Having led off the week with a post on the love of money, I really feel like there is so much more that can be said regarding it, especially in light of the emphasis it has on our culture. When briefly researching an idea for this second post, I kept finding one central quote. As you might have noticed from time to time, I’ll include brief sermons from John Wesley and hope to include other historical figures, but for now, let’s focus on the familiar quote from Mr. Wesley’s sermon The Use of Money. He states, “Having First, gained all you can, and Secondly, saved all you can, Then ‘give all you can.'” To many of you Dave Ramsey fans, this might sound familiar, because his mantra is “Live like no one else, so you can give like no one else.” Do you notice a central theme here? The idea is to DO what we can, to honestly GAIN what we can, so we can GIVE all we can. I think too many times we’re focused on the gain and not on the give. Note the following excerpt from John Wesley:
But let not any man imagine that he has done anything, barely by going thus far, by “gaining and saving all he can,” if he were to stop here. All this is nothing, if a man go not forward, if he does not point all this at a farther end. Nor, indeed, can a man properly be said to save anything, if he only lays it up. You may as well throw your money into the sea, as bury it in the earth. And you may as well bury it in the earth, as in your chest, or in the Bank of England. Not to use, is effectually to throw it away. If, therefore, you would indeed “make yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness,” add the Third rule to the two preceding. Having, First, gained all you can, and, Secondly saved all you can, Then “give all you can.”
As Christians, our role is to be Christ’s faithful stewards. Among other things this means responsibly handling the monetary gain that we have been given. It’s not about how much we make as a dollar figure, but how we manage what we do have. God tests our stewardship to see how we handle what He gives us. Luke 16:10-12 says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” If we view our personal finances with that perspective, we’ll ensure that we are proper stewards of God’s blessings.
“One of the great dangers of having a lot of money is that you can be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give and never realize your need for God.” – C.S. Lewis