Insecurity is one of the most difficult struggles of my life. My heart has to fight against the temptation to find security in the affirmation and acceptance of people around me, rather than in my relationship with God. I have to refute the lies of inferiority and ungifted with the truths of loved and purposeful that I read in Scripture. It is by His grace that I am where I am—secure and confident in Christ—because of His Word, observant parents, and loving friends who have chastised and prayed for me over the years (and continue to do so today).
Well, even as I have grown significantly over the years, I believe that God has been gradually showing me that there are still parts of my self-image that need tweaking. To be specific, He is addressing my negative and disparaging thoughts about my own writing.
About 5 months ago I sat with my two friends/mentors Rich and Sarah. We were discussing art and my utter lack of talent in that arena. I mean, I wouldn’t exactly call the shading on my stick figures inspired. Essentially, I have never considered myself an artist, and I’ve always been self-deprecating about it…while feeling a little stupid that I can do zip.
Well, as the conversation progressed Rich told me that my writing is a form of art work. First I laughed at the fact that he called blog posts an art and then second that he called my blog posts artwork. I asked sarcastically if he had even read any of my posts lately. He gave me a “look” and then told me that if I couldn’t see how my writing was art, I needed to get my eyesight fixed; and if I still denied it, I was under false humility.
That conversation began God’s work in me as he planted this seed of thought in my mind—maybe what I write is art, maybe it is beautiful, maybe it is important. Then, two weeks ago, I stumbled across this video—spoken word—created by Jefferson Bethke called The Greatest Artist of All Time.
There was one line in that poem that flashed me back to Rich and Sarah’s kitchen table:
“Stop saying that you’re dirt, stop saying you’re scum of the earth. You ought to be careful what you say about someone else’s work. Because if we have trusted in Jesus, we can stop saying we’re filthy. I mean, all that is, is pride clothed in false humility.”
That video hammered the point home for me. I am His artwork, and by continuing to cut myself and my own creativity down, I am telling God that he did not do a good enough job with me. God is tired of me disrespecting his handiwork in my life. It is time to start calling what I am and what I write by their real names–art.
Maybe this short testimony and this video can bring you to a better vision of who you are in God’s sight.
“You are God’s poetry. You were created because someone else was creative. See, long ago he picked up his eternal paintbrush, dipped it in his glory, placed us in his story and said “they will live for me.”” – Jefferson Bethke