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Scrooge Learns a Good Lesson
Two little words. Scrooge used them! They mend hearts, reconcile strained relationships and prove you are a sincere follower of Jesus.

As children, we mumble it. As adults, we fumble it. What is it? The phrase, “I’m sorry.” This is a powerful statement that can calm a tumultuous quarrel. It can also prove that you are a sincere follower of Jesus Christ.

An honoured tradition every Christmas for our family is watching the movie, A Christmas Carol (better known as Scrooge), by Charles Dickens. After Ebenezer Scrooge is faced with the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, he realizes that his greed and bitterness have made himself and others miserable. Most of all, he realizes the importance of loving relationships.

As Scrooge wakes clinging to his bedpost curtains, he determines to change and positively affect the future, especially that of Tiny Tim.

I think one of the classic lines that we would do well to learn from takes place when Scrooge unexpectedly drops in on his nephew’s well-attended Christmas Day party. He then says to his nephew and his nephew’s wife, to the delight and astonishment of all, “Can you forgive the pig-headed old fool for having no eyes to see with and no ears to hear with all these years?”

These sincere, humble words reconciled Scrooge to his family. Words spoken with the right attitude can initiate healing in fractured relationships and put to rest simple disputes.

At the conclusion of the movie, we see Scrooge sitting alone in his office after overwhelming Bob Cratchit with kindness and generosity.

Being overwhelmed himself by the changes in his life, Scrooge says out loud, “Oh, I don’t deserve to be so happy, but I just can’t help it!”

We also can experience being an object of grace as depicted by Scrooge if we are willing, at the prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to take a good look at ourselves in the light of God’s presence and Word. Then we need to own up to our mistakes – the ways in which we have hurt others. At this point, we can complete the step by reconciling strained relationships.

Here’s an illustration that speaks volumes about the importance of reconciliation…. There was a stubborn old farmer who was plowing his field. A neighbour was watching as the farmer tried to guide the mule. Finally the neighbour interjected, “I don’t want to butt in, but you could save yourself a lot of work by saying to that beast ‘gee’ and ‘haw’ instead of just jerking on the reins.” The old-timer mopped his brow and replied, “Yep, I know. But this here mule done kicked me six years ago, and I ain’t spoke to her since!”

Let me encourage you to not wait for the other person to take the first move, even if they were in the wrong. You take that first step. If the problem is left unresolved, what could have been a short step will become an almost impossible leap. Jesus advised in Matthew 5:25, “Agree with your adversary quickly....” Such humility and willingness to admit our own wrongs will greatly enhance and bless our relationships, while also demonstrating the sincerity of Christ’s love and mercy to others.

David Mainse is the founder of Crossroads Christian Communications and the 100 Huntley Street television program.

Originally published in Crossroads Compass, December 2008.




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