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What Is the Soul of Our Work?

What Is the Soul of Our Work?

The more I write for this blog, the more I’m discovering one of the core themes that God has given me to speak on.

The Soul of Our Work

In this day and age of technological advancements, text messages, emails, and even blogs like this can sometimes feel like they are diminished replacements for the real heart of real genuine connection. Now, I know that the written word can carry more than its value on its face. God’s word itself is inhabited by God’s Spirit. And I believe, in a similar way as we work, as we create, as we write, that our soul imprints on the work to which we put our hands. While I feel like this may be an avant-garde thought to many today, I believe in 5-10 years people will definitely recognize this to be true. Even though authenticity is a buzzword in most circles today, it will become the only real currency in the days ahead. As deepfakes increase, as the truth and reality become so watered down, augmented, or twisted that they are unrecognizable as such, more and more we will crave something real. Something NON-FUNGIBLE.

It will be harder and harder to spot the real thing from a shelf filled with fugazi, but there will be at least one distinguishable feature for those with clear eyes and full hearts hungering for the authentic. It won’t be visible from the average vantage point, but only upon closer inspection. It’s when one engages with the work looking for impact, that one will find a clearly present or missing ingredient… soul. It is the soul of the work that touches the soul of the beholder.  The outside can look great, but it’s what’s inside, the soul that makes the difference. Jesus said it this way when speaking to his religious opponents…

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:27-28 NIV

While hanging outside with my wife and son, we discovered a problem with one of his shoes. Despite in what great condition the top and design-heavy portion of his shoe was, we found aSOUL OF OUR WORK 1 hole in the bottom which meant they needed replacing sooner than later. At that moment I heard myself say,

“It doesn’t matter how great it looks when there is a hole in the sole.”

WHOA. That’s it, isn’t it? There is a truth for life, for art. Not a truth about the sole, but the soul. It’s the thing that matters when all is said and done in our life on earth. The state of our soul is the most important biblical question, but the most important question in our creativity might be similar…what’s the soul of our work?

I think we should all check to make sure we don’t have holes in the soul of our work where the real impact we genuinely want is threatening to seep out.

Did you enjoy this episode? Check out yesterday’s post.
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“Are You Creating Authentic Art or Just Feeding the Machine?”

“Are You Creating Authentic Art or Just Feeding the Machine?”

I just finished watching American Fiction.

What a great film.

Watching that, while working with AI to turn a thoughtful blog post into a YouTube-esque catchy and quickly edited video, all on top of the amazing blog post that Seth Godin wrote on the TL;DR dilemma, made me reflect deeply.

The way Seth ended that post was a challenge to creators, and I would say that includes writers, to not get lost in the culture-satisfying machine that takes things that matter and turns them into just a bite. The culture draws and encourages people toward taking their stakes, the life that they fought hard through, and grinding it up to make little burger bites to feed the masses—to make little meatballs that would deface some wonderfully handcrafted pasta.

I’m no different. As a matter of fact, I may even be worse in the midst of this journey towards building this media company. Telling myself that I want to spend more and more time doing what I love—creating authentic art and telling stories—I spend more time finding shortcuts to produce. If my journey becomes a collection of shortcuts, the product is going to be TV dinners and microwave meals instead of aged and cured beef served with joy and a smile.

authentic art 2So, the question of life, the question of culture, the question of what to do with the work of your hands doesn’t come down to what your career title is. It doesn’t even come down to what you feel called to produce. But it does come down to who you want to be and who you are becoming.

It’s days like these, films like these, weeks like I’ve had, where I believe God is speaking to me—and now to you, any Christ-centered creatives out there—to not just take care with the soul of what we create, and to not only prevent our creations to be ground up and processed until there’s nothing left that resembles humanity. As vitally important as those are, they are not even the most important thing.

But the creative is one who pours themselves out into what they create, and as such, it’s dreadfully important that we care for our soul and be careful with whom we are becoming.

I need to remember this moment because more than any dream, any organization that I want to create, more than any future that I’m trying to build, my mind must stay focused on who I am becoming right now.

I don’t want my life to be another American Fiction.

Did you enjoy this episode? Check out yesterday’s post.

For more inspirational content check out