I learned a life lesson from a cartoon a few days ago. Who would think that attending the production of‘You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown’ at Cornerstone University would leave an impression, other than a persistent smile? You would have recognized the personalities of all the characters. Happy-go-lucky Sally, Contented Linus with his famous Blue Blanket, Opinionated, Loudmouth Lucy, Philosophical Schroeder, Self-possessed Snoopy, and of course Perplexed but Optimistic Charlie Brown. The cast members played their parts with such authenticity, Charles M. Schultz would have given his endorsement.
During one scene of the play Lucy was persuaded to examine her crabby attitude and consider changing it to something more mellow in nature. Being confronted with a dose of someone else’s perception, was Lucy convinced of her acerbic behavior? What do you think? Would over-confident Lucy believe the assessment that she was crabby? I was surprised at her reaction. She set out to prove the judgment wrong. Lucy went from colleague to colleague asking for a candid evaluation of her personality. “On a scale of 1 to 100 how would you rate my crabbiness?” Kindly, but constructively each friend told the truth –without sugar coating. The result? Lucy was able to gauge the consequences of her attitude. In that moment, Lucy realized the course of her destiny could be altered by changing her attitude. Did she forever want to be remembered for being crabby; or for being amiable? She could be perceived as cordial or hostile.
The storyline portrayed through years of the Peanuts cartoon will always need a Lucy because life is full of Lucys. They are loud and argumentative, rarely receptive to ideas of others. On a good day they are unpleasant; on a bad day intimidating. Loud Lucys! In the play, Lucy opened her mind to the probability that she had some work to do on her personality. What I learned from Lucy and what you can learn.
Wisdom – Lucy didn’t pridefully ignore the opinion of her friends when their consensus was obvious. Maybe Lucy prayed for wisdom because it’s difficult to know what to do when it means changing something that is part of who we are. She could have asked for wisdom like Solomon did 2 Chronicles 1:10 “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” She could have. Or maybe she prayed for wisdom like we are all invited to do in James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” And reading further in James 3: 13 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” And there is even greater benefit when we live it like James 3:17 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
We are not all like Lucy with an audacious, brash personality. But there are other traits in our behavior we can modify so we can be effective team members, productive employees, understanding parents, patient grandparents, and peacemaking citizens. I love this idea from Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
United in mind and thought – I think it would be perfect for Lucy to stop by right now and shout that one out!