Respond wisely to celebrity. Our culture’s fascination with fame and celebrities means that the success that people enjoy with their creative work is unfortunately more about the marketability of their persona than it is about the quality of their work. Recognize, though, that such a preoccupation with celebrity is really meaningless. Don’t waste your time and energy comparing yourself to others who create. Instead, ask God to give you the confidence you need to be yourself and create in the distinctive ways that you create best, trusting that God will use what you create to accomplish good purposes.

Respond wisely to religion. Ask God to give you the wisdom to discern how to express your faith in healthy ways through your creative work. Avoid approaching your creative work from a closed-minded, arrogant, fundamentalist attitude – that will kill your creativity. Instead, pray for humility and openness to learning, growing, and changing to become more and more like Jesus every day. That kind of healthy attitude will benefit your creative work tremendously. Make sure that your faith isn’t just set of concepts rather than a relational way of living; invest in building a closer relationship with Jesus every day, and you’ll see your creative work improve in the process.

Plant your creative work in the right kind of soil so it can grow well. The key nutrients you need to include in your creative soil are: faith, doubt, hope, and love. For faith, know what you believe and why, and let the stories of how God works in your life inspire the creative work that you do. For doubt, let your doubt motivate you to ask questions so you can grow in your faith and your creative work can become more honest and pure. For hope, trust God’s promise that your creative work truly matters, and practice spiritual disciplines that help you hear God’s voice more clearly (such as solitude, prayer, Bible study, meditation, and spending time outdoors in nature). For love, keep in mind that God is love, so love should be the ultimate standard and aspiration for your creative work.

Adapted from The Crowd, The Critic, and The Muse: A Book for Creators, copyright 2012 by Michael Gungor. Published by Woodsley Press, Denver, Co., www.thecrowdthecriticandthemuse.com

Michael Gungor is a singer/song writer living in Denver, Colorado United States. He leads a musical collective called Gungor that tours around the world performing and leading worship music in both mainstream and religious venues. Aside from his work with the band, he has written and produced music for other artists as well as help start a church in Denver called "Bloom". Visit his website at: www.thecrowdthecriticandthemuse.com

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles. Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer. 

Publication date: November 13, 2012