Ebenezer Scrooge doesn’t usually make his stingy, uncharitable, mean appearance until after Thanksgiving when the Christmas trees and lights go up, and the Most Wonderful Time of the Year season bursts forth in the marketplace, homes, and businesses throughout the world. Ugliness like bitterness and greed clouded Scrooge’s outlook, but we don’t think about him till closer to Christmas. His remarkable reversal of character inspires us every time we watch Dickens’ Christmas Carol.
Ebenezer was a scrooge long before Christmas. He harbored scrooge seeds since his childhood, and the more victimized he felt over his lifetime, the uglier his heart became. For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil, (Matt 12:34-36 NASU).
Ebenezer’s entire focus was on himself—his embittered, wounded heart could not see beyond his own pain. Not even an ounce of thankfulness brightened his heart, and the only thing that gave him pleasure was the power his wealth and stinginess gave him over others. It was an evil treasure that made him a cruel taskmaster and miser.
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says. The MESSAGE translation says, Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. One of the evidences of a heart full of good treasure is thankfulness. Not just Thanksgiving Day thankfulness, but everyday thankfulness to the Lord for His kind and benevolent heart toward us, His salvation package, His watchful eye, His mighty angelic protection over us, and on and on.
Being thankful can start the moment you open your eyes, even before your feet hit the floor. Perhaps you awaken with a song of praise in your mind and heart like, Bless the Lord, O My Soul or Great is Thy Faithfulness, or I Sing Praises to Your Name. Your spirit is already aware of the Lord’s presence. The challenge then is to maintain an awareness of His presence all day long and an attitude of gratitude toward Him and others.
Thanksgiving Scrooges never think to give God thanks for what they have. They’ve gotten where they are through their own blood, sweat, and tears. They’ve done life without the Lord’s help, and their pleasure comes from the power generated from their own accomplishments and wealth. They are stingy with words of encouragement, gratitude, and kindness.
Much like Ebenezer Scrooge, they are most thankful to themselves, not the Lord. All of life’s disappointments and hardships have toughened, not softened their hearts. They have not tapped into the true richness that comes from a deep, abiding trust in the Lord and a vibrant relationship with Him.
True peace and joy can only be found in Jesus Christ. He is so eager to give that to us, along with many other blessings. Everything clicked for Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning when he had a total change of heart. He was given a second chance to live life humbly, joyfully, and selflessly. Thankfulness, kindness, and generosity poured out of him. The evil treasure was gone; the good treasure was abundantly spilling out to everyone around him.
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. As The Most Wonderful Time of the Year season unfolds before us, let’s pause daily to give thanks to the One who brings good, and not evil treasure to our hearts. O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting, (1 Chronicles 16:34 NASU).
© 2022, Chris Werre