John Wesley was a Christian theologian from the 1700’s and is credited as leading the Methodist movement. So what can he teach you about money?
John Wesley was actually noted for his simple but profound financial principles. He is well known for the following famous quote “Having, first, gained all you can, and, secondly saved all you can, then give all you can”.
This quote has been paraphrased over the years to:
- Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.
This simple money lesson by John Wesley is summed up by that phrase, and it is how he lived his life. I believe it can be helpful to Christians handling money today.
Let’s break down these three money disciplines.
Make All You Can
Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. Proverbs 13:4 (NLV)
This Bible verse from Proverbs pretty much sums up this section of Wesley’s lesson. Hard work is needed to try to make all you can. If you are lazy and want to get rich quick, you might want to consider this verse closely.
The lazy will gain little, while those that work hard with prosper.
Hard work is rewarded.
Two areas to consider in this section of the lesson are the following:
1. Do Not Procrastinate
It is easy to say that we will do this, or do that, but it is harder to follow the words up with action. If you're looking to increase your earnings, you just need to jump into action.
Many times you find that a little bit of action can lead to many more opportunities than you had though possible when you were still in the talking stage.
2. Not By Any Means Necessary
Make all you can is not a free pass on all things ethical. God wants our work to glorify Him.
Christians should think carefully about the steps of action they take to make all they can. There are so many ways to make more money that may be unethical or dishonoring to the Lord. We need to remember to be reflective on our actions so we don’t get caught up in the momentum and stretch the rules to make more money.
Save All You Can
Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment. James 5:1-3 (NLV)
This Bible verse in the book of James shows us that while saving money is useful, we are to save with a purpose. That purpose will be talked about in the third part of this lesson in giving all we can.
The type of saving Wesley was likely talking about here was not a savings account but being prudent with your spending. Wesley always encouraged setting a budget and staying with it. He kept his standard of living the same year after year so that when he made more money his standard of giving went up.
Are you willing to set a goal of not changing your lifestyle as your income rises but instead changing your level of giving? This is the heart of a giver that God is looking for.
Give All You Can
And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 (NLV)
As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 2 Corinthians 9:13 (NLV)
God wants us to be generous to others. The Bible verse above from the book of Acts even tells us we will be more blessed and rewarded for giving to others. How true this is! Have you given to someone that can not repay you? Try this and you will see what God is talking about here.
The book of 2 Corinthians has verses about generosity that tell us why we should be generous. Our generosity should result in giving glory to God. How do you give glory to God? Give glory to God in your finances by trusting Him to be your source of strength. Do not fall into the temptation of putting your desires in earthly treasures but seek those heavenly treasures.
Make, Save & Give
John Wesley might have lived well before our time but the lessons he taught about money are a great example for Christians to live by today. So, I encourage you to go Make All You Can and Save All You Can so you can Give All You Can.
The article was written by Josh Wiley. Josh is a Christian blogger that loves to share the truth of God’s word with others. Check out the blog he writes for What Christians Want To Know for more articles.