“One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give, and so fail to realize your need for God. If everything seems to come simply by signing checks, you may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God.” – C. S. Lewis
The world tells us we need to work to accumulate fame and fortune for ourselves and to prove we are important and have value and worth. Simply put, the world puts value on what we do, not who we are.
But this isn’t true. It’s a deception from the devil. The world’s way offers false security, false happiness. It’s fleeting happiness dependent on things, not on who God says we are, on how he values us. The world’s way is a call to serve mammon, to use our work and accomplishments and money to show our importance and value. In the Old Testament, mammon is a false god that will demand and demand and demand more and more from us. It will never be satisfied, no matter what we do. And we will never be satisfied with what we accomplish when we do things the world’s way. Because what we truly need can’t be found in the world.
Jesus is the one who achieved what we seek. He is the ultimate measure of our worth and value. He died for us. Nothing we do on our own can take the place of that. Any fame or fortune we acquire can never measure up to what Jesus did for us. Worldly wealth and stature can never gain us eternal life in heaven.
Sometimes we forget all Jesus has done, and we focus on our work as if we are using our accomplishments to cover up our weaknesses and doubts, in essence, our sin nature. It’s like we are using our work and possessions to add more value to ourselves. We can’t add more value than what he’s already done.
The work of Jesus completed our salvation. We can’t add to it. His work is complete. He gives us unsurpassable value. His sacrifice and resurrection also give us holy motivation for our work. The Gospel of Jesus frees us to work, not for ourselves, but for him. Jesus frees and empowers us to create for the pure joy of creating and to be partners with him in spreading the Good News.
We are called to work, but from a godly perspective. According to 2 Timothy 2:15 (NLT), “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”
Whatever we set our hand to—whether it’s as writers, agents, editors, teachers, coaches, mentors—we approach it as a means to give glory to God and thanksgiving for all he’s done for us.
As writers, we create works to inspire others, to encourage others, to give to others, to share Jesus with others. Even when writing seems a drudge, even when we are not inspired or when the muse is silent, we are called to create, to keep writing through the muck.
The art of writing stories is a joyful assignment because we are not honoring ourselves, we are honoring Jesus and the work he did on the cross, and the work he continues to do in us and for us and through us.
The ultimate joy of our creativity is the reward he will have for us when we join him in heaven.
What stirs inside you when you hear the call to create?