On Being an “Artsy” Christian
I am, and always have been, “artsy.” Growing up, I was pitiful at athletics and academics, but I excelled at drama and music. Songs speak to me. Standing on stage is fun. Standing on stage with people watching is really, really fun.
There are great benefits to being artsy: I’ve never been nervous going into a job interview. I love being asked to speak to a group of people, and I am fairly adept at speaking extemporaneously. I am confident (most of the time), and it takes a whole lot to embarrass me.
But there are also negatives: I spent a lot of years allowing other people’s opinions of me to determine my opinion of myself. So there were times I thought I was the greatest person on the planet and other times when I thought I was worthless. I also spent a lot of years comparing myself to others, and feeling incredibly antagonistic toward people who were better than me.
In my late teens/early twenties, as I began to get really serious about my relationship with God, I began to be convicted of that sin of pride in my life. But rather than blaming my own sinful thoughts, I blamed the arts. So I stopped doing much of what I loved. Stopped acting, stopped singing anywhere but in church. And, when I did sing in church, I often chose songs out of my range, so I wouldn’t sound very good, thinking that “proved” my humility.
As I grew to know God better, I began to see myself more clearly. God revealed that my pride in my abilities wasn’t gone. It just transferred to pride in my refusal to use those abilities. The sin was still there, waiting to be dealt with.
When I finally dealt with that, God began to show me that those gifts I had were from him. He gave them to me to use. God is a creator. THE creator. Rather than being opposed to the creative arts, He is the author of them. When I learned to recognize that, to give Him the glory for the gifts he has given me, I found incredible freedom. Freedom to use my gifts to the best of my abilities, and freedom to recognize the abilities He has given others. Rather than feeling competitive, I can feel inspired by the many people whose abilities exceed mine. Talk about freeing!
If you’re artsy, own it! Know your gifts are from God. KNOW your gifts are from God. Know your gifts are from GOD. Allow yourself to experience His pleasure in you when you use them. Make your art an act of worship. Encourage other artsy people – be a community, not competitors.
“Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.”