What We Can Learn About Friendship from Winnie the Pooh

What We Can Learn About Friendship from Winnie the Pooh February 23, 2024

Winnie the Pooh book front cover facing out while leaning next to a plant.
Photo by Gillian Nichols

“Love One Another…”

Do we as believers do a good job of following Jesus’s command to: “love one another as yourself?” (John 13:34). Or are we more concerned with loving ourselves (self-love), and our families? In the middle of their adventures, Winnie the Pooh and his pals teach Christians how to be a good friend, and in doing that, show us how to love others as Jesus calls us to do. 

Just Another Homeschool Morning…

As I sat reading aloud Winnie the Pooh to my daughters during our homeschool morning time, it struck me: 

Winnie the Pooh is the best bestie… I want to love others like this! 

I had no idea that in journeying to the Hundred Acre Wood I would have such big and deep feelings about the kindness and compassion that Pooh and (most) of his friends displayed towards each other. I came away with teary, fresh eyes on friendship that I believe will be beneficial to all.

Could this big-hearted (and bellied) bear be the key, the example we need for how to be a good friend? 

By the way, therein lies the beauty of books, where worlds of words build character deep into hearts of those who receive them. Probably my biggest parenting tip: read to your kids and do not stop until they are reading to their own. 

Why is Friendship SO Important as a Christian? 

Have you noticed that when a Christian hurts you it stings a little more so than when others are mean?

That is because it goes against our calling by God to be UNITED. 

We are called to show we are Christians by what? 

Our Bible knowledge? 

Our put-togetherness? 

An immaculate Instagram account? 

By our love! 

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). 

What better way to show God’s love to others than by being a friend? A real, true-blue friend. 

On the other side of the spiritual battlefield, what better tactic than to decimate the witness of a Christian by turning the friendship focus inward rather than outward. 

The Patience of Pooh

Winnie the Pooh’s buddies remind us all of particular people in our lives. 

  • Piglet, the ever cautious, but never one to miss a chance to hang with Pooh. 
  • Tigger, a living exclamation point, bouncing his way through life reminding others to take the adventure. 
  • Rabbit, master and commander in his own mind, he is our control-freak that we might relate to a bit? 
  • Eeyore, the word “melancholy” is almost too chipper to describe his disposition, but at least he is consistent. 
  • And Pooh, the “silly ol’ bear” who is hyper fixated on honey, but dearly loves his friends. 

Did you catch how nobody in the group is a 100 percent? Everyone has something going on. THIS is the relatable part for us to pay attention to:

Everybody has a hang up, a weakness (or seven), and yet, they are no less worthy of friendship. 

What is the Real Problem Going On with The Church?

I truly grieve for us as Christians, living in the Cancel Age and throw away culture. Our kids are soaking up the idea that if someone has a problem, THEY are a problem, and their life should be problem-free. 

You do not get to minimize or declutter the people that God has put in your life. 

People are now a commodity, and are judged based on their worth. Like cars. 

  • Got a base model spouse? Dump them. Upgrade to the unlimited, loaded package!  
  • Your friend has too much “drama,” move on. You don’t need that lemon in your life. (This was actually said to me in regards to my grief and trauma I experienced.) 
  • A baby might require too much repair/maintenance, better just send them back to the factory.

We are NOT trivial things that are returned, upgraded, or canceled. 

We are handcrafted in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Image-bearers of the King of Kings, meant to be here and filled with purpose. 

No One is Effortless. Relationships are Expensive.

People are not interruptions in your day, they are the main event. Once we start prioritizing people, we will have the mind of Christ in our relationships. 

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” 

If people are worth Jesus leaving Heaven and dying for, then you can spare the time to be a real-deal friend. 

Just like our Pooh Bear. 

Let’s just go over the qualifications to be considered a friend of Pooh, shall we? 

If you were an animal living in the nearby surroundings of Pooh, you were his friend. That was it. 

Can you imagine? No, can you imagine it!? The people around you, you just up and decide-to love them as God does. 

Pooh accepted the fear of Piglet, the hyperactivity of Tigger, the neuroses of Rabbit, and the sobs of Eeyore, why? Because that was part of the deal. 

They were not viewed as their negative character traits, they were simply his FRIENDS. 

He did not see it as settling, he saw it as friendship. 

How Big is Your Friend Budget? 

Up it.

I think we need to go big here. Lavish. 

Yes, there are healthy boundaries in relationships, those are guidelines, not necessarily excuses. 

As we dole out love on our people, remember God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:6-7), and I think this area of life is no exception. 

Of course, this applies to our family members too. 

Stop the Self-Love 

Jesus tells us: “… love one another as yourself,” when asked what the greatest commandments are (Mark 12:31). Somewhere along the line, Satan has twisted the command by omitting the three words: “one another as.” 

Selfless-love is exactly what Jesus said the Good Samaritan showed, but not to his friend – to an enemy. 

He spent his time, money, and concern comforting a Jew who had been robbed and left for dead, when fellow Jews, even holy people of authority, passed him by. 

In this case, self-love prohibited helping a fellow human being in distress.

How Do We be a Good Friend Then? How Do We Love Others Well?

Know and care. 

Put in the time. Consider the person in your life a given and proceed as a friend.

The people in your life are priceless, so stop counting the cost of being a friend. 

People are dying for this. Changing their God-given identities for this. Praying everyday-

For someone to care about them. 

““Owl! I require an answer! It’s Bear speaking.” And the door opened, and Owl looked out. 

“Hallo, Pooh,” he said. “How’s things?”

“Terrible and sad,” said Pooh, “because Eeyore, who is a friend of mine, has lost his tail. And he’s moping about it. So could you very kindly tell me how to find it for him? (Winnie The Pooh, A.A. Milne, 50).”


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