The Liberty Blockers
Episode 25 explores the unanswered question that hinders us from being able to walk unapologetically as an artist of serious professional pursuit and serious faith.
Hello, hello, and welcome to Episode 25 of the Kingdom Art Life podcast. I am Marlita Hill, here to help you flourish in faith, art, and career.
In episode 24, we looked at the second pillar of a healthy relationship between our faith, art, and career; which is liberty.
In this episode, I want to talk about things that hinder that liberty.
And what are they?
What are those things that hinder and interfere with our ability to be unapologetic as artists in Christ working in secular culture?
What are those things that put us back, or keep us in a space of feeling like we have to apologize, or diminish, or downplay any part of our make up?
What are those things that lead us to think we’re compromising in our kind of art life?
The first hindrance is an unanswered question; or really the inability to answer a question.
What unanswered question is this?
Let’s read 1 Peter 3:15.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.
Be ready to give a defense for the hope that is in you.
This career that you and I are pursuing, this dream that we have of being career artists, is a hope that we’re carrying within us. And we need to be able to give an answer for it. And there’s a specific question about that hope that we need to be able to answer. Here it is:
How do you serve God, build the Kingdom, make Christ known, participate in Kingdom citizenship, fulfill your Christian responsibility, how do you do all that working out there, making that kind of art with those people?
Listen family, until you’re able to answer that question, you will not be able to stand unapologetically as an artist in Christ working in secular culture. And here’s why: because you are not just an artist. You are an artist on the other side of a yes. You said yes to Christ. You said yes to serving him with your life. You said yes to doing your part in building His Kingdom. You said yes to making your life available to make Christ known.
In order for you to stand unapologetically about what you’re doing in your career life as an artist on the other side of a yes, you need to be able to answer for how the things you’re doing in your career are honoring that yes. For your own conscience, you need to be able to answer this.
Now, the great news is that your “secular” art career does serve God, and it does build his Kingdom, and it does make Christ known. But you’ll never be able to own that, to wear it, to stand confidently in it like God desires you to until you’re able to answer and articulate how your career activity is honoring the yes that you made.
And any occasions of confidence you do experience will be unstable, wavering and vulnerable.
The second thing that hinders and interferes with this liberty is our mindset. These are the things we’ve been taught, things we’ve heard, things we’ve experienced. But they’re even things that we’ve concluded, assumed, and simply resigned ourselves to; things we’ve just accepted about faith, art, and career living and existing in the same space together.
So we have to address these mindsets. We have to address the ways we think about the relationship between these three, no matter how that thinking got there.
Because here’s the thing about mindset. The mindset that we have about the relationship between our faith, art, and career, the way we think about those three, shapes our choices, actions, and methods. We do certain things and make certain choices because of what we believe about them living in the same space. And because of what we believe about them being able to thrive simultaneously in that same space.
A major part of renewing that mindset is understanding how our career activity both honors our faith and honors our art.
It is easy to fall prey to unfruitful beliefs about this relationship: from believing that our art career in secular culture fails to fulfill our Christian responsibility or that our kind of career taints God’s pure and holy gifts, to the other side where we think that bringing our faith into our career life compromises the integrity of our art or puts a cap on how far we’re able to go in our career.
And none of those are true.
But we believe them, and worse, we make decisions and interact with these parts of ourselves based on these beliefs; and that can hinder our liberty.
So we need to renew the way we think about the relationship between our faith, art, and career; and we need to be able to answer how we serve God working out there, making our kind of art with those people.
We will continue to unpack this question from various angles in this podcast. But if you want an in-depth understanding of this, I would encourage you to read my book, Defying Discord, which is all about answering that question.
TALK TO ME
What are some mindsets that you know are problematic to having a healthy relationship between your faith, art, and career? What do you think about the impact of that unanswered question I talked about?