June 30, 2008 Ration

Philippians 2:19-21

“I hope in the Lord to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. They all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”

In my artistry, whose interests do I seek? Whose interests motivate me? Whose interests do I find most pleasurable, most satisfying: my interests or Christ’s interests? Both have a measure of reward, a measure of satisfaction, a measure of merit, but I should take stock of their measures comparatively before I settle for the easily gleaned interests of my own flesh.

Paul says that Timothy stands out as one who would “genuinely be concerned for [others’] welfare.” When you care genuinely about another’s welfare, you will find that you will have to put down the interests of your own flesh. You will have to suffer the death of your fleshly desires, which will only work for your benefit. Your own interests in the pleasures associated with artistry do not compare to the pleasures of Christ’s interests in giving you artistry.

One pleasure of Christ’s is that the welfare of others would be nourished by Him through the means of you. Christ gives grace to us all through the artists that He creates. Christ gives grace to the artists through the farmers and investors that He creates. We are all a part of a body. But when any one part sets their sights and affections selfishly on their own interests, the welfare of the others will not be had. We, in effect, embezzle grace when we seek our own interests and not the welfare of others with it. Christ’s grace will not be held captive by our flesh, however! It will accomplish what He sends it to do. We just may no longer be a benefactor of it.

When we are schooled in the interests of Christ, we will find that our own interests will finally find the measure of satisfaction that they were seeking when they repetitiously hunted their own barren grounds. The interests of our flesh are hollow, temporal, and unsatisfying. But the interests of Christ will overwhelm our capacities to enjoy the pleasures that He has intended for our enjoyment in the arts, for the genuine welfare of others.

Ask yourself if you are genuinely concerned for the welfare of others as you consider what you might be saying through your artistry. Be bold; prescribe the hard medicine that is needed. Be tender; consider the instrument you use. Be discerning; the dosage is important. Be accurate; errors do not fare well. Be forthright; evading the diagnosis is not genuine. Be loving; without it, it profits you nothing.

Artists, enjoy the pleasures of the interests of Christ in a genuine concern for the welfare of your audience. Frankly, you will give account one day for your interests. So why not be genuinely “concerned for” so that you have less to be “repentant of,” which will prove to procure the satisfaction you seek.

Jason Harms


© 2008 The Gaius Project