As one might imagine, I was quite convicted after reading the conversation between the Ghost of the artist and the Spirit at the foothills of heaven(see Part 1). I have since shared this passage with some of my fellow musicians and friends, and we all shared some of the same convictions.

”Looking comes first”

I must look and reflect. I must live in the understanding that my art and music is intended to show glimpses the truth that I have seen. I need to spend adequate time “looking” before I try to write or sing or paint. Even if the subject of my art is not necessarily God, I need to know that whatever measure of talent I posses is a gift from Him and not intended to glorify myself but give people a glimpse of the greatness of God.

“Light itself was your first love: you loved paint only as a means of telling about light.”

My forms of artistic worship must not be the end, but a means to the end of God's glory. The songs I sing must find their end in God and not in themselves. I struggle with finding myself being “drawn away from the love of the thing I tell to the love of the telling.” I want the music I play to be cool, perfectly executed, and inspire people, and I often get consumed with the art instead of God. This is why as an artist I must have the Lord's grace. Without it I would likely yearn for my own reputation and eventually my own destruction.

“When you have drunk of it you forget all proprietorship in your own works. You enjoy them just as if they were someone else’s: without pride and without modesty.”

I long for this perspective. Sometimes I find myself wondering what people think of my songs, and my pride stops me from receiving any constructive criticism. More often than not, when people compliment my work, I respond with modesty and sometimes even insult it saying, “It's not that good.” I need to keep in mind that God has given me certain talents, and in insulting these gifts, or treating them as my own, I sin. I must view them as God's. Our sin nature will cause us to be drawn to pride and modesty. The only way to overcome is to “drink” of God's truth.

"Do you mean there are no famous men?"

"They are all famous. They are all known, remembered, recognized by the only Mind that can give perfect judgment."

I struggle with the desire to be known. In our culture we are obsessed with famous people. Everyone wants to be the next American Idol. In the end it doesn’t matter if millions of people know who we are or hear our music if we are not known by the One who gives "perfect judgment." We must know that “it is God who works in [us], both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

Feel free to comment on how you keep a healthy perspective of your Art and how you have struggled and/or overcome the struggles of being an artist.

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