“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.”
What I love about this quote not the conviction for me as a musician, artist or poet, but what the words mean for me as a child of God.
1 John 3:10 is a bit to vague for me – “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.”
As I continued to read the same chapter, verse 18 helped, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
Shoot. What about Jesus telling the teachers of the law on what is the most important commandment – “‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.'”
Again, helpful, but what does that look to me, this morning, today? How about these words from Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (I replaced “it” in the text with the word “Love” to help me):
“Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy, love does not boast, love is not proud.
Love does not dishonor others, love is not self-seeking,
Love is not easily angered, love keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
Of course I’m sure I could find more Scripture, but I can look at those words of Paul and know ways in which I can “do what I must do”. Just as a poet or artist or painter doesn’t have to really think when in “the zone”, neither should you or I have to think about how to “be” children of God. As His Spirit dwells within us, it will live through us, and “they will know we are [Children of God] by our love.”
Now that I’ve put some meat around what I “must do”, it is readily apparent there have been, and will be times when I fail miserably. Yes, there have been and will be times, when like a writer or artist, the canvas is blank and there is no outward indication of my passion, my driving force, my motivation. There have been and will be days when I rebel or deny being writer, an artist, or a Child of God. Days when those labels feel like just that, a limitation, a course, something against which to rage. Days of sin.
YET, there have been and will be times when I stand back and go, WOW!
God has uniquely created me and you to be signs of wonder. Signs and instruments of His glory. Let us allow His Spirit to live through us and the things we “must do” will flow through us like music from a musician, art through an artist, words from a poet, and fruit from God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”