Each and every one of you.
Because asking questions is something that really helps focus me on the very heart of God. Questions like the one I am struggling with encourage me to strain my spiritual ears for His opinionated voice.
Before I even ask, I want you to know that this is not a hypothetical situation, so please be graceful in your answers, regardless of your position.
I may be throwing myself under the proverbial bus, but here goes!
This is what it is about:
source for picture on the left
And here is my sincere struggle, my heartfelt question: How do you determine the best way to spend your money?
I bought this picture a few days ago because I really, really like it.
It makes me want to put on a comfy pair of jeans and a hoodie, grab a mug of steaming mocha coffee, and take a slow walk over the water through all that light. I breathe deeper just thinking about it.
It has so many things I dearly love. I love trees. It is not difficult at all for me to imagine them clapping their hands in praise, or stretching lean, waving limbs in the gentle breeze of worship. I love the rustling, whispered music of leaves. I love how light pours through leaves and illuminates the delicate lifeline veins and makes the surrounding air seem a little more green, or yellow, or orange, or red.
I love how the water is still and gently reflects the light above. I love the wooden bridge, and that it leads somewhere I can't see, but I know I would want to go.
I really, really like it.
I can only spend this $40 once. One way. I will never be able to spend this particular $40 again. Ever.
And I haven't forgotten that there are real mothers who are desperate to give their thirsty children clean water, and fathers who lie awake in agony each night listening to their sons and daughters cry themselves to sleep from hunger.
The answer isn't as obvious as it may seem to some. As I posted about yesterday, I fully believe art is valuable, that it is invaluable! Art brings such richness, and joy, and God-likeness to this world. I believe art is inseparable from who God created each of us to be, and I wish with all my heart that we would each practice using the creative skills God has blessed us with.
I don't feel guilty buying art. I'm not saying you should, either.
The most common kind I buy is word-art. Books have been life changing for me. They have helped me live out what I believe about God. This in turn has helped many I counseled as a Crisis Pregnancy Center counselor, family members, friends, my children etc.
In the case of the books I am referencing, I think the return on the investment has been so far above and beyond the average $10 that I spent.
Words are just the easiest art form for me to use as an example, but I fully believe that there is priceless "return on investment" from music, dancing, singing, painting, drawing, sculpting, sewing, baking, photography etc etc etc.
Wise investment, for me, is a key element in deciding how to spend each dollar I can only spend once.
To take this to an even more personal level, I literally feed my family with the income I receive from my work as a professional airbrush makeup artist and hair stylist.
I want to be a good steward of the resources and talents God has given me. I want to store up treasures that won't fade away and encourage others to do the same.
So, I am prayerfully considering/struggling to hear God on whether or not I should keep this picture, or return it and use the money to meet immediate needs of someone who is praying to God for their literal daily bread.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
My question again is this: How do you determine the best way to spend your money?
*This is a 31 Days series of Things that Help Me Focus. Just hop over here if you'd like to see the other posts.*