“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
I think that everyone is familiar with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It is a wonderful story about a miser who was haunted by three ghosts — of Christmas past, present, and future — and who, because of the hauntings, amended his ways and became a new person.
Scrooge came face to face with what his responsibilities as a rich man should have been when he met his former partner, Marley, who had passed away. Marley was just like Scrooge in life: miserly, tight, and selfish. He was paying the price for his miserable life by being doomed to walk around with chains representing his wealth which was not used to benefit others.
In the quote above, Marley yells at Scrooge when Scrooge tried to remind him what a successful businessman Marley was. Marley’s response hits to the very core: we all have a responsibility. Our responsibility is to care for others, to be charitable and merciful, to bear with others patiently, and to be kind to others. If we have been blessed with much, so much more should we provide to others.
Too many people forget that basic challenge. It is not the challenge of Marley, it is the challenge of Jesus Christ. He instructed His followers to go out to the world. “To the one who have been given much, much will be expected.” God did not bless us so that we could be successful and do nothing but care for our own whims and wishes. No. God blesses us so that we can be blessings for others.
Scrooge was given a second chance when he took to heart the messages of the three ghosts. We are given chances each day of our lives to turn away from selfishness and pride and to do good for all.
FAITH ACTION: Reflect upon the people or duties that you may have allowed to fall by the wayside and make a plan to attend to them today or in the very near future.