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Summary: Lucy is best known in the Peanuts comics for her five cent advice, which is neither helpful or uplifting. Different people spoke into Nehemiah's life and he had to decide who he would listen to.

The Doctor is In

I don’t know if Lucy is anyone’s favorite character in the Peanut’s universe. But the reality is that we all either know a Lucy or are a Lucy and if you are a Lucy there is really no way to see that as complimentary.

Lucy is not a nice person, she calls Charlie Brown a “Block Head” torments her little brother Linus and endeavors to belittle Snoopy. Lucy was first introduced in 1952 and soon became a popular addition to the cast, maybe because she is so easy to dislike and I think anyone who grew up with a big sister could probably identify with her little brother Linus’s view when he said “Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life.”

Lucy’s full name of course is Lucy Van Pelt and she has two younger siblings, Linus of the blanket and Rerun their baby brother. The only time it seems that Lucy is vulnerable is when she is mooning over Schroeder and we are never sure if it’s true love or because of her belief that musicians make lots of money. Let’s take a brief look at the life of Lucy. (Video)

In the same way that Schroeder is associated with his piano, Linus with his blanket and Snoopy with his dog house Lucy is identified with her five cent advice. She is never overly sympathetic nor does she sugar coat her advice, instead she bluntly tells her clients what she thinks they need to hear, whether it is in their best interest or not. And she truly believes that her clients need to accept her judgments and face up to their problems.

And that might seem a little simplistic but then again they only paid five cents for her help. And as a friend of mine is fond of saying “Don’t you hate when you get what you paid for?” But regardless of how unhelpful and potentially devastating Lucy’s words are to Charlie Brown he continues to seek out and pay for her advice. He continues to allow her to speak into his life and to a certain degree control how he sees himself. (Peanuts strip)

Now Lucy wasn’t the only one who spoke to Charlie Brown and offered him advice, there were others who offered helpful suggestions like Linus, those who offered encouraging words, like Peppermint Patty and those who offered love and hugs like Snoopy. And yet time and time again Charlie Brown found himself listening to the negative natterings of Lucy.

Each one of us has someone who will speak negatively into our lives. It might be someone who we work with or someone we live with, but as long was we allow them to continue to do that we aren’t doing ourselves any favours. Now I understand that we can’t banish those people from our lives, although. . . but we can decide how much we allow them to influence us.

In the scripture that was read earlier we discover a man by the name of Nehemiah who had various people speak into his life, so let see what we learn from the book of Nehemiah.

It goes without saying that Nehemiah was a little confused. There were some people who loved him and others who hated him. He thought he was doing a good thing, a necessary thing, even a God thing, but obviously there were those who disagreed.

Nehemiah was one of the Jews living in exile and was in the service of the King of Persia a king by the name of Artaxerxes.

His life had been very comfortable, he had a great job, a nice place to live and job security for as long as he lived. You see he was the King’s cupbearer, which doesn’t seem to be much of a job today but then it was very important. In that day and age Kings lived under the constant threat of assassination.

Therefore, if you were a smart king, you had a cupbearer whose job it was to ensure that your cup was not hazardous to your health. He carried that cup with him everywhere he went, it never left his sight and he could always reassure the king that when his drinks were poured that there would be nothing wrong with the cup.

Now the only drawback with the job was that Nehemiah always got to have the first drink out of the cup, just in case. But being an optimist Nehemiah’s outlook was "so far, so good." Nehemiah had it made, and he knew it.

And then one day his comfortable little world was disrupted when his brother showed up after having been away for a while. They were sitting down having a Tim’s and Nehemiah asked Hanani how things were going in the old home town, not really expecting an answer or at least not an honest answer. But Hanani obviously chose being honest over being polite because he said “You know brother, it stinks, Jerusalem is in ruins, the walls around the city have collapsed and everyone is just kind of moping around. It’s really kind of sad.”

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