All the time people see my photos and ask what kind of camera I have. They think if only they had the same camera then they could automatically be a great photographer (not that I consider myself a great photographer). Anyway, I can’t blame them because I used to do the same thing. I’ll tell them what I use but then go on and explain how it’s not worth the money unless you really plan to study photography and learn the camera inside and out.
The point being, you don’t just take a camera out of the box and start taking stunning photos right away. Until you really start learning when to do what and explore the manual modes do the photos really start catching someone’s eye. It isn’t the camera that makes a beautiful image. The camera is a tool. The person behind that tool is who makes a beautiful image.
“But now O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 (ESV)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)
In the same way, we can’t take credit for what God does through us. It’s easy to start feeling proud about ourselves as Christians. We begin to think how we are a “better Christian” than someone else who still struggles with something that we’ve overcome. Or how they really need to start getting their act together like us. Or that we are better because God is using us in a certain way.
We begin to feel entitlement over something that we really had nothing to do with. Salvation is a gift, not something that you earned. God is the one who is making something beautiful out of us. It is because of God’s grace that we are changed and it is because of God’s grace that He does great things through us.
A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog post titled I Didn’t Wait for My Future Spouse and You Shouldn’t Either. Unexpectedly it went viral. Usually if my posts got a few hundred views I thought I was doing pretty well. Randomly, this one got hundreds of thousands of views, thousands of shares, and hundreds of comments.
Maybe it was the catchy misleading title, maybe it was my stud of a cousin in the blog photo, I don’t know. But it started blowing up on social media and I was getting a lot of people reaching out to me and giving positive feedback. I couldn’t help but start to feel a little proud and think, “Wow, I’m really getting good at this.” I could have easily started to take credit for something that ultimately God did through me.
I really had to fight that and remember that I am just an instrument. I am just the camera that God is using to display His love and glory. We begin to take credit where credit is certainly not due. God is the one who is pruning you and refining you to create a beautiful image that glorifies Him. You may be made in His own image. But remember, you are just the camera, not the photographer.
Check out my photography here: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/daniel-wilde.html
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybrooks/4860666282/”>Jeremy Brooks</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>