While I know that this was a fictional story- I find it somewhat amazing that a Hollywood production had a few things right. There are many truths that we should all learn from this timeless film.
1. God, the true Judge knows everything! While we all say we know that God is omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), and omnipresent (everywhere), often we forget that He really does see and know everything that we think, say, and do!
2. Do not judge others based on appearances - things are not always as they appear. The evidence against George Bailey definitely looked convicting, but he was not guilty at all. "Judge not, that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1
3. Often those that judge you are guilty of the very things they are judging you for! George's main accuser "old man Potter" was kind of like Satan - he was in fact guilty; he stole the money from Georgie's uncle, he even called the authorities to have George arrested! "And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?" Romans 2:3
4. When you judge someone based on here say, you may very well believe a lie! George's accusers were guilty of believing a lie - when you believe a lie you are being influenced by Satan himself. "...for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44
5. Those that love you will not judge you - they will believe in the one they love. George Bailey's family and friends got behind George and supported him even after he had caused his wife and children to cry because of the pressures he was facing - they still stood behind him. "Charity suffereth long, and is kind...is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil" I Corinthians 13:4-5
You know, there is nothing new under the sun - and even in fiction the writers and directors can only pull from things that have happened to write their stories. In this story I see many lessons that can be learned, actual truths laced in this fictional story. I believe we would do well to remember these truths. We should keep in mind that all of us are simply trying to live our lives, and Lord willing as Christians, we are trying to fulfill what God has called us to do. We should be concerned about being sure we are right with God, and not with passing judgment on others. We are not called to be judges, we are commanded to be witnesses for the Lord, Jesus Christ. In the story about George Bailey we see the story of a man that was simply trying his best to do what he believed was right, and became discouraged to the point of despair because he was falsely accused - until an angel came to show him that he really did have a wonderful life.
Please remember that even in your darkest hours He knows everything about you and has a plan for your life. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11. The expected end that God has for His children is eternal life - a truly happily ever after.
You have a significant part in the lives of those around you. God wants you to have a wonderful life!