I have a talent for fine art (painting) however I keep having the feeling that when I do it, it is in vain and for my own glory. Am I too extreme on this? Should it be ok to put energy in something we create even if we know that it is just for fun without really giving glory to God?
After a day’s work we are allowed time off for ourselves to rest the body and socialize. I know some clergy that are very talented in their sidelines(convents must be full of masters at croche and needlework). I would say that one should always maintain control and do a self appraisal to determine the motive and intent of a particular action. Perhaps one needs the additional money to carry through the week which is a valid reason. Nothing wrong with this in moderation. On the other hand, if it is known that someone is in need, then someone else could benefit. Unexpected large sales can be divided among charities, or give them pieces to sell.
The control could work something like assuming a signing alias. Your answer to who created the work is that you are not familiar with the artist. Perhaps there are other ways that you could devise of truncating the temptation. No one would know that this is a personal reason of yours, although some may be suspicious in time. I think it would be difficult for someone to be caught in the glorify trap while maintaining ambiguity. Of course copyright theft may rear it’s head as a sacrifice by your part.
Anyway, other ways may work, and I think it’s just a matter of getting accustomed to what you really need and draw some lines that you will not cross.
Pax et Bonum
Fun is healthy and needful for a balanced life… If God wants to use what you do for fun or simply because youenjoy doing it,He will show you.Trust on that and paint on…
I knitted for my own use fir years; skilful work. Then I saw I could make money from it to give life for others; food, clothing… First I knitted lovely baby things to send away, but then the person I was sending them to quietly told me she had sold the baby set and the money was feeding little ones in dire need,
In the years since, I have done that… creative work in sheer joy and love that feeds many and delights many.
Paint on and rejoice in it… Your love and skill in themselves give glory to God
Say a prayer before hand giving God the glory - Lord thank you for the talent you have given me I will always acknowledge that this gift comes from you and if you may find glory in this talent may it all be yours not mine.
This reminds me of a priest who was my spiritual director for a time. He was from Nigeria, and his schooling and living expenses on his journey to become a priest was funded by an old lady in Austria who sold her knitting. By doing this she blessed many people she never knew.
You’re exactly where you need to be on this, so long as you don’t start developing scrupulosity. Yes, we absolutely should be doing everything out of love for God, because all of us are called to be Saints. We just need to keep in mind that God still has a lot of more basic work to do in us, and that the fulfillment of this sort of love is a long, long way off for almost all of us. There are glaringly obvious example of self-love that need to be eliminated before we can advance to this sort of level of spiritual development.
If I may say so, the fact that you’re developing these sort of ideas might be a sign that you’re ready for some spiritual direction.