Being a Methodist is to love God and our neighbours in all aspects of life, including through the good stewardship of wealth. This occurred to me when I started working recently.
John Wesley viewed stewardship as an integral part of discipleship. In his sermon on “The Use of Money”, Wesley stated a Methodist ought to “Gain all you can”, “Save all you can”, and ultimately, “Give all you can”.
I was proud of myself for having fulfilled two out of the three exhortations. To work hard and to save diligently is exactly what I have been doing.
On closer reflection, I learnt that Wesley meant for us to “Gain” without harming our body, soul or others and Creation. To “Save” means to live simply and forego an extravagant lifestyle.
This leads to us being able to “Give all you can”, where the act of giving is an expression of our love for both God and our neighbour. In Wesley’s words, “(money) is an excellent gift of God, answering the noblest ends. ln the hands of his children, it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, raiment for the naked. It gives to the traveller and the stranger where to lay his head.”
This is how I can love my neighbour. I can express my love by ensuring that my neighbours, as children of God, do not lack for anything, while I am content with what I have.