I've always been more creatively-minded than academically-minded. I can't tell you the square root of well, anything really, but I can paint a mean sunset. I attended art classes in the summers when I was younger. I would rather write short stories over multiplication in elementary school and I loved being in choir rather than science. At the moment, I am sitting at my freshly painted teal kitchen table surrounded by pencils, colors, paper, ideas, a candle, and notebook stuffed with ideas and dreams.
I own a photography business which puts my creative ideas into reality. But now, I'm working on something new. Something that I've always dreamed of. I've always loved pretty words and bright colors. In school, I spent my time daydreaming, writing my name on the back of test papers and drawing flowers. Over and over...
As I put this dream into reality, I get stuck. It isn't because I ran out of inspiration or ideas (that's what pinterest is for) but I always hear that small voice in the back of my mind asking me, "why?"
Why am I doing what I'm doing? Why do I take photos? Why am I pursuing this big dream of mine?
As a follower of Jesus, I always want to have a Christ-based reason behind what I do what I do. I never want it to be all about me. I don't want my dreams to be my dreams but what God has for me. When I say I follow Jesus, that literally means I must be following Him where He is going and doing what He is doing. Jesus always loved. He always served. He always had a purpose behind His actions.
You may be training for a new job. You may be a new mom. You may, too, have a business of your own. Whatever your find yourself doing, I encourage you to ask yourself these questions. I really am writing them for my own heart and life but I know that I'm not the only one who has a desire for God to be glorified in our lives in all areas.
1. Am I doing it with selfless love?
We as humans do everything for a reason. It's in our nature to be selfish. But that isn't what God has called us to. God is love and if we are His children, we should do all things in love. God tells us in His Word that if you do not have love, you are nothing. Your actions are nothing without love as the motivator. I want to love others well like Jesus did. So whether that is gifting a free product of mine to someone who will appreciate it or a simple word of encouragement during a photo session, I am showing love like Jesus does.
2. Am I serving others in this?
Jesus led by serving. Any truly great Christian leader knows that it is only by serving that makes authentic leading a possibility. So how can we serve in our business? Ask this question over and over until God reveals practical ways in which you can serve the people that you are working for or who are working under you. Serving your family shows a heart of true leadership. "Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28.
3. Do I have a clear purpose in this?
Ask yourself what is the purpose behind what you do. What motivates you? What gives you drive and passion? God created all of those things for a reason and I really believe that they (drive, creativity, passion, ideas, dreams) have the ability to give God all the glory even if you are sitting in an office or painting beautiful murals all around town.
4. Is my purpose God-glorifying or is it "me-glorifying"?
Through Jesus, we have the ability to rise above that temptation of self-glorification. In this culture, they are telling us it's all about us. "Do what makes you happy". "You are the star of your own show". "It's all about you". When the truth is, it's all about Jesus. God literally created us for His glory. I think the fall, sin, has twisted our minds into believing the opposite. Whatever you do, whether in your job or community or family, ask yourself how you can better glorify God in your words and actions rather than believing the lie that you have to be the best, make the most money, be the most popular, or do whatever it takes to get successful. Jesus wants us
5. Have I thanked God for this opportunity?
A thankful, grateful heart is the best perspective to have in the things that we do each day. Whether it's in our job or role as a parent or spouse or student, when we acknowledge that it is God who has given us this opportunity, we are reminded that it is for Him, the reason we do what we do.
I hope this has encouraged you to take a look at the heart of your business, parenthood, marriage, student life, work, or whatever it may be! We are all doing something. Are we doing it for God?