John Wesley had a fleeting relationship with money. He gave it away almost as soon as he received it. It was his belief that “riches and happiness seldom dwell together.” Wesley could have been a very rich man. His best selling medical books alone could have been a secure source of income. But he would have none of it.
A noted sculptor had been trying to convince Wesley to pose for a bust. Wesley refused until the artist offered him ten guineas, or several day’s wages, for a ten-minute sitting.
Wesley accepted the offer and eight minutes into the sitting, the sculptor had “the most perfect bust [he] had ever taken,” and immediately paid Wesley the ten guineas. Wesley was quite perplexed by the ease with which he had made the money, saying, “I never till now earned money so speedily; but what shall I do with it?”
As Wesley left the man’s studio, he came across a woman and her three children who were crying bitterly. Upon inquiry, Wesley discovered that the woman’s husband was being sent to prison for a debt of eighteen shillings.
He paid the debt, freeing the husband, and then he continued to Giltspur Street Compter prison where he asked the jailer to show him the most miserable person in his charge. The starving man presented to him was devouring some potato skins. He had been there many months for the debt of a half guinea. Wesley paid the man’s debt and gave him an extra half guinea for a new start.
Then another desperate man was presented to him. He sat in the prison with his dead child and his wife who was dying from consumption. Wesley arranged for the man’s release and provided food and medical care for him. The man’s wife died, but once freed from prison, the grateful man regained his health, started again in business and eventually began a fund for the relief of other debtors.
John Wesley’s only preoccupation with money was to whom should he give it.
When you and I get a bonus at work or have an opportunity to earn some extra, what do we think about? A vacation? Some new electronic gizmo? A new set of golf clubs? The apostle Paul urges us in Ephesians 5:15 to “be careful how we live .. making the most of every opportunity”. Remember everything you have God gave you. How can you use it today for His glory!
Have a great week!