The third thing is this: Store it up by means of exchange. Keep it safe by giving it away. The whole value of money is in exchange. It must be kept moving. But, but—and the whole heart of the teaching is here—be very wary about your exchanges. Invest your money in men, wherever the need may be. All that you invest wisely in men is stored up against any violence or craftiness of thieves and any corroding of rust.
All that is not out in active use directly among men, for men, in Jesus' name, is in danger of being stolen, or of decaying, or of injuring you, or of being left behind, utterly worthless to you when you are through down here. Be your own executor.
Some years ago one of the religious papers of New York City told of the death of a maiden lady named Elizabeth Pellit. Her home was in the hall-room of a tenement-house, and at her death all her earthly possessions could be put into one common trunk. No executor or administrator was needed. Living in narrow circumstances, her friends thought she had denied herself all luxuries and even many comforts. But in the forty years of her Christian life she had been able to give over thirty thousand dollars to missionary work. She had supplied the money to send out and sustain one missionary in Salvador, and also for another who was to go out soon. She seemed to have grasped the meaning of the Master's teaching.
Good common sense comes in for free play here, both in adjusting one's personal and family schedule and in giving. Giving may be done foolishly, or not wisely. There is no place where there is more room for good sense in avoiding both the extreme of unwise giving and the other extreme of handicapping one's gifts.
It is a question of personal judgment how far to give money out directly and how far to invest some of it and use the income wholly in gifts. You may think that in some directions you can invest it better, and direct the income better than some organization. That is an important detail. But the chief thing is that the money itself is dedicated wholly for use out among needy men.
Now you will please mark keenly that in all this I am not talking about what I think about money. I am simply putting into plain talk Jesus' own teaching about it, in these four great passages.