Winnie the Pooh (from the opening pages)
Sometimes Winnie-the-Pooh likes a game of some sort when he comes downstairs, and sometimes he likes to sit quietly in front of the fire and listen to a story. This evening—“What about a story?” said Christopher Robin.
“What about a story?” I said.
“Could you very sweetly tell Winnie-the-Pooh one?”
“I suppose I could,” I said. “What sort of stories does he like?”
“About himself. Because he’s that sort of Bear.”
“Oh, I see.”
“So could you very sweetly?”
“I’ll try,” I said.”
So I tried …
So begins A.A. Milne’s classic writings on Winnie the Pooh. With the movie ‘Christopher Robin’ hitting the screens in August, I thought I would go back and read the original works. And like almost always, I try to see how I can glean lessons for life from a Christ centered world view and connect it as illustrations for the truths of the Bible. Little kids (and big kids like me) sometimes remember better when things like talking bears, bunnies that do opera (Bugs Bunny), or road runner chasing coyotes are part of the story telling.
And it didn’t take long. On the very first page, I was amazed at the profound insight from Winnie the Pooh’s desire. He likes to hear stories about himself. Because he is that sort of bear.
Really? Seems a bit selfish, a bit narcissistic don’t you think?
But as I pondered, and had a bit of self-revelation, I think we are that sort of bear too. Most of us like to hear people talk about us – we may not admit it but we like it. Compliment us, tell us we are doing well at work, give a shout out to us through Facebook or IG. We not only like to hear it, we like to see it – snap that selfie, give us those duck lips (which are only cute on Daffy, just saying), or tag us in a group pic.
No matter how it is done, most of us selfishly enjoy such attention. But I want to challenge us to see a different way, a Biblical way …
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Outdo one another in showing honor.
But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,
He must increase, but I must decrease.
Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.
I think you get the point. Let’s be encouraging to others, let’s put them before ourselves, let’s serve and lift them up – leaving any glory to Him and Him alone.
This week, how will you make an effort to elevate others? Send a note or email, tell a coworker they are appreciated, write a thank you card to your mother (you heard me, your mother), or whatever.
Just don’t be the kind of bear that likes to only hear stories about yourself. Leave that for Winnie the Pooh.
Winnie-the-Pooh – Deluxe Edition
A. A. Milne
Verses – Phil 2.3, Rom 12.10, John 3.30, 1 Cor 10.24