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