The Impact of Love
It’s A Wonderful Life is my favorite Christmas movie. Actually, it is one of my all time favorite movies. Undoubtedly most of you are familiar with this movie. George Bailey is a frustrated and unhappy businessman, husband, and father. With the help of an angel named Clarence, George gets the opportunity to see what life would have been like if he had never been born.
During their time together, Clarence speaks these amazing words to George, “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” Read those words again. Let them sink in. You see, I think each of us feels like George at one time or another. We wonder if we are impacting others with our lives. We get frustrated, depressed, and joyless because we think what we’re doing isn’t positively impacting the lives and the world around us. We feel this way because we are consumed with what we think to be the truth instead of seeing what the truth is. . Now George Bailey received an amazing gift. He actually got to see what the life of others would have been like had he not been born. We will not get that opportunity in this life, but there is something that we can do that will give us hope that we are impacting the lives and the world around us. Jesus is asked by an expert of the law, which is the greatest commandment. In his answer, Jesus says, “Love God with all you got (Matt. 22:37). Jesus continues and says, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39).
So, who is your neighbor? Well, it’s your spouse, your child, your co-worker, and the person living next to you. It’s the person you see holding the “help me” sign at the traffic light. It’s the stranger you see in the grocery store, who doesn’t have enough money to pay for their groceries. It’s that person putting their last $5.00 in their car for gas. In short, your neighbor is anyone that is not you. It is anyone that you come into contact with. It is that person that you are to love as yourself and to love that person is to desire what is best for them.
Here’s the thing, loving our neighbor as ourselves doesn’t come natural for us. We are a selfish, judgmental and sinful people and too often we only want what is best for us. But when we live our lives this way, we are frustrated, bitter and unhappy. True meaning and joy for our lives come when we give, when we sacrifice, and when we love our neighbor as our self . When you do this, Clarence’s words will speak to you, “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole.”