Sunday 29 January 2012

Wesley, The Widow And The Man In The Bank


John Wesley, the founder of Methodism preached on the “Use Of Money”, with these three wise points

  • Gain all you can
  • Save all you can
  • Give all you can.


I had a fascinating time in the Bank recently, I went in with just one question to ask about our account, and ended up having to undergo a full annual financial review! The guy said he’d like to check our income and expenditure patterns. I know our finances and budget plans very well, so was able to answer his questions easily. He began by noting our incomes, then all the outgoings on his list [mortgage, food, insurance etc]. He got to the end, and subtracted the Outgoings from Incomings in Mr McCawber fashion. and said

"If you have that much left each month, Mrs Almond, you could consider saving some of it."

“No,” I said, “You need go back to the top line. That's our total monthly income isn’t it?”


“Right, now calculate one tenth of it. and include that in expenditure.”


“Well, we are Christians, we begin each month by giving back one tenth to God. It’s called a tithe”

There was a look of genuine horror on the man’s face as he realised how little we have to spare after all our expected bills have been paid.

“There’s really not much left. Do you do this tithe thing EVERY month?”


“I am a Moslem. I only have to do it twice a year. Once at Ramadan, and one other time”

“That’s interesting”

“God knows what's going to happen to the economy”

“Yes, I believe He does, and He has always looked after us, so that's why we always give back to Him. We have wobbly moments occasionally, but it works out in the end”

“Oh…Well thank you for coming in, love**. I will make a note that we do not need to see you till January 2013. Do get back to us if we can help you again.”

“Bye, Imtiaz, God bless you!”

Poor chap, I think he was totally baffled! **He did! he went from a very formal ‘Mrs Almond’ to a somewhat less professional ‘love’ in his confusion. At least he didn’t say “Me Duck”

When I was in Belfast with Mags, we went into City Hall and looked at their Bible Exhibition [part of the KJV 400 celebrations] I was really taken with this Bible, and just had to photograph it. The picture is from the story of the “Widow’s Mite” in Luke chapter 21.


I was really challenged. Look at her closely- she is a young woman, with a small child tugging at her hand. All my life I have imagined ‘the widow’ to be a bent up old lady, with a shawl over her head, shuffling arthritically to put in her coins. The artist who illustrated this Bible makes her a young mother, with family responsibilities. A woman who had only herself to think about might not find it so hard to put in her coins – but one who also had a small mouth to feed, and little feet wanting new shoes, needed a lot of faith to give her tithe.

I guess that’s why I was brought up with the teaching [I Cor 16;2] that the first thing that goes out of the bank each month is God’s portion – and He will make sure that what is left is enough.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give to you. For with the same measure that you measure, it shall be measured to you again.


  1. Interesting. I notice he said he only 'has' to give twice a year. We don't have to give at all, God gives us the choice. We personally choose to tithe out of love and as part of our service to Him.

    1. That's a really good point Helen - thanks!

  2. If one has more one gives more, if one has less one gives less. Our offering is the same each month,but when we had more, and if we have more in the future we will give more.We do not see it as a burden,or a duty as it is given from the heart.
    Jane x

  3. A lovely post - and I am sure that the more blessings you give out, the more that you will receive . . . although they never come back in quite the way that you expect!

    Pomona x

  4. Wow! I love that picture of the widow and her child. What an awesome thought! It shows just that much more, how much she was really giving!
    Thanks, Angela,
    God Bless,
    Anne x

  5. Have you managed to persuade the Bank that you are not married to 'Arfer'?

  6. Thank you. I'd always seen the widow like you said, as old, but this illustration brings a whole new side to it.

  7. I am so glad that I've found your blog today! We have to make cutbacks (big tax bill and confusion) we were going to look at the amount we give to various charities but will rethink that and pray on it!


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