I said last week that I believe misplaced identity is magnified for us as a community (artists, crew or industry). As I’ve counseled and met with many of you over the last several years it has become clear that the root of many of our struggles, pain and problems could be summed up in one statement: Our Identity is built around someone or something other than Christ.
Here are a few (I know these well — they have also been my struggles) to get the discussion started:
- We place what others think of us above what God thinks of us. We are afraid of insignificance, so we are consumed by acceptance by the ‘right’ people.
- This is why we love to tell people about our new gig, tour, pub deal or how ‘insanely busy we are’.
- This is why we dread the question ‘What have you been up to?’ in slow times or times of transition. We feel like we have to have a good answer, we have to measure up to others’ expectations. We will even go as far as avoiding places where we know we’ll be faced with the ‘question’.
- Our dominant thought is “How does this make me look?”
Think about it: Whose words or opinions are far too powerful in your life? If they praise you, everything is right with the world. If they reject or criticize you (or your art, songs, career), your world comes crashing down.
- We find our identity in the achievement of our careers. We are driven by our performance. We have to be better than the next guy and we will do anything to win.
- This is why we overwork and never get off the road. We’re too proud to get a ‘regular’ job in slow seasons because we think that would equate to failure.
- This is why we never take breaks, vacations or make family events a priority. We miss things like birthdays, anniversaries, funerals and even the birth of our children.
- I can assure you that in 30 years you will not regret having turned down X show (you will not remember it), but you will regret missing ______’s funeral or ________’s birth(day). And your kids will remember that you weren’t there.
- As our careers take precedence we find that our compassion for others diminishes, we’ll put anything on the altar of success (family, friends, our health, etc) to get ‘where we want to be’.
- As you succeed you become proud and unpleasant to be around, always moving the conversation toward you and your accomplishments.
Think About It: What have you sacrificed for your career? Was it worth it? How would those closest to you answer that question? Will your/their answer be the same in 5 years, 10 years or 20 years?
THERE IS HOPE!!! THERE IS FREEDOM!!!
GOD has given us our true identity, the cure to our ailment:
“Your identity is received, it’s not achieved. Adam and Eve didn’t do anything to obtain this identity. God made them, God spoke to them, God defined them, and God blessed them. It’s all God. Your identity is not achieved, it’s received. It’s not something you do, it’s something God does. It’s not what you earn, it’s what he gives….It frees you up from the performance trap. It frees you up from the competitive trap. It frees you up from the bitterness, and the jealousy, and the coveting that marks our world. It lets you be who God made you to be, and rejoice in who God made them to be. And together, seeking to mirror and image him, because it’s not about us, it’s all about him.” — Pastor Mark Driscoll, I Am _______?
Join us every Tuesday at 7:30pm as we study ‘Finding Your True Identity in Christ” together.
NOTE: I owe much of this thought to Pastor Mark Driscoll’s book ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’. We will be using this as a supplement to our study through Ephesians this spring. I’ve never seen a more thorough and well spoken look at finding our identity in Christ.