In a quiz to find out if you were creative or not, I reckon I’d pass. School qualifications in art and music, a degree in textiles, a career in the fashion industry. I can tick all the boxes. Yet I never realised how fundamental creativity was to my DNA until two babies came along with sleepless nights and dirty nappies and my opportunities to make things went on hold. Over time, I began to seriously not feel like myself – and I didn’t know why.
Back then I considered being creative as self-indulgent and not a quality that people who do things that matter really possess, but I was wrong. I’ve come to see creativity as a beautiful part of God’s kingdom.
In case you’re in the same boat, and denying or struggling with a creative nature, here are three things you could do.
1. Use It.
Being creative means so many things. The obvious ones: you are an epic graphic designer, you can draw, play music, sew, write, you invent incredible dance moves. The not so obvious: the beauty of your table laying skills makes dinner guests weep. You have re-thought the best and most fun system in the world for putting away kids shoes. Creativity is any ability to bring something new into being from your own ideas or imagination.
Of course you already know who the ultimate Creator is. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” (Genesis 1:1) and went on to top His week’s work off with the ultimate creation. You.Fearfully and wonderfully made.
God created you in His image to give Him glory – so what are you doing not using the creative passion that your Creator gave you?
Don’t let the pride of not being good enough, the idea that being creative is not important, or the fear of what other people might think hold you back from bringing into being the ideas that are in you to bring. After all, it’s God who put them there.
2. Practice It.
I’m tired of the notion that if a Christian designed a thing, or it has a Bible verse on it, then it’s good.
Perfectionism can be a snare, but to express creativity vibrantly takes practice. It takes becoming really, really good at your craft. Don’t make that an excuse not to start, but I know from experience that the more you do your creative thing, the more you work at it, the more you chuck it out and start again, the better it gets. As people of God’s Kingdom, let’s look for the kind of excellence that reflects an excellent God and practice until we start to get somewhere.
3. Share It.
Being creative is as diverse as the world God created. In fact the only non-negotiable is that creativity isn’t just for you, but for the building up and good of others, like every other gift. Think service and stewardship, not self-indulgence and self-expression.
In a couple of weeks time, I’ll launch a small new line of kids products with the hope that other people will discover their own creativity and spend family time together making. I’m grateful every day that I get to have a go at this. I can’t help myself – I need to work out what creativity looks like when it’s seated at the foot of the cross.
So today, pray for the help to surrender your creativity to Christ, and whatever you do, whether you knit, make or bake, do it all to the glory of God.
We can’t wait to see what you make.