Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I was reading today the 'Connection' magazine compiled by the Chinese Methodist Message. Inside, a pastor who formerly preached in my church gave a strong testimony about his service in the church. I've copied down some extracts which are meaningful to me which I'd like to share with you. They're not precise word for word, but they have the main points.
There were times I received complaints of all kinds. These complaints challenged every aspect of my life. They included my integrity, character, family life, negligence, failures, weaknesses, imperfect sermons, etc. I can never finish naming them. Every year I am bound to get a few. Of course I was hurt, disappointed, felt unappreciated, discouraged, frustrated, humiliated, embarrassed, sinful, guilty, etc.
How do I deal with them? Praise God that I discover that I am my own greatest enemy. I come to realise that I need to deal with my own sin like self-centeredness, greed, anger, being judgmental, pride, carelessness, etc. I realise I cannot be perfect. I need to deal with the imperfect self in me.
I also discover that it is very important to not let the complaints, demands, judgments, condemnations, misunderstandings, anger of other people define your worth and identity. If there were times I was in big trouble and got very emotional, it was because I allowed my worth and identity to be defined by what others said about and did to me. I find that when I allow myself to do so, I kill my own spirit and self-esteem.
When I received harsh, hurting words and challenging situations in my early days o ministry, I tended to react with anger and frustration, and I tried to justify myself. I hoped to get away with it. But later, I learned to look at people, situations and circumstances from the perspective that God wanted me to learn something. Once again, I experience that knowing there are lots of room for improvement, I am motivated to move on and gain strength from Jesus to be better and more like him next time.
Why does this speak to me? As a photographer, I am also humbly reminded that I too have my own pride. I'm at times blinded so much so that I do not want to listen to critics, and get fidgety over the simplest comments.
Its about time that I discover my own photographic style and passion. I have always been adamant about pushing myself and raising the bar, but never have I verbalized it, or have been so determined to do so. This is a competitive world, and we have to make ourselves noticed if we are to be successful (with the right methods, of course).
We should always have an open mind to listen to what our critics have to say, but never ever allow them to make us discouraged or divert our passion for the craft. The real world is a harsh world, and for us to be successful, we need to learn how to be resilient and smart survivors. My work may not be your cup of tea to some of you, but I believe I've always tried my best. Hence I'll continue to persevere on in what I believe I should do in order to improve.
I've been having several portrait shoots these last few days which I have begun to assert my personal style with my new gear, and I'm loving it. I am indebted to my friends / models for being so cooperative and fun to work with. You may view the images here. If you'd like some portrait pictures taken of yourself with family or friends please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Posted by brandon at 3:58 am