It’s a Wonderful Life




Digital Editor’s Note: Christmas at the Movies is a close-up view of ten of J.John’s favourite Christmas movies and his festive reflections on them. Each chapter in this new book brings a fresh perspective, covering topics such as family relationships, living with regret, the pressures of the ‘perfect Christmas’, and the true reason for the season. Today’s post is an extract from the book.

J. John writes: It’s a Wonderful Life follows the life of George Bailey, born and raised in the typical American small town of Bedford Falls. But he is someone with ambition and imagination who wants to escape, to travel and to achieve something. Those dreams, however, never materialise. George’s commitment to his family and, above all, to his community, means that he spends decades stuck in the town without the obvious visible achievements that his friends and family acquire. He is a man whose selfless willingness to do little things for others has prevented him from doing big things for himself.

One Christmas Eve George’s frustration comes to a head with a financial crisis that threatens to send him to prison. In a fit of angry despair, he goes out to commit suicide. At this point his guardian angel intervenes and, in a nightmarish vision, shows him what his community and those he loves would have been like if he hadn’t existed. In the face of this revelation George realises that his life has indeed been wonderful.

There is much to think about in It’s a Wonderful Life but perhaps its biggest lesson lies in how we evaluate what we have done. Society has always celebrated the visible attainments of wealth, power and fame but never more so than today. We are all inclined to measure ourselves by our number of friends (real or virtual), our job title, our bank balance or the size of our house. God, however, operates on a very different basis and so should we.

Looking back this Christmas you may, like George Bailey, reflect on your life and think that actually you haven’t done very much. That may very well be you assessing things by the wrong standards. It’s worth remembering that what God values most of all is faithfulness, kindness, generosity and obedience. Let’s be more focused on what we can do for others and less on what we can get for ourselves. The lesson of It’s a Wonderful Life is that it’s not what you achieve or have that counts, but it’s who you are.

J.John’s new book is available here.

Main Photo Credit: Courtesy of Philo Trust

J John

J.John is a motivational speaker. His appeal transcends gender, age, culture, race and occupation. He helps people to see the spiritual dimension of life and he enables people to find a purpose to their everyday lives.

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