When you take yourself out of the race that the world of retail has created and instead rest in the reward of Christ with a selfless perspective, you'll be shocked at the difference it makes. Creating becomes an overflow of the heart and an act of worship.
For as long as I can remember, I've loved creating little pieces of something special to give to other people.
I made my mom countless "works of art" as a "birthday gift" every year for about ten years straight. I painted all of my closest friends canvases with Bible verses on them for graduation presents, and I even glued rocks on a piece of paper for my dad with the phrase "You Rock" one Father's Day.
That process of creating for a purpose - giving something you've created to someone you care for - it's a pretty great feeling.
Two years ago, I was able to sell some of my artwork at Gifted for the first time, and something just seemed to click. This was one of the first opportunities I had to sell for a purpose that was bigger than an individual.
A portion of the proceeds would go to benefit the Orphan Care Ministry at Shades. I began to see that I could take the gifts and abilities that God had given me a passion for and use them in a way to minister to and bless others. The thrill of each sale became less and less about the money I might make and more and more about contributing to a ministry.
There was a little bit of an anxious excitement in my process as I started to think about the products I could offer. I felt like in some small way, I was getting to use my work to live out James 1:27; and what a blessing to combine art, which I'm passionate about, with service, which I feel called to as a believer.
Let me just say, it changes your perspective. Each sale is no longer about the money you might make or the profit you get to see, it becomes about the blessing you might be able to pour out on some children who need homes and a loving family. Selling with a purpose really changed the way I work and brought to life Colossians 3:23-24 which says, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."
This verse became my prayer as I created products to sell.
Those hours I spent creating were intended to serve God and bless others, not boost my own pride or make my name known. When you take yourself out of the race that the world of retail has created and instead rest in the reward of Christ with a selfless perspective, you'll be shocked at the difference it makes. Creating becomes an overflow of the heart and an act of worship.
I found that I could sell a product without the pressure of approval or the need to compare. I wanted my products to bring joy to the buyer and glory to God.
Selling with a purpose changed the way I defined success.
One thing I never saw coming was the relief of comparison when you begin to create and sell to the glory of God. We can look to the right or the left and see half a dozen people doing the same craft we do and think, "Wow, they are so much more talented than I am..." or, "Man, if I could just create like she does..." But those thoughts do nothing to inspire creativity or encourage your work. Those are thoughts that the enemy tells us to discourage our process and put the focus on ourselves.
When we look to God, the ultimate Creator, and find inspiration and purpose from Him, our work becomes so much greater.
Our efforts become a direct reflection of the gifts He's given us. When you start to put those products out there for others to see, you don't have to feel insecure or worried about what others have to offer. You can trust that God will use your efforts and that your work can bring glory to Him.
Selling a product becomes less about you and more about obedience to Him. That is one of the greatest gifts I've experienced in this process over the past few years.
I would encourage anyone who has the gift of creating to consider selling with the purpose of blessing others and serving God. I have found such joy in combining my passion with a greater purpose, and I pray that God would receive glory for as long as I'm able to create.