Identity Crisis: Why creatives can’t live on talent alone

Being a balanced artist means keeping your passions in proper perspective

I’m only happy when I’m performing.

I feel alive when I’m creating.

I live to dance / sing / write / paint, etc.

If you hear statements like these, you’re probably talking to an artist. We creatives tend to see our artistic lives as indistinguishable from our identities. We love what we do so much that we can’t really imagine life without it.

Understandable, yes. But is it healthy?

Consider the story of Samson, the famous character in the Bible who possessed superhuman strength. At first, he’s able to take full advantage of his gifts, and he’s essentially unstoppable. He destroys entire armies single-handed. He avoids capture with ease when his enemies come after him.  He’s the epitome of self-confidence.

But after he succumbs to Deliah’s wooing and allows her to cut his hair, we see a different identity emerge. His confidence and bravado were gone, as was his connection with God. What made him feel special and fulfilled was taken away, and the once confident leader became a slave.  He was lowered to the position of begging God to return his powers.

Likewise, when we base our identity on our talents, we risk becoming enslaved by the self-confidence we feel when we’re operating in them. Instead of being a blessing, our creative mindset becomes an addictive force that pulls away from a central truth – God loves us as we are, with or without our talents.

It’s OK to have a sense of fulfillment when we are working in our artistic element.

But we must never let our gifts become the source of our fulfillment.

Remind yourself today and daily that you are more than what your gifts make you. You were made in God’s image, and your identity is complete in that reality.

Once you can rest in that reality, your creativity will draw you closer to your Creator.

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