I went to college focused on being an educator of art not an artist who was an educator. There is a major difference between the two. I was secure in the strength of my teaching abilities, but lacked confidence in my artistic skills. Any time one is insecure there is a chance that they will be tossed to and fro as they face their insecurities. Going into my studio art classes, I found myself trying to be what the professors wanted. Every time I'd come under their criticism, I'd abandon my ideas and try to adopt theirs. I would change my content, my style, and my compositions in an attempt to gain their approval. I was so unhappy. I remember worked on a project late into the night toward the end of my first semester...in tears because I was so incredibly stressed out trying to be something I was not. I wanted to quit. I wanted to go home and never look back. Something happened though that night. I finally realized that I lost myself in trying to please everyone else. There was no way I could ever find my artistic voice that way. I needed to be the best ME...not the best THEM. I learned to take their suggestions and consider them without losing myself in the midst of it.
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
My struggles with trying to please my professors was part of a larger issue. I longed to fit in & be accepted. I think everyone goes through this at some point(s) in their life. For some, it can be overwhelming/consuming. For others, it is just a blip. The Christian is not immune to such things. There is often pressure to sound, look, act, and perform in a certain "Christian" way if we are to fit the mold. As if there is a "mold" for being a Christian?!? God designed us each uniquely. We must embrace our uniqueness & the beautiful differences of others! God has a greater plan for us than trying to be people pleasers. He desires us to view life as an audience of ONE. Our heart should be to honor and glorify Him through our attitudes, actions, relationships, and talents. When we seek to please God & Him alone....everything else will fall into place(or no longer matters).
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men;