Do you remember the song Tigger used to sing on Winnie the Pooh? He brags about his wonderful qualities and that the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is he’s the only one. He later admits it’s also the worst thing about Tiggers. Being the only one can get lonely. Scripture proves both to be contrary to God’s plan.
Tigger came across like he thought he was better than the other animals. He was bouncy, playful, had beautiful stripes, and a long tail; he thought he was completely unique. Even though people seldom give voice to this, we might view ourselves as one of a kind in Bible knowledge, giving, self-discipline, lifestyle, or dedication to truth. We sometimes feel like a white sheep in a flock of black and gray.
Or, we may think we’re so unique that no one can relate to how we think and feel. We may believe our sins have made us inferior or more worldly wise than other believers. We’re convinced others have never thought of or done anything as horrible as we have. We believe we have little in common with others in the church. We are the black sheep in a sea of fluffy white.
Both forms of believing we’re the only one are based on pride. Pride in who we are, how we look, what we have, what we think, what we’ve done (good or bad), and what we’ve accomplished.
Even Elijah fell into this trap. Both before and after his huge victory against the false prophets on Mt. Carmel, he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too” (1 Kings 18:22 and 19:10, 14, italics added). Before his mountaintop experience, Elijah said it boastfully, afterward he said it in self-pity and terror. But God set him straight.
After he had a couple of naps, some angel food, and a front row seat to a magnificent display of God’s power, God whispered some encouraging news in Elijah’s ear. You are not the only one. God told him who He had prepared to lead the people, and the little fact that 7,000 others had also remained faithful to Him. He even had a guy picked out as Elijah’s successor (1 Ki. 19:15-18). Nothing like getting a pep talk and attitude check at the same time.
This problem is so common, Paul quoted Elijah’s story to the Roman believers. With God we are never alone (Rom. 11:1-5). There is always someone else believing, praying, fighting against evil; there’s someone we can relate to, who gets where we’re coming from, who will value us.
Convincing us we’re the only one is a favorite trick of the enemy. When the disciples got too full of themselves, Jesus warned, “Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat” (Luke 22:3132). What does that mean? He wanted to separate the brothers. He wanted to isolate them from comfort and fellowship. After Jesus’ death, they would need one another desperately to get over abandoning Him at His darkest hour. That’s the only way they would make it to the other side of the resurrection.
Satan wants to do the same thing to us. When we focus on our differences in the Body of Christ instead of what we have in common, we become self-centered instead of God-centered. Self-focus is lonely, but God-focus is sweet and full of joyful companionship. That’s how twelve guys—with a wild diversity of personalities, life experiences, education, and economic status—could become a loving, world-changing force for the gospel of Christ.
No one in the Hundred Acre Woods ever had to feel alone either. When they valued and loved themselves and the others—bouncy Tigger, cranky Rabbit, timid Piglet, pudgy Pooh, maternal Kanga, baby Roo and others knew they belonged. May the same be said of the people of God.
#churchunity #nooneunderstandsme #idon’tfitin #oneofakind #unique