Christian Purity for the Artist

Seeking to maintain Christian purity as an artist makes the difference between God- propelled growth and quick, deceptive, artificial success and popularity. It makes the difference between having an eternal impact and reward, instead of transient, flashy glory.

Be a Light, Polymer Clay Relief Sculpture

Understanding Christian purity and its relevance to you, as an artist, will be a lifetime pursuit. It is impossible to grasp all aspects of it. The truths learned tend to slip away like oil through fingers.

It helps to understand your role and God’s part, as He defines it.

Eph 2:10, best describes His objective for each of us.

“For we are God’s workmanship, (Greek – poiema, or poem- a masterful, unique creation or transformation), created in Christ Jesus, unto good works, (Greek- ergon – works of labor, including anything accomplished by hand, art, industry or mind.), which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Isn’t it exciting that we have been created in Christ Jesus, as a unique poem, for purposeful, pre-ordained labor? This labor includes, but is not limited to the making of art.

Even the language used in this verse, speaks of exquisite craftsmanship, that by its very nature, shows Him off - or 'glorifies' Him.

You, the artist, your unique life circumstances, and your artwork which is your created product, all of it must all point to His genius and show Him off.

What a relief to know that He takes this amazing task seriously!

Both the job of making us fit, as well as the employing of these God-breathed abilities, are His responsibility, according to Eph 2:10. Of course, we must be willing participants with Him!

The present tense is used in the first part of the verse – “We ARE God’s workmanship….” However, the phrase ‘that we should walk in them’ implies a progression – as we make our way in this life.

Rejoice with me and trust that God prepares you for very specific opportunities! It is His responsibility to present them to you. His labor involves transforming us as we grow in Christ. Our job is to simply stay alert and make full use of each opportunity.

So how can the lack of purity upset this equation?

Christian purity is often discussed in the context of sexual immorality. God however, expects purity in ALL affairs of the heart. He frequently compares the sin of adultery, to idolatry of the heart.

Cloaked under the voluminous folds of creativity, is the dagger of self-will and pride. In our impatience for success it is unfortunately too easy to compromise our Christian purity.

Christian purity is compromised if we seek anything other than God-given opportunities and respond with anything other than God-prepared abilities.

Here are some thoughts to consider:

• Do we trust God to direct our learning?

• Can we rest in the truth that He will guide us to the best resources, and grow our ability?

• Do we trust in His provision of timely opportunities, for the creation and exhibition of our art? Or do we make our own opportunities and scramble to provide for our needs?

• Is our only allegiance to Him and His directives?

• Do we spend enough time seeking Him, in His Word, to learn these directives? Or do we spend more time educating ourselves on the mechanics of art?

• Why are we so slow to trust God to be our teacher and our guide?

May we frequently examine our motives to keep them from compromising our essential Christian purity. Let us also trust that by doing so we will be pleasing to the Lord and far more effective as Christian artists.

Unfortunately, I am ashamed to say that when I search deep, all too often, I fall seriously short.

How grateful I am for a God who never stops working with, for, in and through us!

We are all 'works in progress'!

How do you promote your art?
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