There are things that truly offend me. Poverty, war and greed are but three. Injustice is another one that makes the list, as does lying, corrupt leaders.
Recognize the poster child for greed? He, and (everything he stands for) also offends me.
The Gospel in one word is love. We were created through love for love. The more we open ourselves to love, the more we give ourselves in love, the more joy we will experience and the richer our lives become. It really is just that simple.
A lifestyle based on John Wesley’s exhortation would be one that would clearly demonstrate the love of God. Following these precepts would help our world become a true community. Living according to these words would also prove that real joy comes from giving.
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. — John Wesley
This familiar quote by the founder of Methodism never loses its appeal to me. Every time I hear it used or every time I see it quoted again reminds me that we have an unending responsibility “to keep on keeping on.”
What continues to inspire me is that John Wesley didn’t just preach about doing good. He demonstrated the “do all the good you can” philosophy every day of his life. He preached to the poor, visited those in prison, and never ceased crusading for those marginalized by society.
Mr. Wesley would not be popular in today’s United Methodist Church. He would be disgusted by (what would appear to him as) the laziness demonstrated by the majority of today’s clergy. He would find the amount of time we waste as both abhorrent and inexcusable. He simply wouldn’t tolerate the lack of zeal we demonstrate as leaders of the people called Methodists.
He wouldn’t be gentle in instructing us about doing good at all the times we could. He would be quick to administer a solid kick to the seat of our pants with a loving reminder that we are to do all the good we can for as long as we can.
And I am quite sure Mr. Wesley would let us know in no uncertain terms that there is no retiring from doing all the good we can. Wesley was raising funds for the poor in snow and ice less than two weeks before he died. But then, for him, doing good wasn’t a career. It was a calling.