Saturday, March 13, 2010

William Wilberforce

I recently read a biography of William Wilberforce, the English politician that dedicated his life to the abolition the slavery in the British Empire. He worked tirelessly to alleviate all kinds of social injustice - at one point he was involved in nearly seventy projects at the same time! Even though Wilberforce was just one man, his determination and commitment to God allowed him to accomplish amazing feats.

William Wilberforce came from a wealthy family, but his life was characterized by generosity, not greed. As a young man, he donated a quarter of his income to charitable causes. One year, later in life, he gave away $4500 more than he made! Regarding riches, Wilberforce wrote,
"... considering them as in themselves, acceptable, but, from the infirmity of [our] nature, as highly dangerous possessions; and [we are to value] them chiefly not as instruments of luxury or splendor, but as affording the means of honoring [our] heavenly Benefactor, and lessening the miseries of mankind."
The life of William Wilberforce shows that change rarely occurs overnight. We must be unwavering in our resolve to pursue God's will, particularly when it comes to helping the poor. Examples like Wilberforce remind us that perseverance can lead to amazing results.

If you're interested in reading more about William Wilberforce, the book I read was Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce. It was written by John Piper, and I'd be happy to let you borrow my copy!

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