October 22, 2007 Ration

I Corinthians 4:1-2

“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.”

Before anyone dares to say, “this is how one should regard us,” they should first prove to be regardable in that way. A person may, from a motive of pride, demand to be regarded in a certain way for his own glorification. On the other hand, from a motive of seeking to clarify, a person may offer a perspective from which others should view them so that there would be a context for an accurate understanding and assessment.

Artists in general, unfortunately, more often seem to demand recognition rather than present a context for observation when they post the notice: “this is how one should regard us.” But notice this, the context that Paul puts himself in is one of being a servant of Christ and a steward of the mysteries of God who must be found trustworthy before God who will judge him in his servant-hood and stewardship. One is a position of self-exaltation, while the other is a position of illumination and even exposure, which, in effect, works like a herd dog to motivate the claimer towards his claim.

Artist, if you would say, “consider me as being a servant of Christ,” those who know Christ will be able to confirm or deny the worth of your claim. Be very careful with this claim. Your performance and presentation may be fooling many, including yourself, but God is able to discern the division of soul and spirit, of action and motive, and He knows Christ very well. God knows the purposes of your heart, whether you indeed serve Christ or your own desires in all that you do, in all that you do in art. It is before God alone that your trustworthiness will be ultimately commended or censured. So strive with all your might, artist, to be commended by God as being found a trustworthy servant of Christ!

And if you would say, “regard me as a steward of the mysteries of God,” I would say, artist, that that is a calling of yours. And I would further say, and hotly warn, educate yourself in the infallible Word of God! How can you be a steward of the mysteries of God if you are not even aware of the mysteries of God to be stewarded? A steward is to be found trustworthy. Artist, are you trustworthy with God’s mysteries? Is this an impossible charge? How is one able to steward a mystery? Where God has made His mysteries known, you must know them, be able to articulate them, be ready to defend them, and play the man in God’s revelation of them. And where God has not yet made His mysteries known, or you have not yet understood His mysteries, then put your hand over your artistic mouth in all humility and say, “I am finite, and God is Infinite! May God grant me the faith to see, the discipline to dig, and the patience to wait for more clarity on the unsearchable, inscrutable ways of God.”

Moreover! Paul’s employment of the word “moreover” trumps the initial qualifier of “this is how one should regard us” with the self-examining requirement that he, the steward, must first prove to “be found trustworthy!”

So artists, forget about how others regard you for a moment. How does God regard you right now? That is the question that will set all else straight. Does God find you faithful as a servant of Christ and a steward of His mysteries? Or does God find you to be a goat in a wool coat, using His mysteries as a theme to artistically toy with? How God regards you should be what concerns you. Then, from the ground of His commendation, and in faith, where a context should be given, you can dare establish the purpose for your presence with: “this is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”

Jason Harms


© 2007 The Gaius Project