You know George Bailey, right? He's the main character in a Christmastime movie favorite It's a Wonderful Life.
Most of you know the story line in the movie, but for those that don't, here is a summary:
George Bailey is a small-town man whose life seems so desperate he contemplates suicide. He had always wanted to leave Bedford Falls to see the world, but circumstances and his own good heart have led him to stay. He sacrificed his education for his brother's, kept the family-run savings and loan afloat, protected the town from the avarice of the greedy banker Mr. Potter, and married his childhood sweetheart. As he prepares to jump from a bridge, his guardian angel intercedes; showing him what life would have become for the residents of Bedford Falls is he had never lived. (Source: Google Search)
George Bailey had big dreams, but sacrificed most of them in order to take care of everyone around him - his brother, his employer, his family business, his mother, his town, his wife and children, and his friends.
George Bailey may not have lived out the dreams he planned, but his love for others created a life of "doing big things" he never even realized he was doing.
Why am I writing about a fictional character?
How incredibly sad. Here was a man that did so much good, and he never realized it.
So now, it's our turn. I want you to take some time right this minute and think about your life.
Think about the times when you did something kind. Think about the times when you sacrificed your time, money, energy, treasures, etc., for the benefit of someone else. Think about the help you gave to someone in a time of need.
This is a really important exercise for our mental well-being. Whenever I'm feeling like my life isn't terribly significant beyond my husband, children and pugs, I stop and I pray, then I think; I find the times in my life when I know I made a difference in someone else's life.
Then, like Clarence showed George, think of what the life around you would be like if you'd never been born. Imagine all the lives of those you've met and potentially impacted, lacking that impact. Would that be a good thing for that person, or a bad thing?
Have you made a positive impact on those around you? How would the people around you be impacted if you were no longer here, or if you'd never been born?
If you have made a positive impact on others, you can see your value here in this life. You can continue to spread the love and joy to those around you, knowing you are doing great things, even if they are small things.
If you haven't made the positive impact you'd hoped to, it's not too late. Don't wait. Find ways to help others. Find ways to serve your community. Find ways to share your blessings, even if that blessing is purely the gift of time or prayer for another person.
You CAN make a difference without money; prayer is the most powerful blessing you can pour out upon another person.
Please, please do NOT think that taking your life is the answer. You are a precious gift from God. He loves you, even if you think no one else does. Please reach out to those that can help you. Call this number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255 or click here for the website. Let others help you see how much you are loved.
I choose to live my life having a servant's heart with faith, hope and love. When we love, we should do it not for what we can gain, but what we can give.
I don't say this to pat myself on the back - far from it. I am a sinner, I am imperfect, I have SO much to learn about walking a Christ-like path. Faith is not a destination; it is purely a journey worth taking.
With faith, hope and love, and with God's grace and mercy, I continue to learn and grow, and to share whatever blessings I can with those around me.
So, take a look at your life. See if you are like George Bailey in the way that you live. If so, just add some hope and some faith, and know that it truly is a wonderful life.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13 (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
What conclusions did you make about your life? Have you ever considered giving God a chance? Let me know your thoughts here in the comments, and come over to Facebook and "like" my fan page here.
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