I once went to counseling to talk about my Google Analytics.
I’m not sure if I’m the first person to talk to a professional counselor about web traffic, but the whole thing was pretty ridiculous.
Basically, when Stuff Christians Like took off in 2008, I really tangled my self worth up with how many unique visitors this blog got and how many comments each post received. I became like a gambler pulling a lever on a slot machine, only I was hitting refresh on Google Analytics.
I worked through that, but questions of self worth and identity are still brambles I stumble into from time to time. I was thinking about that last week on my way to work when I had this thought:
“Who you are, what you’re worth, those are not questions Thursday will answer. That debate is over. You are God’s work of art.”
I tweeted that, and started to really think about what it means to be “God’s work of art.” That concept is based on Ephesians 2:10 which says, “For we are God’s handiwork …”
I started to think, if my identity is I am God’s work of art, would I get cocky in that? Would I walk around thinking, “Look at me! I’m an amazing work of art!” My ego is incredibly hungry and I often slip into arrogance. But in the middle of these thoughts, I felt like God began to laugh with me. (It’s always with, never at.) Here’s what I felt like he said:
“Why would you brag about being my work of art? Why would you brag about living the way you were created to live? That’s how you were made. If you speak well or write well or anything well, that’s you living out of who I created you to be. That’s how you were designed.
That would be like a painting bragging about the strokes and lines while ignoring the painter. Or a bird bragging to a fish that it can fly. If anything, when it comes to your identity, I want you to laugh in it. I want you to love in it. I want you live in it. But above all, every day, all day, I want your identity to point back to me. To say, ‘Look how good my God is! Look how good my artist is! Look!'”
Sometimes, as Christians we have this weird assumption that to celebrate your abilities and your gifts is a sin. As if quietly possessing them is holy and loudly living with them can only be an act of arrogance. But I’m not so sure anymore. They’re not my gifts. I didn’t give them to myself. I received them. And so did you. You are a unique work of art. You reflect an artist the world needs to know. He did not give you those gifts to hide them.
Don’t look for your identity in web traffic or success at work or in relationships. Today, don’t search for something that has already been found. Your identity is set. That debate is over.
Today, don’t be a shy work of art. Be a loud work of art.