We all want to make our mark on the world. We feel like we have something valuable inside us that the world needs, and so we go about trying to get it out. This process of ‘getting it out’ is known as creativity. Yes, we’re all creative, whether privately or publicly, whether we feel we’re good at it or not, because we’ve all got something to express.
Despite this, so many people give up trying to be creative.
And it’s no wonder, when we believe that creativity is a fickle, indefinable ‘thing’ that some peoplejust have, and others don’t. We expend more energy chasing creativity than actually enjoying it because it has a kind of ephemeral status: it’s about accessing some higher realm, it’s about self- realisation; it’s about achieving originality and producing perfection. No wonder we decide we’re not good enough for all that. Actual, true, fulfilling creativity seems unobtainable, so we stop trying.
Yet, creativity is about realising who you are. It is, in a way, about accessing some ‘higher realm’. But it’s not unreachable. Because you were made to be creative.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky […] and fill the earth and subdue it…”- Genesis 1: 27-28
You were created by the one who created the universe, in the likeness of the one who created the universe. Because God is creative, you are creative, and were made to ‘fill the earth’. Your creativity is as certain as God’s is (which is pretty certain: look around you), and so your creativity is a reflection of God’s own creativity. Which means your creativity only hinges on one thing: your relationship with God.
The more you look at God, the more creative you get. This means that creativity is not a feeling that comes and goes, but a constant in your life. David, the most creative guy in the Bible, penned the lyrics ‘Bless the Lord, Oh my Soul’, because when he wasn’t in the mood to be creative, he would command his soul to do it anyway. That’s what our souls are made for, with all their passions and talents: to bless and worship the Lord. And worship is praising God no matter how you feel.
‘And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord”’ Luke 1: 46
When we are creative, we fill the world with things that reflect God’s likeness, and we magnify Him on earth. Ultimately, the place where everything reflects God’s truth and goodness wholly and completely is heaven, which is the place God wants to be shown on earth. So when God tells us to be creative, he tells us to reflect heaven on earth. To access his blueprint for the world and start building it on earth. Creativity is about expressing God’s truth so other people can experience it, and begin to understand it for themselves.
It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. Proverbs 25:2
Creativity is tapping into heaven’s riches, and putting them on earth. Bam. Before we know it, what we’re creating is actually changing the world, because it’s bringing eternal truth and life into it.
C.S. Lewis said, “No man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” When you magnify the unique image of God you were made to express, you are not only showing the truth of who God is, but being truthful to who you were made to be. Your work will automatically be original, because you were made to be an original! We shouldn’t aim for originality because then we compare ourselves to others, and inadvertently end up more like them. But when we aim to be truthful, we end up more like the original we were made to be. We don’t change the world when we pander to its standards: we change it when we fearlessly magnify the unique image of God we were made to express in everything we create.
Now all that’s left to do is to go for it. Whatever you have a passion for, you have for a reason: singing, writing, photography, composition; design, fine art, song writing; dance, construction, storytelling. Go for it. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, creativity is worship, which is getting to know and spending time with God, not trying to impress Him (a father spending time playing guitar with his son wouldn’t care if his son hit a few wrong chords, he’s in it for the quality time, and the more time you spend with God the better you’ll be able to show who He is to the world, whether you’re ‘perfect’ according to the world’s standards, or not). Don’t worry when what you create doesn’t feel finished; it’s an unavoidable side-effect of expressing something that’s eternal, and anyway, ‘we know and prophesy in part’ (1 Corinthians 13:9). You were made to create things that bring life and truth to others, regardless of whether you feel up to the job or not. The ultimate Creator qualifies you; you’re up to the job. Don’t bury your passions: magnify Him.
- Written by Rebecca Russell
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