Posts Tagged ‘value’

Okay… warning, I’m about to confess a great weakness in hopes that it will help someone else. I was online yesterday, and I saw an amazing piece of digital art. The artist was getting opinions as to whether or not her prices were too high. She was asking $25 for a close up, just the face, or for a wider angle full body commission she was asking $40. I was flabbergasted. The work was beautiful. I’m not sure I could do a piece that good, but if I could, I would charge a minimum of ten times what she was charging, but in her question, I heard the bigger question, “Am I worth it?”

See all of us creative types question our value. We’ve been taught from a pretty early age that what we do is not a real job and as a result, we question the value of what we do. I’m more guilty than most. You see “Am I worth it?” can flow into every area of life. When I am happy, when I feel like I am doing really great and more correctly when things are going really great, there is always this nagging suspicion that something is going to come along and ruin it. I’ve felt this way about my art, my ministry, even my marriage. “I’m too happy, something is sure to fall apart.” Am I the only one, and if not, why do we do this to ourselves? Why can’t I just enjoy life? I mean I just had a phenomenal couple months of ministry both in my church and on the road, and I should be overjoyed and in awe of God’s faithfulness. Instead I am wondering when it’s all going to come apart. Why can’t I just be happy? I think it comes down to that old question. “Am I worth it?”

If you’ve ever felt that way, let me tell you what I really long to hold on to and what I’m trying to grasp even now. You and I are loved by the God of the universe. That is no guarantee that things will not fall apart, but God is with you. There are people in this world that love you just for you, and everything God has given us to do has value to someone. You have value whether people see it or not. If people don’t like your work, they are the wrong audience for your work. At the end of the day, God will never leave you, nor forsake you. Trust in Him. He’s ultimately who matters most, and He loves you. Then find the people who love you too. If the God of the universe gave His only Son for you, that’s all the evidence you need.

You are worth it!

worthyTonight I painted at a city-wide revival. I was praying for an image, sort of hoping for something I had never done before, but I keep feeling the leading to paint the lamb of God, so I stepped out in obedience and painted it. For some reason, I kept feeling led to paint the word “worthy” on the top. I rarely ever add words to my paintings but I decided to follow the leading. No sooner did I finish painting the word, which could not be seen from the platform when the person speaking shouted the word “worthy.” My friend Jason, looked over the work each of us artists did and discerned a theme of identity and it was truly amazing how these seemingly completely different pieces of art all really lined up.

When it wa my turn to share, I shared about how when John the Baptist introduced us to Jesus, he said behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I was also reminded of the praises around the throne of God in Revelation, “Worthy is the lamb of God…” I also shared about how I rarely paint words on my pieces but how I felt led to paint the word worthy. I shared that Jesus is worthy, of all our praise. I painted the blood on his forehead with my finger. I always do that these days when I apply the blood to a painting of Jesus in any form. I may paint the rest of the painting with a brush but the blood always goes on with a finger to remind me that I did that. It was my fault His blood was shed, but then He shed His blood “on me” and set me free. I’m not worthy. He did this out of love. He valued me enough to lay down His life for me and because of that, in Him I am made worthy. So many people walk through our world as if they have no value, no worth. It’s simply not true. The Son of God laid down His life for us and because of that we are worthy.

In Christ, you are worthy.

I found this video and it’s hilarious. The graffiti artist Banksy (that’s not him in the video) set up a booth in New York City offering his original paintings for $60. A recent piece of his work sold at auction for 1.87 million dollars. About eight pieces were sold that day bringing in just over $400. Why so little? In one sense, people couldn’t see the value in what they had, and on the other the value of these things is set by us.

If people had realized these pieces were painted by the elusive Banksy, they would have sold out the booth at many times the price. Without his name, people couldn’t justify $60. It’s the name and the story behind it that brings the value. (No one really knows who Banksy is, it’s sort of a Clark Kent/Superman story). Also what makes his work so valuable? It’s very clever, but lots of artists are clever. It’s quite well done, but at the end of the day it’s Rustoleum sprayed though a stencil. It has value for one reason and one reason only, we have assigned his work value. Society has deemed it desirable and so people want it.

Or how about this story…

Yeah I know, some guy playing violin in the subway. I’m sure it happens all the time and few people pay attention as is seen in the video. A few people toss him a few coins and listen but most hustle by. What the people in the video don’t know is the violinist is Joshua Bell, a world renowned violinist and the violin he is playing is worth $3.5 million dollars. People don’t know who he is and they miss the value.

Why do I share this? Well it’s this simple really. We assign value to things based on many different criteria and in the process we can miss things of amazing value and amazing opportunities. People could have bought paintings worth thousands of dollars maybe some day millions for $60 but most people passed it by. People could have witnessed a performance by a musician people pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to see, for free, but they couldn’t see the value so they passed it by. Now you could argue that those are assigned values and you would be right, but regardless what are you missing? What masterpieces have you passed because you can’t see their value?

First let me tell you, your work is also rare, only you can have the visions you have and only you can express it the way you do. Each piece is unique and special and different. You need to create your own masterpieces, simply because you are the only one who can. What if people don’t see their value? It doesn’t matter. You still need to hone your craft and create. What is so special about a Banksy? I don’t know, but I do know this, people only know this faceless artist because of what he creates and they only know about him because he took the time to create it. Being sold on the streets of NY most people missed it, but a few walked away with a treasure.

Most people might overlook your work, but to a select few it will touch their hearts and be a treasure. I think those people are worth it, how about you? Because the truth is, each of us is a masterpiece from the hands of God. If you have been given the ability to bless someone by creating, don’t miss the huge value of that. It is a great privilege.

Lastly, forget the art for a second, what are you worth? You might have a hard time seeing that and so might the people around you, but regardless of that, you are a hand made masterpiece by the Creator of the universe. He set your value when He traded His only Son Jesus for you.

You are a masterpiece and you are priceless and so are the people around you… Yes, all of them.