BY SAM PALENCIA
As an artist, it is my constant struggle to put Christ above my art. I have learned 3 big lessons along the way that have shaped who I am as a follower of Christ over who I thought I was as an artist.
1.TALENT IS NOT WHERE IDENTITY IS FOUND
Knowing my identity versus my talent has always been a struggle for me. For as long as I can remember, creativity was how I found validation from myself and others. I am quiet and doubt myself often, but art was always a place for me to connect to those around me. The problem with relying on my own talent to feel approved was that when I created something that didn't get praised for, I immediately had that voice telling me I wasn't good enough. Listening to that voice took away my confidence and often left me unmotivated to pursue art at all.
2. ART IS THE WAY IN WHICH I CAN WORSHIP, ART IS NOT SOMETHING TO WORSHIP ITSELF
Since I started college, my dream job has been to work at a church. Everyone that knows me, knows it is what I am passionate about. So when my first job offer out of college was for a design position at a church, I could barely contain my excitement, and accepted the job almost immediately. My whole work week literally revolves around effectively communicating Jesus to others and I know I’m good at what I do. However, in successes, it is far easier to fall back on myself. When things are good, I want to only give myself credit and praise over what I just made. The most difficult thing for me as an artist to remember is that the art itself is not worthy of praise, but rather the One it was made for is.
3.CHRIST WILL USE YOUR TALENTS AND THE THINGS YOU LOVE TO BRING HIM GLORY.
I’m not saying that I have this all nailed down, but my creativity is no longer a constant battle; instead, art is a means to give God glory. Every day, I get to make art for Him and I am reassured that I am called to serve with my art and to visually depict the Church. Through this truth and purpose for my talents, Christ has redeemed art for me. I can know that I am good enough and that does not depend on what I can do but in what Christ has already done for me.