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Top 3 Mistakes Creatives Make About Their Calling

Top 3 Mistakes Creatives Make About Their Calling

Everyone wants a clear vision for their life. We want that singular focus and confidence that empowers us to perform at our highest level. If we can achieve that level of focus, we can create not only great art, but we can effectively engage our culture, and honor God in the process. The Biblical model for this is centered around the idea of “calling”. Sadly, there are many mistakes creatives make when they consider the idea of calling. Here I am going to clarify three of those top mistakes, so you don’t make the same mistakes and fall into traps that hobble your spiritual life and your creative life.

The idea of calling has been hijacked by a self-improvement industry promoting a host of half-truths, misapplied scriptures and worldly self-help guru psychology. If we don’t step back and understand the biblical principles behind being called, we might make one of these three mistakes:

Top 3 Mistakes

1) Your Calling is About Your Self-Actualization

We live in a culture obsessed with doing what feels right, with ‘releasing our potential’ and becoming our ‘best self’ through self-actualization. If we take an honest look at America and much of the western world today, this is the heart of what they worship. Yet, God’s goal for your life is about sanctification, as well as developing your gifts.

Here is the honest, direct truth – God is more interested in your sanctification than your success as an artist. The problem is that God’s purpose for your life isn’t so much about what you achieve, as it is about what you become. Namely, a disciple of Christ who loves well, honors God, and lives and creates in such a way that they are salt and light in every sphere of life they inhabit.

2) Your Calling is Only About Your Vocation

One of the critical mistakes of our current culture is focusing so much energy on what we do for a living that we shrink down the value of who we are as people, into a job, or a career. We have become human doings instead of human beings, neglecting the profound power of human relationships, the regenerative nature of play and recreation, the nourishing nature of enrichment through art and thoughtful dialogue, and the power of worship to renew our heart, mind and soul.

God has a design for your life that includes more than your artistic projects. It includes your work, your worship, and all of life. If you have a family, God’s calling includes the way you love your spouse, teach your children and honor your elders. God’s calling includes the way you engage your colleagues, as much as it involves the current project you are working on. He cares about your testimony and your witness, alongside your creative growth and achievement. Your calling is much greater than merely your vocation.

3) Finding Your Calling, Makes Life Easier

This mistake comes from the self-help gurus of our era. The assumption is that you are unhappy because you aren’t doing what really fits you best. While there is a bit of truth here, it overemphasizes the role of your personality, and under-emphasizes the impact of the fall. It assumes the only thing that doesn’t work perfectly is your approach to life. The other problem is a faulty foundational understanding of what is means to follow Christ in your art and in your personal life.

Your calling is not some sort of salvation from the struggles of life. Understanding your calling will give you clarity about your journey and give you pleasure in doing what God designed you to do, but God never promises an easy life. There will still be challenges in financing your film, renting a great studio, finding your audience or finding a true patron. Understanding your calling gives us perspective and purpose, not a painless, easy life.

These 3 Mistakes May Have Led You Astray in the Past, But They Don’t Have to Anymore

The Bible offers us something deeper, more robust, and more satisfying. Life is more than your job, your self-actualization, ease of life, or finding the perfect ‘fit’. There is a deeper journey that can feed your soul, your heart, and your mind. God never intended for you to slice and dice up your heart, or your life, into those little pieces.

God has a calling for you that is so much greater than any of these individual components. He longs for you to find purpose and meaning for your entire life, not just your pocketbook and your personal mission.

If you want to learn more about your calling, you can sign up for more information on our online course about An Artist’s Calling HERE.

Copyright © 2021 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. 

For more resources about your calling as an artist read these other articles:

Are You Called to Be an Artist?

Finding Your Calling as an Artist

Top 3 Myths About Finding Your Calling as an Artist

 

4 comments on “Top 3 Mistakes Creatives Make About Their Calling”

  1. brad Reply

    Yes. We need to become a part of something bigger and worthier than ourselves. Sadly, self-actualization is exactly the same size as the self, isn’t it?

  2. Silvana Tei Kenney Reply

    Dear Joel,
    I really appreciate what you wrote. It has taken me so long to get these concepts, and I am glad you put them down in such clear language. I lived the lies because it is so easy to be swayed by the philosophies of this world. They sound good, they appeal to our lust; by this I mean the desires of this world, fame, glory and now. Life is a journey and it is not different for an artist who is a Christian. Just like any other profession, we have to apply ourselves, work hard, learn our craft, and sometimes wait a long time to even receive a validation. But, if we do what we must, we will receive that eternal validation that is much more important than now. In the meanwhile we will have a good relationship with our LORD and we our fellow man.
    Always a delight
    Silvana

    P.S: Check my new revised website…. love you guys

    • Joel Pelsue Reply

      Silvana,

      So glad it was helpful. We had a tremendous response to that blog – obviously a real need!
      I’ll check out your website.

      joel

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