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The Critics

John Wesley tells of a man whom he thought of contemptuously as being covetous. One day when he contributed a gift to one of Wesley’s charities that seemed to the fiery preacher to be too small, Wesley’s indignation knew no bounds and he criticized him with blistering condemnation.

Wesley says in his diary that the man quietly replied, “I know a man who at each week’s beginning goes to market and buys a penny’s worth of parsnips and takes them home to boil in water, and all that week he has parsnips for his food and water for his drink; and food and drink alike cost him a penny a week.”

The target of Wesley’s criticism was broken. He had been skimping in order to pay off debts contracted before his conversion. Wesley was ashamed. He had criticized a brother in Christ without knowing all the facts. Many follow Wesley’s poor example (Matthew 7:1).

Those who sacrifice for Jesus must expect criticism: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Timothy 3:12). Many will claim to know better uses for money and talents invested in the work of Christ.

Why?

Because their values are based on the temporary things of this earth. Coveted toys here mean more than souls or riches laid up in heaven. Sometimes their choices may seem to be best.

But a day of reckoning is coming.

Live for that day.

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