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Artists: Stop Apologizing

Artists Stop Apologizing

For the sake of your creative career and your spiritual health, artists stop apologizing. It may be just a reflex. It may be out of insecurity. It may even be from an overreaction and fear of pride, but here is the kicker – it doesn’t honor God, it doesn’t build you up in your gifting, and it doesn’t bring hope or health to others. And it certainly does not move your career forward.

Healthy Pride

Now, sadly there are particular churches and denominations that have been so focused on avoiding pride, they miss the healthy need to be proud of your work, your accomplishments and progress.

Consider the words of our Heavenly Father to his son, Jesus,

…And a voice from heaven said,
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
– Matt 3:17 (NIV)

God the father was proud of his son. He was compelled to express that pride because his love for his son was so great. Sadly, I have met fathers who never told their children they were proud of them because they were so fearful that their children would become prideful.

While they may or may not have avoided that error, they created another wound – a fear and anxiety that their earthly father, and by extension their heavenly father, may never be proud of them.

Not Enough

They fear they are never going to be enough. They walk around feeling less than, weaker than, and less worthy than others. If that is you, let me speak clearly and boldly into you heart and soul from the God of Heaven and Earth!

YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE ENOUGH.

God loves you more than you have dared to dream possible, and he refuses to ever love you less….no matter how bad you screw up or how far you run from his presence.

Hear these words. Allow them to penetrate your heart, your mind, your feelings and your thoughts. Don’t ever apologize because you think you are not enough. It is a lie from the pit of hell. You are precious to God. Period!

You may want to watch our vlog on how shame is a creativity killer, watch it HERE

Healthy Butterflies

To be creative is to take risks. Are you simply insecure about a new work? Is that why you would apologize unnecessarily? Worried how a new film, dance or installation piece will be received by the critics, your patrons and your fans? Surprise – that’s normal for creatives at every level. Consider these words from one of the greatest singers in the world,

“Stage fright is my worst problem. A voice is very intimate. It’s something of your own. So there’s always this fear, because you feel naked. There’s a fear of not reaching up to expectations.” -Andrea Bocelli

Some performers say if you don’t have butterflies in your stomach before you go on stage you are not alive. There is always a risk. This is why the reward can be so great and the rejection can be so terrifying.

If you are like Andrea Bocelli, feeling naked and bare when you reveal a new painting, or hit the “publish” button on your new song, it is essential to realize for the health of your heart that what you are experiencing is normal.

If you want to find some great encouragement in this area and find a liberating understanding of this, Check out this podcast: Sin Bodly

True Humility

Humility is anchored in an honest assessment of yourself. It is neither overinflated and based in haughtiness, nor overly critical and based in shame. And we know this is what we all long for. Universally, people are repulsed by those who have an overinflated view of themselves, as well as those who have an overly critical view of themselves.

Consider the life of Christ. He would have the greatest reason to boast because he actually was and is better than us, but he never boasted. On the other hand, he never belittled himself and pretended he was less than he was.

Apostle Paul & Boasting

The apostle Paul tells us he had all the reasons to boast (Philippians 3:3-11) but he only boasts in the fact that he is loved by God. He was honest about his strengths and weaknesses. True Humility is about an honest assessment of our gifts, talents, and ability.

Now, to be clear, Paul spoke clearly about counting all his wisdom, knowledge and learning as rubbish, but the context of that passage is precisely focused on the riches of love he knew once he met Christ. He never denied that he is intelligent. He never stopped using his gifts of rhetoric or passionate speaking. He knew his gifts and used them. He never disparaged them.

He simply points out that our greatest gifts are but a small offering to God in comparison to the awe inspiring and overwhelming sacrificial love and glory of Christ. He had perspective, but still continued to live and speak with boldness.

Stop Sabotaging Your Gifts

God gave you your creative gifts in order for you develop them and offer them to others. No one benefits when you belittle the gifts God has given you. Your audience is not more endeared to you. Your heart and soul are not nurtured by this negative view of yourself and your gifts. In fact, there is no benefit, other than pity and avoidance of health.

One Caveat

Don’t be like those who audition for American Idol and insist they are amazing even when experts make it clear they are not. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just Watch This.

I have friends who worked on the production side of the show, and the stories are endless. The core point is this: We all need to listen to honest feedback. Don’t sabotage your gifts, but it is equally important you do not avoid constructive criticism. Listen to your teachers, and to other artists. You may be misunderstood in some circles because they don’t get your art. If that’s the case find a new community that does ‘get’ and understand your art. Don’t avoid healthy feedback.

Practical Application

What does this mean for you today? How do you move forward in a healthy way? Develop your gifts. Work hard. Be proud of your accomplishments without ever being haughty and looking down on others.

Don’t apologize for anything that isn’t a true mistake or error. If you made a mistake. Fine. Apologize and move on. Sitting in the mire does no one good and it doesn’t even honor God. Apologies should be sincere, to the point, and then we are free to get on with our creative life.

So EMBRACE your gifting today, OWN who you are in Christ and how God sees you. Dive into his word daily to refresh your memory of who you REALLY are. And when you need help reach!

If you want to get some resources ASAP, take our Free Catalyst Masterclass right now. It will help you get a mindset for success and give you practical career advice you can use right away!
Register HERE.

Copyright © 2020 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

4 comments on “Artists: Stop Apologizing”

  1. Lino Reply

    I loved this message. It completely resonates.

    I was on a ministry trip with some experienced missionaries and they took me to task about this. They told me that I was dismissing people’s accolades and I was missing the chance to redirect that to glorify God. I see now for sure.

    • Joel Pelsue Reply

      Amen. As John Piper says, when people express thanks, it is the completion of the gift.
      It is like the period at the of the sentence. We need to receive their gift of appreciation and be proud of our accomplishments, in a healthy way. We can be proud of doing well, without being puffed up. You are a talented man in your field. Don’t apologize in word or deed for your gift or your craftsmanship! In your heart, thank God for the talents he has given you, and give him glory. You can even say, “I love what I do and I am thankful for the gifts I have been given.” This implies a giver of gifts to those who have ‘ears to hear’.

      Blessings brother,

      Joel

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