Settle Up

Cinderella ManDid you see the 2005 movie Cinderella Man? It was a good movie, sometimes hurt the heart, but it was good. It’s a true story about a fighter during the depression era named James Braddock. He falls on hard times, there’s no work, he can’t pay his bills and can’t afford the medicine one of his kids needs. A friend talks him into getting back in the ring to fight. Braddock is well past his prime. He’s a ‘has been.’ But he’s not fighting for fame or glory – he’s fighting because he loves his family.

In one of the most heart wrenching scenes of the movie this former well known and financially successful man has to go and seek public assistance. It’s a jab to his pride and right hook to his manhood at the same time. His fortune, like many in that day, was lost in the stock market crash. It wasn’t his fault he ended up in this place. It’s simply how life happened to him.

As he began to fight again, something strange happened. He won. He worked up through the ranks and reached number 2, earning him a shot at the title against a scary champ named Max Baer. He fought and won. He returned his family to security. One of my favorite scenes, he returns to the public assistance office and with humility and quiet grace, paid back what they had given him. The clerk was stunned and not sure what to do.

I heard last week about a lady who called a church in her town and explained that as a child she had gone to church with them. She is now a mom and her family needed some help with clothing and school supplies for her kids. The church met with her and helped with her needs. Some months later, she called the church and explained that she had requested and received help from the church. Then she asked, “Is there some way that I am supposed to pay that back?” The man she spoke to assured her that it wasn’t necessary and invited her to once again visit the church.

Whether we are talking about money, wise counsel, comfort or just a simple act of kindness, it’s noble to realize that we owe a debt and to desire, when possible, to settle up. Sometimes we need to pay it back, sometimes to pay it forward. Either way… if you owe a debt, to the degree that you’re able, settle up.

telemicus out

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *