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The George Bailey Syndrome

A headline from my local paper, the Wilmington News Journal, got my attention earlier in the week. A woman jumped off the St. George’s Bridge into the C & D Canal, closing the north bound lanes of US 13 for more than an hour. Before reading the entire article, I just assumed that this woman died, plunging to her death. Yet, just like George Bailey, played by James Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life, who survived his leap off a bridge into a river, first responders found this woman alive.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5.

George Bailey tried to end his life since he was worth more dead than alive due to his $10K life insurance policy. When uncle Billy lost an eight thousand dollar cash deposit from George’s Savings and Loans business, the stress of life got too great for George to handle on his own. Perhaps, this woman has a similar story. Whether she was recently divorced, a single parent or overwhelmed by the stress of Christmas, this woman lost the will to live. Yet, for one reason or another, God has given this woman another chance at life.

Casting all your anxieties on him, because Jesus cares for you, 1 Peter 5:7.

If you are honest with yourself, most Americans can’t afford to buy the Christmas gifts that they really want for themselves and their family. Despite this reality, many will go into debt, paying for January credit card bills well into 2020. This cycle often repeats itself, leaving a trail of concern, stress and worry. However, the words of the Bible places life into its proper perspective. May the story of this woman and the passages above help you realize that each day on earth can be a wonderful life. You just have to overcome the George Bailey syndrome, thinking your life is worse than it really is and begin to recognize just how blessed you are to live in America.

by Jay Mankus


The Lie that Leads to Death

Every time I watch It’s a Wonderful Life I discover something new.  As I listened to a conversation between George Bailey played by James Stewart and Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), God revealed to me a spiritual truth.  After Uncle Billy loses $8000 at the bank, George panics, begging Mr. Potter for a loan.  A series of questions during this exchange leads Mr. Potter to proclaim, “George, you worth more dead than alive,” referring to George’s fifteen thousand dollar life insurance policy.  These words lead George to contemplate jumping off a bridge to save his family from experiencing bankruptcy.

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, 2 Corinthians 11:14.

In the 1985 comedy Better Off Dead, John Cusack plays Lane Meyer, a high school skier who get’s dumped by his girlfriend.  Desperately trying to win Amanda (Beth Truss) back, a series of stunts go unnoticed.  While everyone in his family is succeeding, Lane sees himself as a failure.  With his only friend a nerd, Lane comes to the conclusion that he would be better off dead, then people would miss him.  At the time, watching someone attempt suicide unsuccessfully day after day seemed funny.  What I realized last night is suicide is the lie from the Devil that leads to death.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8.

During my days as a junior high student,  I was a mess.  My mood swings were volatile, usually more down than up.  Since I lived for the moment, living and dying with the outcome of every sporting event that I competed in, I experienced emotions like a roller coaster ride.  Depression influenced me to believe that I too would be better off dead.  After devising a plan, I changed my mind when a friend from school beat me to it, hanging himself.  While I haven’t had an angelic encounter like George Bailey, the thought of suicide blinds you from realizing the gift of life is wonderful.  May this blog help you expose the lie that leads to death.

by Jay Mankus


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