Posts Tagged persuasion

Lessons from Walt Disney

Psalm 12: 3          NIV

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, “We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips – who is our master?”

Most people wouldn’t come right out and defy God the way the speaker in today’s verse does but many of us say as much by our actions. Proverb 3: 6 which teaches us to acknowledge God in all our ways. Verse 5 of that same proverb tells us to not lean on our own understanding but rather to trust God. Do you see a picture forming here? We are not to try to excel in our own strength but instead to trust God and lean on Him. This teaching applies to us all but I think it can be hardest to accept by those people who: 1) have big personalities, or 2) have been successful in their earthly walk. Now, in order to really progress, they must deal with their egos and personalities.
I recently saw the movie Saving Mr. Banks which is the story of the making of the movie Mary Poppins. The Disney studios worked with the author of the book series who by all accounts was difficult at best. At one point I was rather impressed by Walt Disney’s approach. He, being Walt Disney, had a certain amount of authority, personality and success which he certainly could employ in order to get his way in matters. In this case, however, he did not try to overcome the difficult author by persuasive speech, his rather impressive record of successes nor did he try to cajole or intimidate her. This surprised me. I thought back in my own life as I tried to influence situations and obstinate, even intractable, people through the mere weight and power of my personality, persuasive arguments, reason and whatever other worldly tools were available to me. Of course, this is not the way the Father is leading us and I find that I end up feeling a little uncomfortable when I apply these techniques. Ms. Travers, the author, rather expected Disney to bully her but he didn’t. Instead of pressuring Ms. Travers, he endeavored to know her better. He sought understanding and wisdom. Once he did that he could meet her need and still make the picture. 
 
Our heavenly father would have us learn this same lesson. We are not called to win or overcome by the power of our personalities or our speaking skills. We are absolutely never to bully people into compliance nor to deceive them with half-truths and pretty speeches. There should be absolute honesty in all of our approaches and dealings with people. These are the children of God. Even if you don’t like them or they are standing in the way of what you want that does not give you the right to move them against their will or bully them. Your task is to find out what their need is and fill it. The person who wins is the one who fills the most needs of other people.

We belong to God. He owns our mouths and our lips and we reflect on Him with everything we do. We have a master. Although our egos may rail at the thought of having a master if we are Christian then it is true. It is by His grace and His blessing that we are supposed to get the things that we desire. If we have to do it through the force of our personalities or by persuasion then we are operating in the flesh and outside of God’s will. This is a hard lesson but one that is so important for us to learn because on the other side is God’s blessing and peace.