A Challenge from the Past: Giving, Wealth, Hospitality, and John Wesley

My dad was first a pastor in the Free Methodist Church of Canada. Coming from that background I’ve always appreciated the writing and person of John Wesley.

Recently, while reading some of his stuff, I came across a few quotes from him that I found really challenging. So if you don’t feel like being challenged too, maybe just skip the rest of the blog post.

Wesley wrote this:

“One great reason why the rich in general have so little sympathy for the poor is because they so seldom visit them…The distance that wealthy people are now able to put between them and the poor makes them less likely to appreciate the need for hospitality.”

Wow how true is that? One great reason why those who are rich have so little sympathy for the poor is because they so seldom visit them. That just hits home, because I know I am rich. While I’m not rich in North American terms I am incredibly rich in light of the rest of the world. This quote made think about my sympathy for others who are struggling in my neighborhood and in Africa. It made me think about whether or not I’m willing to open my house, my life, and my world to those who need comfort and true welcome. It made me think about whether I am too isolated and insulated from those with true needs. In general, it made me think a lot. But I don’t think that’s the point.

I don’t think Wesley wrote it so I would think deep thoughts. I think he wrote it so I might take action. So that’s what I’m going to do today. I’m going to try to act on my convictions and go from there. Maybe if that quote got you to thinking, you should see if it can’t move you to acting as well…

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