“Where are all the creative people in the room?”
My heart skipped a beat as I wrestled with this question.
Yes. I am creative person. I start to raise my hand- pausing to adjust a flyaway hair back into place.
No. They’re talking about true artists. Not someone like you. Real creative people.
I change my mind, tucking my hand between my thigh and the chair as I watch 1, 2, 3, 4…7 people raise their hands.
8. I should be number eight.
I shift my weight, start to free my fingers, and look at the faces of the “creative people” in the room.
You’re not as good as her. You’re an amateur. She has a creative vocation.
The 7 hands go down.
I often hear women talk about how small comparison makes them feel inside. I think this is especially true when we consider our gifts and passions. Comparison often tells us we aren’t worthy of the things we love most. It tells us we aren’t good enough to raise our hand. We aren’t talented enough to identify ourselves with the hobbies we are passionate about. But since she’s better, she is.
I personally struggle with deciding if I am a creative person or not. The truth is, I am totally a creative person. Most people who know me would tell you that. However comparison, like a murky puddle, stands in the way of my ability to own this aspect of my personality.
I think about my friend who is a professional videographer, and convince myself that because my level of creativity doesn’t compare to his, my creativity is invalid.
I look at the projects of my entrepreneur photographer friends and believe this lie that I am not creative at all, and that passion is only a real passion if I’m making a living from it.
Yet alone on my couch, cranking out an article or designing new marketing materials, laptop hot on my legs from getting lost in the work, I know in my heart that I am creative.
Maybe you love to run, have broken a couple of PRs and are training hard towards your next race. You would identify as athletic, even calling yourself a runner…that is until you make friends with the BIG10, 800-meter champ. Suddenly, you’re embarrassed to talk about last night’s run.
Perhaps you are musically inclined, but tuck that part of your life away when you’re around your music major friends. With them, your shower singing is nothing to be proud of.
Comparison always leads to worship- worship of oneself or worship of another person.
Hmm, let’s see, who gets more glory here? Who is worthy of worship…that girl or me? We often end up worshipping someone else- the person who is better than us. So we start to look for someone who we compare better to- so that we can finally be the worshipped one.
This is why comparison is such a problem: only God is worthy of worship and glory. When we begin to worship ourselves, we are essentially claiming to be our own personal gods.
We’ve got to change the position of our hearts if we want to overcome this constant comparison.
First, we’ve got to first realize where our gifts come from.
James 1:7 (NIV) tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from above.”
We really don’t have any ownership over the gifts and talents that we are claiming. I’m a writer, but that’s only because God created a passion for words and the creativity to use them inside of me. Further, He is the God who gives and takes away. He gave me the gift of writing, but He may just as easily take it away at any time. Realizing this automatically puts me in a more humble position.
Second, we’ve got to remember the intended purpose of the gifts God has entrusted us with.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17 NIV)
God did not intend for you to worship yourself with the gifts and talents and passions he breathed into you. Your gifts were not given to you to as a gateway to validation in this world. You were given the gifts to give God glory and worship Him.
By taking these truths to heart, our internal dialogue changes from I must use my special talents to earn the praises of those around me…to…My creator gave me these gifts so that I would worship Him- not myself- while using them, and point others to His glory.
When we flip the switch and start living in light of this truth, we suddenly care so much less about our own success and start giving credit where credit is due. We start to forget about who’s the best & start giving our best to the gift-giver.
Those gifts that you have…those passions stirring in your heart…they were planted there by a loving, creative, passionate God. And He didn’t put them in your heart for you to compete with others. He put them there for you to worship Him and give Him glory. So own who you are. Raise your hand high- not boasting in yourself, but in Christ.
If you love to bake…call yourself a baker, for the glory of Christ.
If you like to run…call yourself a runner for the glory of Christ.
If you’re creative….own that for the glory of Christ.
Do what you love & claim it- not for your own glory, but for the glory of the God who breathed that very passion into your heart.
With Love & Freedom,