God is the ultimate Creator. He made us in His image—we all bear the Imago Dei. Within us is the natural desire to create. Regardless of whether we’re artists, writers, musicians, singers, crafters, sculptors, dancers, or whatever else—we’re all mini-creators, with a passionate drive to create as our Creator does.
And yet, embedded in that desire to create comes several potential obstacles.
- Pride. I’m doing this so well, look at me.
- Fear. I’m not gifted at all—I can’t do this.
- Pain. Being vulnerable is too hard—I’d rather just put up walls and hide my creativity so I can’t be rejected.
Those are real struggles. We’ve probably all faced one or two at them at some point, if not all of them. It’s as easy to grow overly confident in our flesh as it is to doubt our gifts completely and want to hide our light from the world. But God gave us unique talents to use them, not put them away.
Allen Arnold, former Senior Vice President and Publisher of Thomas Nelson and author of The Story of With, said, “Creativity is not a rare gift limited to some elite class of artists. Everyone is born with creativity because we are all sons and daughters of the Creator. It is in our DNA! Pursue what makes you come alive with God and watch your art—and your heart—come alive in the process!”
Here are 3 forgotten ways creativity was meant to glorify god.
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1. God receives glory from our gifts.
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servantsand entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. . . Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ . . .” (Matthew 25:14-21 ESV)
God gets the glory from not only giving us various talents, but from us actually using them.
If you read the whole story through verse 30, you’ll see that the last servant who hid his talents and did nothing with them out of fear and negativity didn’t receive a “well done.” It was quite the opposite. When we utilize the gifts that God gave us—regardless of what they are or how good at them we think we might be—He receives glory. Whether you’re dancing in front of thousands or dancing in your church’s Christmas pageant…whether you’re playing at Carnegie Hall or for a local nursing home…whether you’re singing at the Grand Ol’ Opry or singing praise songs in your shower…you honor Him with your gifts. So be bold, be brave—and use them!
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Chuck Hildebrant
2. God receives glory from our creativity.
God is not only our Creator; He is also a Master at being creative. Think about it—He spoke to His people through donkeys, burning bushes, and a still small voice. He used giant fish as means of rescue. He led His people via clouds and pillars of fire. He used frogs to show He meant business. He invented the rainbow. He made it rain bread. His creativity is endless—and we are made in His image. It’s our job as mini-creators to honor our Creator with creativity.
Instead of wallowing in doubt over your abilities, or comparing your talents and gifts to your neighbor’s, walk in them with boldness. Get outside of the box and your comfort zone. After all, it’s part of our mission field. Allen Arnold said, “The world has grown cold. We need stories, songs, and art that warm our souls from the glow of those who have spent time with the Creator."
Which leads me to…
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3. God receives glory from time spent creating with Him.
Sometimes it’s not about what we create so much as the fact that we created it with the Lord. In the writing industry, it’s easy to find validation in our writing if we’re published, or sign with a reputable agent, or get a five-star book review or a ton of blog hits. It’s harder to find validation in an Audience of One—but truly, His opinion is the only one that matters for a believer. And this Almighty Judge is nothing like Simon Cowell. Our Father is compassionate, kind and merciful—a Father that finds joy in His creation.
“… but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” (Psalm 147:11ESV)
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17ESV)
Thankfully, our Creator doesn’t measure and judge by the world’s standards. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7ESV)
Which would we rather have? 5-star reviews and a million Twitter followers? A technically perfect singing voice? A Pulitzer prize verifying our success? A painting hanging in a museum? Or the deep, contented joy of knowing that we gifted our gifts back to the Giver and created on a worthwhile journey with Him?
In all honesty, as believers still being sanctified, we probably want both. But I crave a heart that’s after the latter and not the former. There’s nothing wrong with desiring for our work to be seen by others, for the heart and message of our creation to be noticed—especially within ministry. But there’s a simple joy that comes with knowing we spent time creating with our Father. Just like how as a child, I loved doing errands with my dad, just riding around in his pick-up truck with no agenda or going to his work on a Saturday morning and being treated to a candy bar from the vending machine. The candy bar was awesome. But the bonding with my dad was far more valuable—a truth that was recognizable even as an eight-year-old girl.
As Allen Arnold said, “What do you hunger for most in your creativity? There is no guarantee of sales, popularity, contracts, or fans. But God does guarantee His presence in all you do...if you seek it above all else.”
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 ESV)
When our hearts shift from creating for human validation to creating with the singular goal of spending time with our Creator, pressure to perform is relieved. The burden of expectation and goal-meeting is lifted. And we experience creating as it was meant to be.
With Him, and for His glory.
Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of fourteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her newlywed hubby, two story-telling young daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. Look for her latest novel with HarperCollins, LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES, and POCKET PRAYERS FOR FRIENDS with Max Lucado. Visit her at http://www.betsystamant.com./
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Mike Giles
Originally published Wednesday, 19 June 2019.