You did it. You’ve sent your artwork out into the world. And you didn’t get the response you thought you would. The likes aren’t stacking up on Instagram and no one’s following you on Facebook. So what happens next..heartache...frustration? Trust me, it doesn’t have to be that way!
Today I’m tackling the common misunderstanding many Christian artists have regarding their identity and connecting it to what people think about their art.
Listen, this is a very normal thing but that doesn’t make it healthy. It is however, something we must work through if you want to really thrive as the artist God created you to be. On the other hand, if you give in to these feelings of doubt, they can absolutely paralyze you. Constantly thinking about your performance and judging your worth by what others say about you is a real recipe for disaster.
He’s After Your Heart
Why? Because the enemy is always after your heart. He’s going to try to leverage any part of you that is performance-based. Anything that is not firmly grounded in the Lord’s identity. Anything based on what others think. And more than likely, he will if you don’t understand who God has made you to be, agree with it, and intentionally cultivate that truth regularly.
It doesn’t matter who you are. Especially as a Christian artist, you’re never going to grow and develop unless you deal with that identity issue. It doesn’t matter how good of a marketer you are or how good of an artist you are if your identity is tied up in what others think of you. You are never going to see that sustained renewed growth, joy, freedom and authority in what you do.
Matthew 18:19 says “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.” Now you can choose to agree with God’s will or you can choose to agree with the enemy, agreement is a powerful thing.
So what are you going to agree with? Are you going to agree with “I’m only as good as they say I am.”? Or “I’m only as good as how many Instagram likes I have.”? Or even “I’m only as good as my church thinks I am?” That’s the mindset that sends you on a performance-driven, enemy filled cycle.
Or are you going to agree with what God says about you?
The Power of Community
Community can be a powerful tool that God can use to encourage and support you. However, community should never be the thing you lean on in place of cultivating a healthy identity. When you’re doing both, actively cultivating a healthy identity inside a healthy community, that’s when things really start to change.
When you have loving and supportive people who will speak into you the identity God has designed for you, you become the son instead of the slave. Your path deviates from your Facebook feed or your Instagram likes. When something goes wrong, instead of destroying you, it becomes a trigger for an opportunity.
An Opportunity to Change
An opportunity for what? To take control. For you to say ‘Lord, I am not defined by what I do. I am not defined by what others think. I am defined by who You say I am.’
The Bible says "Do not conform to the pattern of this world.” That means don’t do life as everybody else does it. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” As you begin to think about your life in terms of what God says about you as opposed to what the enemy says and as opposed to what circumstances may say, that's when your life will change.
Listen, when your identity gets healed, when you begin to cultivate your identity in Christ, that's when the foundation is set for all the other growth. Everything else that you are building your art business on, your life as an artist, your skill; everything outside of an identity seated in Christ is shifting sand.
I hope this has been a big encouragement to you. If this article has been a blessing to you, take a moment to share it with a friend.
Thanks for reading!
Matt Tommey is an artist, author and mentor who is passionate about empowering artists to thrive spiritually, artistically and in business.