A Charles Dickens Devotional
“A merry Christmas, Bob!” said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken . . . “A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you, for many a year! I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family . . . !”
Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend . . . and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
He had no further intercourse with Spirits . . . and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!
—A Christmas Carol
Three spirits visited Scrooge and accompanied him on a journey through his past, present, and future. After seeing how dismal the end would be for him, Scrooge changed his ways and vowed to always “keep Christmas well.” Dickens assures us that the old gentleman kept his promise. You might say that Scrooge had a change of perspective.
Jesus taught about perspective in the Beatitudes. He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3–10).
We have a choice about the way we view the events of our lives. Our goal as Christians should be the view that God is in all circumstances. The apostle Paul had that kind of heavenly perspective. Even during his trials—a shipwreck, persecution, imprisonment—he wrote about the joy that came from his faith. Choosing to have a heavenly perspective can make all the difference in life. A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance. -Proverbs 1 5:13
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