“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is a show for toddlers that not only entertains but educates young ones on basic life skills. I was first introduced to this show a few years ago when my adorable nephew became an avid fan. I believe my first episode was when Daniel Tiger was learning to use the bathroom. There was a cute little jingle created to reinforce correct thinking and response when they feel they have to potty. “If you have to go potty STOP and go right away. Flush and wash and be on your way.” So simple. YET EFFECTIVE. I caught myself singing it to myself. Keep your sly remarks to yourself. Ha.
I really appreciate the show and its wonderful connections to one of my childhood favorites, “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.” It has quickly become a favorite among many. The theme park “Storybook Forest” has a live show and a fun trolly ride that takes you into “the neighborhood” to meet all of Daniel’s friends. I was there yesterday with my nephew and niece and had a wonderful time. As we were leaving Daniel Tiger Live a song was playing “Use your words.” I had never heard it before. But it really made me think, “Wow, adults need this song just as much as kids do.”
Take a quick look: Use your Words
It has become a struggle for many to use their words. As a millennial it is almost a daily occurrence I hear conversations, or rather watch conversations on Facebook or texting, that usually end with someone using one word responses or phrases like, “I don’t know.” What is that communicating? How is that encouraging a healthy relationship to grow in understanding and fellowship. Fellowship and community are rooted in common knowledge. How do you have common knowledge when you don’t SPEAK YOUR KNOWLEDGE?
I see this struggle to share emotions in friendship, dating, and marriage. In case you have not come to this conclusion on your own, I will enlighten you. Humans do not have the ability to read minds. The closest thing to mind reading that mankind has come in contact with is a woman’s intuition. But even that is not fool proof.(And this coming from a woman!)
I understand there is fear involved in speaking your emotions. I understand it takes SELF-EXAMINATION to understand what your feeling. I understand it takes WORK to self-examine. I understand it takes HUMILITY to admit your weaknesses or struggles. But guess what, as a Christian we should be using our words because it makes us more like Christ. Look at the words that our in bold. These words are biblical. God calls us to self-examination in 1 Corinthians 11:27-34:
27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be guilty of sin against the body[h] and blood of the Lord. 28 So a man should examine himself; in this way he should eat the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For whoever eats and drinks without recognizing the body,[i] eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 This is why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep. 31 If we were properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged, 32 but when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we may not be condemned with the world.
33 Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.34 If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you gather together you will not come under judgment. And I will give instructions about the other matters whenever I come.
Self-examination is required in order to lead us to repentance. We must be AWARE OF OUR SIN, QUARRELS, OR ILL FEELINGS. Repentance leads us to the cross. Self-examination can also lead to POSITIVE feelings. For instance self-examination can reveal you are in love with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Or it can reveal that you are in a program in college that makes you happy and you honestly love what you are studying. Self-examination is not to make you feel guilty but it can affirm good choices you’ve made in your life. There is peace when we are living righteously. Do you have peace?
We were also made for work. It is clear as day in Genesis. In the beginning man was created to work in the garden and then man was commanded to work the land for food. We have become so lazy. I admit I am lazy. I also ADMIT IT (because of self-examination) and I am not content with staying that way! I know it is not what God created me for. There is JOY IN WORKING. Have your heard of expressions like “I’m a good-kind-of-tired?”I have been a good tired. I prefer to be tired from a good day’s work than from laziness. Relationships take work, my friends. But it leaves you feeling a good-kind-of-tired because you are living your purpose.
This sermon by Matt Chandler called “Source and Surface Idols” does a beautiful job instructing the church to identify four source idols in their lives. These source idols are the root to other idols. Once we can identify (by self-examination) what source idol(s) we are a slave to, we will be able to break free of other surface idols. Listening to this sermon would be a great first step to practice self-examination: Source and Surface Idols
I can give you a million examples of why humbleness is required of believes. The most important and hopefully the most motivating is because Christ was humble. Philippians 2: 5-11:
Christ’s Humility and Exaltation
5 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,
6 who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be used for His own advantage.[a]
7 Instead He emptied Himself
by assuming the form of a slave,
taking on the likeness of men.
And when He had come as a man
in His external form,
8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.
9 For this reason God highly exalted Him
and gave Him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow—
of those who are in heaven and on earth
and under the earth—
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,[b]
to the glory of God the Father.
We must use our words. I have grown weary as a young adult woman who wants to have meaningful relationships. I want to have relationships that are a two way street.
Young men and ladies, want some dating advice? ASK SOMEONE HOW THEY ARE DOING!
And young men and ladies, actually answer with MORE THAN ONE WORD or a shoulder shrug. VOLUNTEER INFORMATION ABOUT YOURSELF. This is how you get to know someone. Its called having a conversation.
A conversation is when two or more people gather together and share knowledge USING WORDS. There is a balance of sharing and listening. BUT IT TAKES PRACTICE! Some may have anxiety of talking too much about themselves and others may have anxiety of not being able to share all they have to say but you must practice to improve these skills! Its a skill you need in a career and in MARRIAGE. Do you think your spouse is going to be content with a shoulder shrug or one word response after a long day? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Let us practice using our words. Maybe learn Daniel Tiger’s song to get you started. We have too many adults with toddler-level communication skills.