I talked to a friend this week who is an interior designer. He said that, before he was a Christian, he didn’t understand where his artistic ideas came from. It seemed almost like a miracle had occurred, that something so beautiful could have come from him. He would look at his designs with amazement, and now he finally knows the Source of that creativity. And it is a miracle – a tiny miraculous glimpse of the wonder and awe of an endlessly creative God.
So when we realize what God creates through us, we expect the world to be amazed and celebrate with us. Not to celebrate us – no, not at all. Because we as artists realize what an undeniable miracle it is that God worked through us to make something beautiful – it is nothing short of astounding.
But if you are not careful, you will be blind-sided by the fact that some people will see your talent and their reflex will be to tear it down and minimize it. They will question your motives in creating, that you are just “trying to impress people”. They will leave you gasping for air, so hateful will be their attacks on you and your love for God. You thought your creation would be a cause for celebration, not of you, but of the True Creator who lowered himself to bother creating through you. But they will not see it that way at all.
Don’t be surprised. It’s the “Saul Syndrome”.
Saul was the first King of Israel, but Saul didn’t really care much about God or His will. Saul cared mostly about being King and getting Saul’s way. So finally when God had enough, He had Samuel the Prophet anoint David as King while Saul was still on the throne.
Saul recognized immediately that God’s hand was on David’s life. You would think this would make Saul respect David, or at least make him want to use David to his own advantage. But instead, Saul saw David as a nagging reminder of what Saul was not – a “God-hearted man”. And this ticked Saul off to no end, so much so that Saul eventually made a fool of himself trying to destroy David. And eventually he died, and his throne went to the very man whose anointing he had so despised.
So strong was Saul’s resentment that it was passed on to his daughter Michal, who became David’s wife. When she saw David’s obvious passion for God in worship as the Ark reentered Jerusalem, she accused David of the ulterior motive of dancing to impress the ladies. God responded to her spiritual barrenness by cursing her with a reproductive barrenness to match it.
When hateful, bitter or petty people see your giftedness, they will not rejoice with you. They will resent you for the fact that God is not using them in the same way. They will see in your success their own failure, and they will work hard to destroy everything of yours they can. Even when you benefit them, whether in business or in the ministry, they will try to undercut your creativity, even to their own disadvantage.
I cannot count the number of pastors and ministers I have worked with who saw my gifts and abilities as threats, even when I was working with them or for them. I was genuinely stunned by this at first, thinking that all I was doing was helping them. But I finally realized that though I thought we were both on God’s team, we were really not on the same team after all. They were in fact a team of one, and in their eyes the gifts and talents of others only served to show the inadequacy of their own. Every victory of mine was their defeat. When others recognized my spiritual insight, they questioned my motives and implied that I ministered out of pride. Any attention that came to me was proof of my insincerity. So they had to shoot down my songs, my sermons, and my creativity in order to feel any sad sort of self-worth themselves.
As one young friend of mine loves to say, “Haters gonna hate”. Yes, that is exactly what they do. So don’t be surprised when your gifts draw hatred from some. It should not discourage you at all. And unless God convicts you through the Holy Spirit, you should ignore what they say and realize their criticism is not an indictment on your ministry. Quite the contrary – it is your validation that God’s hand is really on you. If God were not so greatly on your side, the haters would not be so threatened by you.
So go ahead and create…and let the haters hate.