John Wesley (1703-1791), one of the great spiritual forces since the Reformation, addressed the delicate and vexing issue of money. I thought you would find his comments interesting and instructive:
“The love of money,“ Wesley taught, “is the root of all evil, but not the thing itself. The fault does not lie in the money, but in them that use it.”
Guideline 1: “Gain all you can.”
- But not at the expense of life, health, or hurting our minds.
- Without hurting your neighbor. We cannot study to ruin our neighbor’s trade, in order to advance our own.
- By honest industry. Use all possible diligence in your calling. Lose no time.
- By common sense, by using in your business all the understanding which God has given you… It is amazing to observe… how men run in the same dull track as their forefathers. It is a shame for a Christian not to improve upon them… You should be continuously learning… reading, reflecting, to do everything you have to do better today than you did yesterday.”
Guideline 2: “Save all you can.”
“Despise delicacy and variety, and be content with what plain nature requires… Lay out nothing to gratify the pride of life, to gain the admiration or praise of men… men are expensive in diet, or apparel… not barely to please their appetite… but their vanity too… Rather be content with the honor that cometh from God.”
Guideline 3: “Give all you can.”
He placed you here not as a proprietor, but as a steward; as such He entrusted you for a season, with goods of various kinds; but the sole property of these still rest in Him…
“First, provide things needful for yourself… Secondly, provide these for your wife, your children, your servants, or any others who pertain to your household… If there be an overplus still, ‘as you have opportunity do good to them that are of the household of faith.‘ If there be an overplus still, ‘as you have opportunity, do good unto all men.‘” (Galatians 6:10)