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Money

Sometimes I write to work things out. Maybe that's obvious if you regularly read this blog, but I thought I'd state that because I'm about to get into some deep thoughts about money.

I go back and forth about how I feel about money. I'm not really sure how to feel about it, honestly. It runs the world really, especially this country. It dominates a huge portion of our lives, our thinking. Most of us want more, for various reasons: fun, leisure, stuff, travel, generosity. I can't blame anyone for that. But money also is the cause of a huge number of problems in the world -- or the love of money rather. Still, greed is corrupting our nation from the top down, and we see it everyday.
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But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:6-11)
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It's not all bad though, right? People do good things using money: give to charities, take care of relatives, pay for education, buy people houses, feed the poor. Jesus even said to "use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings." What on earth does that mean?! And this is from the same guy who told a rich person to sell everything, give it away and follow him.
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I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Luke 16:9-13)
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So what should our response to all this be? I'm not sure. I'm inclined to take the advice from that passage in 1 Timothy and learn contentment; not pursuing too much extraneous gain in this life. But is that because I really believe it, or because I don't know how to make money? I've never really made a lot at any job. I'm not sure how to, honestly. A friend of mine and I have had several conversations about knowing what you are worth, which is especially valuable in an industry like media, where so many jobs are freelance. Truthfully, I don't even know what I'm worth, never have.

I told that same statement to a different friend -- one who falls a little closer to my opinions on the money spectrum -- and he was appalled at the question. "What kind of person are you, your character; what you are doing for the world? Those are better questions." And I agree. But when I see friends -- friends who are following Christ -- making good investments, pursuing lucrative careers, taking steps towards a richer financial futures; I can't help but compare.

My last demo reel (2017). You tell me what it's worth!

I love creating, and derive great joy from its process, as well as seeing that others are positively affected by what I make -- but it rarely makes me a dime. In a world where financial gain is the barometer for success, where does that concept fit in? And it's not like I don't want to make a living writing songs or blogs or books -- I'm trying -- but sometimes I put hours into making something I know won't be a money-maker. So where is the balance between making something worthwhile because it is financially beneficial, and something that is worthwhile because it brings me and/or someone else joy? Or peace, laughter, inspiration, hope? Or maybe just because it's fun? And how come when I don't make money doing those things, I feel like I'm wasting my time, or that I'm not to be taken seriously as a creator? Is the system broken, or am I just off course?

Every once in a while I write a blog that ends with a bunch of questions and no conclusions. This whole ideology on money has been, and still is, a progression for me. I long to invest in work that is meaningful, but also lucrative. I don't worry about whether or not my family will be taken care of, but I want to be intelligent with what I've been given. Wherever the line between those two pendulum swings is, I am still searching...


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