywhere. Tigger is an eternal optimist.
Eeyore is a slow quiet negative little donkey. Eeyore is an eternal pessimist. Tigger always sees the glass as half full. Eeyore always sees the glass as half empty. Some characters in Scripture and some characters here this morning tend to be Tiggers and some tend to be Eeyores.
Just like the 12 Spies. After Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, he sent 12 spies into the land of Canaan. Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, were Tiggers:
Not only did they come back saying that the land flowed with “milk and honey” (Numbers 13).
But they said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30).
The other ten spies were Eeyores:
They agreed that the land flowed with “milk and honey.”
But they warned that “the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large” (Numbers 13:28).
Then they pessimistically said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are” (Numbers 13:31).
God’s Word tells us that these Eeyore spies “brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land…” Because of their negative Eeyore attitudes and lack of faith, they held back God’s people from entering the Promised Land for another 39 years.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am asking you not to be an Eeyore. I’m asking you, with God’s help, to be a Tigger. Week after week to be excited and expectant about our Master inviting others to work in His Vineyard.
- To enthusiastically welcome those whom God brings to Faith.
- To even be willing to be uncomfortable to make them comfortable.
- To welcome them into your life.
- To pray fervently for their salvation and spiritual growth.
The same is true today. Some of you have been Christians for decades, some for years, some for months, and some for only weeks.
Some of you are Tiggers: You’re thrilled when God brings someone new to Faith. You seek them out. You welcome them. You invite them into your lives. You fervently pray for their salvation. You’re thrilled when they become Christ Followers. You’re even willing to be uncomfortable to make them comfortable.
Some of you started off as Tiggers, but have lost your bounce. Others have been Eeyores for a long long tyme: You don’t rejoice when the Lord brings someone to Faith. You might not even notice them. You don’t get to know them and encourage them in the Lord.
If they’re wounded, you don’t reach out to help make them whole. You’re more concerned with your comfort and care, than you are about their eternal salvation. You might even grumble about the music or the programs or the preaching. You might grumble about new ideas to reach those in need of our Savior Jesus.
Recently I read an Eeyore statement against some of the newer worship music. It’s entitled Top Nine Reasons to Oppose Current Trends in Worship Music:
1. It is too new, like an unknown language.
2. It is not as melodious as the established style.
3. There are so many songs it is impossible to learn them all.
4. This new music creates disturbances and causes people to act in an indecent and disorderly manner.
5. It places too much emphasis on instrumental music rather than on godly lyrics.
6. The lyrics are often worldly even blasphemous.
7. It is not needed since preceding generations have gone to heaven without it.
8. It monopolizes the Christians’ tyme and encourages them to stay out late.
9. These new musicians are young upstarts and some of them are lewd and loose persons.
This statement was published in 1723, lol! thought I would of said Kirk Franklin, Lecrae or Tye Tribbett! They were criticizing much of the music from our current hymnal, music by the likes of Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley. Why did Watts, Wesley, and Luther write those new songs?
To reach out to the lost.
To bring people to Jesus.
The great Reformer, Martin Luther, is famous for saying:
“Why should the devil have all the good music?”
Many grumbled and ostracized these musical innovators:
They were concerned with their own comfort and care.
They were not concerned with what would effectively reach the lost and bring them to spiritual maturity.
Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?
Are you a Joshua and Caleb, boldly ready to claim the Promised Land the Lord has told us to possess? Or are you like one of the 10 spies who consistently tell yourself and others why we cannot expand our territory? Or are you a Jonah, one of the early workers in the Vineyard, who could care less about those who face God’s judgment, or do you rejoice with the angels in heaven when one soul repents and returns to the Lord? Are you more concerned your comfort and care by the church, or are you the church, the hands and feet of Jesus lovingly restoring those who were alienated from God?
And now, it’s tyme for a POP quiz!
Do you know whether you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore? And if you are a Tigger or an Eeyore, do you realize that you may be fostering the very behavior in your counterpart that you hope will change?
Check the statements apply to you:
If you’re a Tigger, you say things like…
___“Happiness is a choice.”
___ “Look on the bright side.”
___ “Fake it ‘till you feel it.”
Tiggers believe that their point of view is more socially valuable, more thoughtful, more realistic, and more morally admirable than that of Eeyores.
If you’re an Eeyore, you say things like…
___ “No one can be cheerful all the tyme. It’s fake.”
___ “Thinking the glass is always half-full isn’t realistic. It’s self-deception.”
___ “If someone asks me, ‘How are you?’ I’m going to tell the truth, even if people don’t want an honest answer.”
___ “Authenticity is important to me. I hate phonies.”
Eeyores believe that their point of view is more socially valuable, more thoughtful, more realistic, and more morally admirable than that of Tiggers.
Decide If You’re Tigger or Eeyore! So, who are you? Are you more of an Eeyore, plodding through life, sure that school will be hard, friends will be few, and there won’t be much fun to do on the weekend? Or are you like Tigger, ready to make every task a game, every day an adventure, and every challenge an opportunity?
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” – Dr. Randy Pausch