John Wesley on Stewardship

20 12 2011

Below is an excerpt from Tyerman’s biography of John Wesley.  I often wrestle with how the Gospel should play out in my finances, particularly as I look at the great abundance of that God has blessed us with.  I often wonder how I can cling to things when Christ so graciously released his life on my behalf.  I found the story below especially convicting.  How does God’s extravagant gift on the cross translate to us giving extravagantly?

“One cold winter’s day, a young girl, whom the Methodists kept at school, called upon John Wesley in a state nearly frozen, to whom he said, ‘You seem half-starved; have you nothing to wear but that linen gown?’  The poor girl said, ‘Sir, this is all I have.’  Wesley put his hand in his pocket, but found it nearly empty.  The walls of his chamber however were hung with pictures, and these now became his accusers.  ’It struck me,’ says he, ‘will thy Master say, “Well done thy good and faithful steward?”  Thou hast adorned thy walls with the money that might have screened this poor creature from the cold!  O Justice!  O Mercy!  Are not these pictures the blood of this poor girl?’  To say the least, this story shows the intense conscientiousness of the man, and his dread of spending anything upon himself that might have been spent properly on the poor.”

Tyerman, The Life and Times of John Wesley vol I pg 71





C.S. Lewis: On Giving to the Poor

19 12 2011

One thing I love about C.S. Lewis is his attitude toward giving. He had a very compassionate heart. Many of you may know already that the royalties from his books he donated to charity. He says this on giving,

Giving to the poor is an essential part of Christian morality. I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I’m afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, and amusement, is up to the standard common of those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little.

If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things that we’d like to do but cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.

On a humorous vein he writes, “Another thing that annoys me is when people say, ‘Why did you give that man money? He’ll probably go and drink it.’ My reply is, ‘But if I kept it, I should have probably drunk it.’”

read it all here