Have you ever read the book the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or watched one of the many versions of the Christmas Carol? My all time favorite holiday movie and book is the Christmas Carol. My favorite version of the classic story is actually the Muppets version that debut in Christmas 1992.

Each year as I watch this holiday classic, I feel like I gain more and more insight on life and even my own finances. One thing that has always stood out to me the most is the scene where Scrooge is visited by the first ghosts. In the book I believe it was just one ghost, the ghost of his crooked business partner Jacob Marley. In the movie Muppet Christmas Carol it was actually two Jacob and Robert Marley played by the heckling Muppet characters well known to all muppet fans. So what stands out to me the most in this scene you are probably wondering. To me this scene and this entire movie hold great significance in my life and should teach us all a very important lesson. I believe we do each forge invisible chains throughout our lives in many ways. Each choice that we make in life creates this chain good or bad that follows us for the rest of our days. We learn and grow through many different experiences in our lives. We need to remember most that the condition of our hearts and the choices that we make each day can effect our lives significantly. Whether these choices are in handling our financial situations or handling choices in our lives each choice we make can have a lasting impact.

What are your chains forged of?

Are you forging chains to be proud of today or are you creating the massive chains to weigh you down in the future? Are your personal or financial choices creating a heavy unbearable chain that you must drag along as you move on from here? Will you be able to use these chains to better your life? Or will these chains determine your entire future day by day as you make each decision for your future? Will these chains continue to weigh down your loved ones and leave a terrible legacy once you are gone. Financial choices or choices to compromise your integrity can both greatly affect your future and they are invisible yet very real chains.

Can these chains be altered?

Like anything in life choices that we make good and bad have consequences. Sure they can be altered and you can attempt to repair them but sometimes the damage and consequences are severe. As you go through life starting today you absolutely can make a change. If you have made bad choices with either your finances or compromising your integrity in one way or the other, you do have the choice today to make a difference in your future. Like Scrooge chose to do in the story, you also can become a changed man or woman. In all of life’s choices you can always start fresh each new day. You can’t guarantee that the past will not affect you, it will definitely still have many consequences related to those choices. Years ago I made the choice to begin getting out of debt. My finances began to improve, but the consequences of my past behaviors still required me to pay back my debtors and struggle along the way.

Where do you start to make the right choices?

Depending on the situation that you need to change this can vary greatly. If it is a question of compromising your integrity, you need to make things right. Whatever you have been doing that is compromising your integrity must be corrected and you must eliminate these behaviors. I’m really not the best one to give advice on your particular situation, but I can say it may require apologies and forgiveness if there is someone you may have hurt. If it is financial struggles and bad financial choices, you must stop the bad financial behaviors. You will need to create a budget and begin to make a game plan for your own road to financial recovery.

For me every time I watch this movie I honestly find myself convicted in ways that I never expected. I think we all are Scrooge in various ways and the lessons he learns are reminders we all need to hear. Reminders to treat others with kindness and to give back to others through the blessings we receive and not just at Christmas. We all need a reminder as well to be more like Tiny Tim and have faith despite the tough times. We need to be more like Scrooge’s employee Bob Cratchitt who despite the way he was treated and the hard work that was required of him he never compromised his integrity or even complained. He showed up everyday, worked hard and cared for his family. These are the lessons I learned from this movie and these are the lessons that I will carry into 2019 continuing to alter the chains that I myself have forged.