“Another great reason for devoting all our estate to right uses is this, because it is capable of being used to the most excellent purposes, and is so great a means of doing good. If we waste it, we do not waste a trifle that signifies little, but we waste that which might be made as eyes to the blind, as a husband to the widow, as a father to the orphan; we waste that which not only enables us to minister worldly comforts to those that are in distress, but that which might purchase for ourselves everlasting treasures in heaven. So that if we part with our money in foolish ways, we part with a great power of comforting our fellow-creatures, and of making ourselves for ever blessed.
If there be nothing so glorious as doing good, if there is nothing that makes us so like to God, then nothing can be so glorious in the use of our money as to use it all in works of love and goodness, making ourselves friends, and fathers, and benefactors, to all our fellow-creatures, imitating the divine love, and turning all our power into acts of generosity, care, and kindness, to such as are in need of it.
If a man had eyes, and hands, and feet, that he could give to those that needed them; if he should either lock them up in a chest, or please himself with some needless, or ridiculous use of them, instead of giving them to his brethren that were blind and lame, should we not justly reckon him an inhuman wretch?
If he should rather choose to amuse himself with furnishing his house with those things than to entitle himself to an eternal reward by giving them to those that needed eyes and hands, might we not justly reckon him mad?
Now money has very much the nature of eyes and feet; if we either lock it up in chests, or waste it in needless and ridiculous expenses upon ourselves, whilst the poor and distressed need it for their necessary uses; if we consume it in the ridiculous ornaments of apparel, whilst others are starving in nakedness, we are not far from the cruelty of him, that chooses rather to adorn his house with the hands and eyes than to give them to those that need them. If we choose to indulge ourselves in such expensive enjoyments that have no real use in them, such as satisfy no real need, rather than to entitle ourselves to an eternal reward, by disposing of our money well, we are guilty of his madness, that rather chooses to lock up eyes and hands than to make himself for ever blessed by giving them to those who need them.
For after we have satisfied our own sober and reasonable wants, all the rest of our money is but like spare eyes, or hands; it is something that we cannot keep to ourselves without being foolish in the use of it, something that can only be used well by giving it to those that need it.”
William Law – A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life.
William Law was one of the people that John Wesley said most influenced him for Christ. This convicting piece is just a sample of his practical advice in his influential Devotional book - a Serious Call.