You are an artist. We are all artists. So declares Seth Godin in his book, Linchpin. Seth Godin isn’t a name known very well in most Christian circles. But he’s known in business and productivity circles as an ideas man who can cut to the root of the issue with respect to performance, expectations, and professional development. In Linchpin he defines art as “a personal gift that changes the recipient.” He takes the next logical step and says, “An artist is an individual who creates art. The more people you change, the more you change them, the more effective your art is.” And that reminded me of this passage:
And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are— the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” – Mark 1:21-27, ESV
It comes right in the very first chapter of Mark and not only was Jesus’ teaching inspiring and life-changing, but so were His actions. They didn’t see folks walking around able to do the things He was able to do. So when Jesus cast out this unclean spirit, the people were amazed. They were changed. They realized Jesus was something special. You and I can have the same sort of impact. How do we do it? By telling the story of Jesus Christ and how He has changed our lives. It is the most powerful story that we know. It is the most life-changing thing we can share with anyone. When we do share it, we are sharing, by Godin’s definition, art. Only this is art that saves.
Think about that for a moment. I have friends who are artists in the more traditional sense. And I love what they do. I’m a musician and music is considered an art. Chess is debated as being an art or a science and I used to play a lot of chess. But as great as all that art is, none of it saves the soul for eternity. However, the message you bring on the behalf of your Savior, the Gospel you carry to anyone you can, is the real art, the art that is more than life-changing here and now, but life-changing for all eternity! It is a personal gift we can share with anyone, and while many will reject what we have to share, some will not. And for those who do not, we will be part of a great mystery: the regeneration of a person’s soul through the power of God. There is nothing in this lifetime we can do which is of greater importance or with longer impact. God gives us the ability and opportunity to be the ultimate artists.
Can’t draw? It doesn’t matter. Humming a tune is a challenge to you? That’s okay. If your clay sculptures make you point and should, “Look, it’s a rock!” when you intended something totally different, don’t fret. You are still an artist. And if you are a Christian, you can share the greatest art of all: the message of the Gospel. So let us get out there and start creating masterpieces for His glory, allowing our art to show on the people changed by the message we bring, by the art we create from our personal testimonies about the faithfulness and power of God to restore, redeem, and regenerate us. Let us be the artists He has called us to be. And let our art speak to His glory.