Family Life: Ebenezer Scrooge and the Blessing of a Clean Slate

Ebenezer Scrooge and the Blessing of a Clean Slate

by Rachel Schmoyer

The beauty of A Christmas Carol is not just that Scrooge learned to change, but that his family accepted his change.

After Scrooge’s night with ghostly visitors, he awakens with a brand new attitude. Instead of eschewing all things Christmas, he repents and, among other things, accepts the dinner invitation from his nephew Fred.

I imagine Scrooge nervously standing on Fred’s doorstep. He rings the bell and shuffles his feet, keeping warm while he waits. Would they let him in? Even if they do, would they treat him with disdain based on his old ways?

Here’s how Dickens imagined the scene:

“Why bless my soul!” cried Fred, “who’s that?”

“It’s I. Your Uncle Scrooge. I have come to dinner. Will you let me in, Fred?”

Let him in! It is a mercy he didn’t shake his arm off. He was at home in five minutes. Nothing could be heartier.

Although Fred is a minor character in Dicken’s classic tale, I think he is a real hero. Without any advanced warning, he welcomed his uncle happily, without any mention of all that his uncle had done in the past to slight him.

What would it have done to Scrooge if Fred had brought up the Scrooge of the past?

What does it do to your family relationships when you bring up mistakes from the past?

It heaps shame upon your family member.

It makes them feel defeated while they are trying to change.

It makes them feel small.

It frustrates them and makes them feel like giving up. Why should they try to change when all their family remembers is the way they used to be?

Not only are your family members affected, but you also create a distance between yourselves and others. They cannot openly share with you if they do not feel safe.

Your family members want you to have hope in them. They need love and a warm welcome to greet them at the door instead of criticism and dredging up the past.

The Bible also gives us a picture of the kind of love that Fred shares with Scrooge.

1 Corinthians 13 says love keeps no record of wrong. This kind of love for each other is a reflection of God’s love for His people. In Lamentations 3, God says His mercies are new every morning.

Whether you are expecting visitors in your home this Christmas or if you are visiting others, give your family members a clean slate. Welcome them with a smile and no record of wrong.

About the Author

Rachel Schmoyer is a pastor’s wife and mom of four. She blogs about finding simple truths in complex passages of Scripture at Read the Hard Parts. She also writes about parenting and other adventures at Rachel Schmoyer Writes.

If she is not writing, she is probably reading, most likely a biography of one of the First Ladies of the United States.

You can connect with Rachel online on Twitter.

This is Rachel’s last column with Pandora’s Box Gazette. We have truly appreciated her monthly “Family Life” columns. We wish her all the best.

#RachelSchmoyer #FamilyLife #Christmas

Young Living Banner.Lavender.jpg
Gillette on Demand.jpg
Boxed Wholesale Delivered
Ambit Energy
Finally Family Homes.LOGO.jpg
Rakuten Ebates.jpg

© Joanne Troppello and Mustard Seed Sentinel, 2019. Unauthorized usage or duplication of any content published on this website without specific written permission from the site owner is strictly prohibited. With appropriate and specific guidance, excerpts and links may be used provided full definitive credit is given to Joanne Troppello, the contributor, and Mustard Seed Sentinel. Publication start date March 2016. MSS is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

DISCLAIMER: MSS reserves the right to remove comments on articles and in the forum that are not in line with our family-friendly brand and faith-based Christian magazine theme. Please make every effort to comment on articles and participate in the chat rooms in a friendly way that is devoid of profanity and hateful speech. MSS reserves the right to decline site membership (both the free membership and paid subscription membership) to any members who are violating our requests to keep this online community family-friendly. No spam links or comments will be allowed. Spam, profanity, and hateful speech will be deleted.

Freelance content submissions are always welcome and can be submitted through the submit button on the top of the Home Page underneath the header. All submissions are subject to review and possible rejection if the content does not meet quality standards. Edits may be suggested or required for some submissions. At this time, compensation is not given for submissions. However, as the Mustard Seed Sentinel readership grows, financial compensation will be provided for freelancers who submit appropriate and acceptable content for publication, such as the following: author interviews they've completed, guest blogs, or news articles. All freelancers will have their byline listed. NOTE: Mustard Seed Sentinel is a family-friendly publication and only appropriate faith-based content will be accepted.

This magazine is available for free online.

If you like our content and want to support

this publication, feel free to donate below.

Our paid subscription page is for paying members only. Engaging content, educational information, and interactive activities like webinars, as well as podcasts, are available for these paying members.

Publication of Mustard Seed Marketing Group, LLC