Where’s your ID?
Episode 29 challenges us to assess where our identity, as artists, is rooted and how it is being defined.
Hello, hello, and welcome to Episode 29 of the Kingdom Art Life podcast. I am Marlita Hill, here to help you flourish in faith, art, and career.
We are continuing to explore mindsets that help us overcome our anxiety about compromising our faith in our career pursuits.
Another way of mind that helps us is to keep our identity rooted in the right foundation. It’s important that we keep watch on what we’re permitting to inform and shape our identity. Does your art form define you? Does your career?
Or are you rooted in your identity in Christ?
And what does this have to do with building our art career without compromising our faith?
I was thinking about a part of my book, Defying Discord, where I look at Mark 10. In this account, Jesus has this exchange with this man who comes asking what he has to do to enter the Kingdom. Jesus tells him what to do. The man says he did that already and asks what else he must do. So Jesus tells him to sell everything he has and give it to the poor, take up his cross, and basically follow Him. And it says the man was very sorrowful because he was very rich.
So here’s this man who wants to follow God, who wants to do what God is leading him to do; but he can’t because it would mean giving away or separating himself from the things that define him.
What’s really interesting is that later in that passage Jesus tells His disciples that it’s very hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. I looked at that language and it was really interesting because He said it’s hard for a rich man to enter, not that it’s hard for a man who has riches to enter the Kingdom of God.
For this man who had this exchange with Jesus, it was his riches that defined him. In his mind, him having riches, and all of the access and status they afforded him, those were the things that defined him and brought all the good in his life. So he was unwilling to separate himself from those things even though he really wanted to walk with God.
How does this factor into our conversation?
If your career is what defines you, or if your career being at a certain status or you being active in your art form is what defines you, then you put yourself in a vulnerable position for compromise because you are more willing to do whatever it takes to maintain those things upon which your identity is formed.
One of the things I hear a lot is I’m an artist who just happens to be Christian. But you’re not. And don’t get me wrong, I totally understand what you mean when you say that; and I know what you’re trying to delineate and define. You’re not a person who makes Christian art and you’re trying to remove that expectation off of you so you can do you. I get it, but still, you are not an artist who just happens to be Christian. You are a child of the Kingdom who engages in this world and in their relationship with their God through their art. See the shift. Art is what you do it’s not who you are. It’s a vehicle that you use to give expression to who you are. And who you are doesn’t change based on what’s going on with your art career or your art form. Your identity is that you are a child of the Kingdom. Art is one of the ways you take space in your identity.
If you want to build a serious, compelling high level, noteworthy art career without compromising your faith, make sure you watch where your identity is rooted and how it’s defined.
TALK TO ME
How have you navigated this tension between identifying as an artist or as a Christian. What struggles have you run into while trying to do it? I want to know.