To my big brother, George. The richest man in town! – Harry Bailey
If “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a must-see holiday film in your home like it is in mine, then you know its ideals go beyond the season but touch every aspect of our lives throughout the year. One of the obvious themes in the movie is our need for community.
You see a film that begins with a town gathered in prayer and ends celebrating together. Whether we fall into the introvert or extrovert category, to some extent we all need relationships. It’s our lifeline to joy, hope and help.
None of which describe Potter’s situation where he placed monetary value above all and in the end had only that to keep him company.
Compared to George, who at the movie’s end was still missing $8,000, was “the richest man in town” as his brother says. Why? Because he had what he needed-a living room full of friends to help him make it through life.
George knew friendship mattered, that’s why he again and again gave to a town that couldn’t repay him. Like giving his honeymoon money to keep the family loan business alive rather than let people go to “money grubbing” Potter. To George wealth wasn’t measured in the bank, in the cars we drive, the business we run, the vacations we take, but in our relationships.
For a little bit George got sidetracked by what he didn’t have and it gave him great hopelessness. Hope and meaning are found in realizing what we do have. When trouble struck he withdrew from his circle of trusted folks and without anyone to help bear the load he tried to end it all. When in fact as he learned, times of hurt and need is when we need others the most.
In our time of need is when we reap the seeds we’ve sown. Potter invested in money. But George’s investment in people yielded the greatest return. And that’s how God intended it. As Jesus told the rich young ruler in Matthew 22:36-40, the greatest commandments are to love God and love others. Those two relationship investments are what creates a wonderful life.
Merry Christmas and a Happy ‘Hopefilled’ New Year from Hope 945 HD2
Blog by Rebekah Wright