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How Can Christian Creatives Avoid Feeling Devalued by Their Work?”

How Can Christian Creatives Avoid Feeling Devalued by Their Work?”

Christian Creatives, let’s talk. No answers today just a chat and a question or two.

It can be hard making something and finding that it is unwanted. One of the hardest things in the creative process can be when you are creating something with specific people in mind, only to find that they were ungrateful or you actually hadn’t understood what they really wanted from the beginning. Nevertheless, putting effort into something, only to feel like the effort is wasted, can be frustrating.

Tonight, we celebrated my son’s Matteo’s birthday in a really low-key fashion. I was just doing some simple grilling. Just he and I, and a neighbor boy came through to hang out and asked what we were grilling. I told him, “Burgers for me, hot dogs for Matteo.” He was excited and asked if he could have a hot dog. So, of course, I made the kid a hot dog.

christian creative 1However, the ice cream truck came, the little boy ran off, and his hot dog sat unattended and unwanted on the paper towel, which was all I had to offer the kid because I didn’t have a plate. In one sense, I fully understood that ice cream is a priority number one for a kid his age. And let’s be honest, Matteo got excited when he heard the sound of that fateful tune. And for those of you who think me neglectful, don’t worry. I made sure that my son got some delicious treats from the truck as well.

But upon our return, there still sat that lonely hot dog. And what was interesting, I went to a place where I was like, “That is the last time I ever make a hot dog for this kid.” The truth is, it didn’t cost me much to create. And matter of fact, hot dogs aren’t the healthiest things anyway. So maybe this kid ended up getting the best thing for him. But I couldn’t help but feel like something was wasted in this moment. So I began to think about the repurposing of the hot dog. Maybe we could feed it to someone else, or maybe I could save it for the next time Matteo wanted a hot dog.

And before you think this entire conversation is about a hot dog, let me bring it back to where we began. In a very similar way, all of our works of creation can sometimes feel like that lonely hot dog sitting on the paper towel. Cooked with intention, but left unwanted or unused, which when referencing art, simply means unvalued. And one of the challenges with that is, for the creative, art can feel like an extension of ourselves. In previous blog posts, I talked about creating from the soul and not losing our soul as we looked for tools to help the process.

But the truth is, as we create from the soul, we can feel like we give away a piece of ourselves with every creation. So I think the real question is, and I don’t have the answer, how do we give a piece of ourselves without losing a piece of ourselves? And for those of you reading along, is that even the right question? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Developing Wealth as a Creative Christian?

Developing Wealth as a Creative Christian?

For years, I’ve wrestled with ideas around wealth. Growing up in the church and around poverty, I learned that wealthy people were often portrayed as the corrupt villains – the enemies of Jesus. Even now, if I’m honest, there’s still a part of me that believes wealth is inherently bad. Every time I’ve seen Christians talk about here’s how to get wealthy….here’s how to get rich… it has always just made me cringe.

But then I’m reminded of the Parable of the Talents in the Bible. While Jesus preaches on the difficulty for the rich to enter heaven, he also shares a story that challenges my perspective. A master entrusts his servants with money (talents/minas) while away. Upon return, he praises the servants who invested and multiplied the funds, but calls the servant who merely protected the original sum “wicked” for not being generative.

 

Jesus didn’t just say, ‘I wish you had done more, better luck next time.’ He said, ‘Wicked servant.’

The Link Between Generous and Generative

Lately, I’ve been struck by how the words “generous” and “generative” share the same origin. With my heart for the vulnerable, I’m often confronted with needs beyond my ability to help through simple generosity alone. Constantly asking others for money seems to fall on deaf ears.

But what if, just as I desire to be more generous, I also intentionally pursued being more generative? What if I seriously invested the “talents” I’ve been given, like the faithful servants, to generate increased wealth? Not from greed, but to multiply my ability to bless and care for others in need.

As I type this, it may sound like a delusional justification. But could it be the Enemy whispering lies, knowing that if someone with a heart for God’s people like me became a creator of wealth, many could be seriously blessed?

The Creative’s Call to Generative Wealth

For years, I’ve ended videos with “be blessed and be a blessing.” But I never really considered the “be blessed” part requiring action – actively working to increase my own blessing so I could be an exponentially greater blessing.

As a creative, I’m realizing this means I need to create. It’s in exercising my gift of creativity that I’ll find the answer to taking what I’ve been given and becoming generative with it. Developing creativity is how the chaos can be transformed into something beautiful that blesses me and, by extension, countless others.

It’s time to get to work on unlocking generativity as a creative Christian. To invest the talents we’ve received in a way that multiplies provisions for powerful gospel impact.  An impact rooted in both generosity and generativity.

 

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