Churches, especially Southern Baptists, have too many Eeyores and Rabbits, and not enough Tiggers. Eeyore, after constructing his new stick home, gloomily extols the virtues of his new domicile. Dreariness and melancholy shine darkly from Eeyore’s face.
Then there’s Tigger and Rabbit. Tigger epitomizes a joy for life. Hardly is there a moment when Tigger isn’t exuberant and happy, always wearing a smile, and having fun. He loves life and invites others to join him. But Rabbit is tired of it. Tigger’s bouncy, joyful attitude is too much. Rabbit fails to tame Tigger until Tigger is rescued from a tree. Only then is Rabbit able to strip all the joy and happiness from Tigger, insisting he be more reverent, or at least less passionate and animated. And the result of Rabbit’s success is the lack of joy in everyone’s heart.
On a related note: did you know that the word “praise” (and its variants) occurs 167 times in the psalms? Forty-three of them are in Psalms 145-150, and thirteen are in Psalm 150. Praising God involves expressing joy and having fun. In fact, the Hebrew title for Psalms is Tehillim (“songs of joy”) because joy is the dominant theme.
Churches today have too many Eeyores and Rabbits, and not enough Tiggers. Often I see people singing praise songs with no joy or fun evident in their hearts. These are the Eeyores. Meanwhile, the Tiggers of the church are enjoying their Lord, joyfully singing and extolling his virtues, and having fun singing to God. Then there’s the church Rabbits who insist that the Tiggers calm down and stop being so expressive. However, biblically, praising God is about joy. We need more Tiggers in church having fun praising God with joy flowing out of their hearts. But sadly, there are too many Eeyores and Rabbits in church today.