“There’s no money in the arts.”
“What about having a stable job?”
“I just don’t think it’s wise.”
If you’re involved in the arts in any way, there’s one concern you’ll hear thousands of times throughout your life, particularly at the beginning of your career. “But what about money? You have to put food on the table.”
These concerns, shared genuinely out of love, can be discouraging and often convince us that the career we’ve undertaken is the wrong one and that we should abandon any hope of finding secure, stable employment. And yet we must ask, is that a Biblical mindset to have?
We’ve discussed in the past how God does call artists to serve – and that the musician is not inferior to the minister. If you’re called by God to work in the arts, then physical provision is not a concern you need to hold. Don’t believe me? Turn to Luke 10:38-42.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Martha was a practical woman. A celebrity was coming to her home at her personal invitation after a long day or traveling and speaking to the people. As Jesus and His disciples were in the sitting room ministering she worked in the kitchen, preparing the meal. After all, someone had to put food on the table…right?
And yet, this totally understandable concern of Martha’s is deemed the lesser need compared to the Biblical teaching Jesus was giving. Why? Well, let’s remember just who it is we’re dealing with here – Jesus Christ. This man fed thousands with only a handful of food, twice (Matthew 14:13-21 and Matthew 15:32-16:10). The man who fasted for forty days without feeling anything more than some hunger (Matthew 4:2). And the God who provided food for people in need countless times throughout the Bible. Here’s a list of just some of those times:
Hagar and Ishmael being fed in the wilderness (Genesis 21)
Manna for the Israelites (Exodus 16)
Elijah being fed by ravens (1 Kings 17)
Elisha and the widow with the oil (2 Kings4:1-7)
The message is clear and is best summed up by Matthew 6:25-26:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
If we are listening to God and obeying his commandments (including our calling into the arts) then He will provide for our physical needs. It will not always be comfortable (the Israelites complained about how bland the manna was), it will not always be obvious (Daniel had to pay for three weeks before receiving an answer once) but God is there, and He will sustain you.
So, if God has called you to this difficult field, a field with strikes and petitions resulting from cut paychecks and harsh discipline, if that is the life God has called you to, then don’t worry about what you’ll eat and drink, Christianity comes with a meal plan. Don’t worry about tomorrow, it will worry about itself. All we have is today, right now. A moment, a calling, and an instrument, that is what we are given. Use it well to the glory of He who is above all things (money most of all). He’s already dealt with the rest.