In a recent rush of activity, a simple question stopped me dead in my tracks. What was my creative outlet? I was so occupied with providing creative opportunities for others to use and discover their creative voice that I had stopped writing. People around me had no clue what my preferred creative outlet was because I had neglected it. As I lay awake that night, surrounded by darkness, I slowly felt God start to throw truth against every lie I had come to believe about the irrelevance of my creative voice. He repeated my own words over me that I had used to help others realize the importance of their creativity. Truths that I had not applied to my own life.
Our creativity matters because it reveals God’s character to the world. The first glimpse in the Bible of God’s personality is Genesis 1 when he decides to spend six days creating the world. He formed majestic mountain ranges, contained bodies of water, filled each unique body of water with specific creatures suited for it, covered the dry land with vegetation, set the parameters for night and for day, filled the earth with a wide range of animals, and so forth. He admired his creation that had sprung from his imagination, and he called it good. To complete the picture, he chose to share his work with the man he had created in his own image. So whether you love to write, paint, draw, bake, fix cars, collect stamps, play music, take pictures, teach, work out, build houses, organize, etc., you testify to God’s character with your creativity.
God’s creativity and goodness had spilled over into every detail of his creation. We all know the story of how Adam and Eve forfeited perfection for a lie and the consequences we still live with today due to that decision. History continues to repeat itself. We keep buying into lies that make us forfeit the fullness that Jesus came to buy back for us, so we can live as confident image-bearers. Satan wants to silence our voice so we don’t reflect God’s character through our creativity. Not known as a fair fighter, he will use variations of the following insecurities to silence our creative voices.
- Comparison – Nothing squelches creativity quicker than comparison. Social media especially provides a larger database for inspiration while at the same time reminding you there are many other talented people in the world. When you see others reaching a certain level of ‘success’ in a similar area as yours, it can make your effort seem futile.
- Busyness – The preferred excuse for many of us that causes creativity to cease in our lives. As we become adults, we often view our imaginations to be in direct conflict with our obligations and responsibilities instead of as a system with checks and balances that keeps us healthy.
- Perfection – In a world of selfies, the pressure to capture the perfect angle and lighting and apply the ideal filter can start to feel unattainable. With hundreds of Instagram accounts with crisp and clear photos with smart captions and hashtags, that blurry and lopsided picture our grandparents would have proudly passed around and called a Kodak moment seems foolish and unworthy.
The importance of pursuing creativity in our everyday lives…
- Discovery – Those who create have to constantly push themselves to discover new depths and facets of life and God. Creativity without God is void and hopeless, but those who seek their inspiration in God will find unlimited beauty and hope. That revelation will spill out into the work of your hands for others to see.
- Obedience – The world might demand perfection for us to have a successful internet presence, but God only requires obedience. He gives us friendships, marriage, and kids not so we can hide behind the perfectly staged Instagram-worthy picture, but for him to show the world that his love doesn’t give up regardless of the messiness of everyday life. Our imperfections are a beautiful image that we get to use to reflect God’s perfect love for us.
- Uniqueness – God created us each uniquely and does not believe in measuring our talent through standardized tests. Even if every blogger wrote a piece on the same topic, you would have no two blog posts that perfectly resembled each other. Our personalities and life experiences give us different filters through which we see the world. The way we raise children, paint a landscape, take a picture, or cook a meal all declares God’s creativity in forming us. Allow Biblical principles to inspire you to use your unique talents and perspective to create new expressions of timeless truths.
We all add a piece to the puzzle to show off God’s character. My question to you is, what is your outlet? I pray that you will identify lies you have believed that threaten your creativity. As I write this, I hope that my courage to not stop writing will inspire you to use your voice and gifts. Invite others into your creative journey to help keep you accountable to grow and to encourage others. Don’t underestimate what God has placed in you, and don’t wait for the perfect conditions or perfect filter to share your creativity. Find moments in your week to gaze on God’s beauty and soak in his goodness so that your life overflows with him to a world in dire need of his hope. The world needs your voice.
Written by Guest Contributor Joy Cassellius.