The dangers of insecurity in Christian artists

Everyone is insecure about something. Maybe you’re insecure about your looks. Maybe you’re insecure about your job. Maybe you’re insecure about your talents.

I’m a creative person in a corporate world, and it’s very easy to get very insecure very quickly. I’m a people pleaser. I like it when people tell me I’ve done a good job. I like to make people happy.

When I create something, I pour my heart and soul into it. If I don’t, it comes off stale. If people don’t like what I create, it’s difficult to separate myself from what I created. If people don’t like it, it’s hard not to take it as an insult or a slight. And as a result, I can get very insecure about showing people my work or trying anything new. I’m afraid that if people don’t like it, they won’t like me either.

I know I’m not the only creative type to struggle with this. The problem with that mindset is that we are placing my identity in my work, and that’s not where our identity is supposed to come from.

490270_18101926Today’s verse is Romans 8:15.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”

There’s nothing wrong with your art being an expression of who you are. That’s one of the purposes of art—to be a physical representation of you and your perspective on life. But you are more than that painting on the canvas. You’re more than those words on that page. You’re more than that lump of clay on the wheel. What you created is just a tiny piece of your perspective on the world, and just because someone doesn’t like it doesn’t mean they hate you.

God created you to be an artist. He gave you the eyes, the ears, the voice, the thought process that is so different from other people around you. You see the world differently, and that’s fine. That’s intentional. But when you find your self-worth in the title artist, you’re in for a rocky road.

So if you don’t find your identity in what you create, where do you find it? If you can’t be satisfied with a manmade title, what title will satisfy you?

How about Child of God? That’s what God did for us through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. He gave us the gift of adoption into His family, so He’s not just some terrifying unknowable figure far above us. He’s our Father, and we can call Him Daddy.

When you’re a child of God, you answer to the Creator of the Universe. He’s the only one you need to worry about pleasing. Not your friends or your neighbors or your coworkers or your roommates or even (to some extent) your family. Now, because we follow Him, we do our best to live in peace with everyone around us, but He has the ultimate say.

A Child of God who has the gift of artistry has to answer to God Himself, and that’s it. God is your pattern to follow. God is your inspiration. God is your critique partner.

Sure, if you’re working a job that requires you to stay within the bounds of corporate style, do your best. Work for the people in authority over you to the best of your ability because God put you there. And if they don’t like what you create, that’s fine. Don’t see it as a reason to be defensive or insecure about your work.

Whatever you think you are lacking, that becomes your insecurity, and if you aren’t careful to keep your focus in the right place, your insecurity can become your security blanket.

Nothing stifles a creative spirit more than insecurity, but it’s important to understand where that insecurity comes from. If you are an artist and you are feeling insecure, stop for a second and take a deep breath and make sure you know where you’re getting your identity.

Your work may be beautiful and brilliant, but you need something stronger than it to carry you through the days when you can’t remember who you are. Instead of relying on your own creativity to find yourself, try looking to God instead. After all, He’s the Master Creator. He made you. And He’s your biggest fan.