Our Creativity Tells a Story

We are all familiar with Psalm 19:1, which says “The heavens declare the glory of God.” In this psalm David is saying that every inch of the created world—from clouds to vegetation, human beings to animals—screams the greatness of our amazing Creator. The uniqueness in each person’s face, the rain that falls on parched vegetation, the creation of a little life in the womb of a mother—every tiny detail reflects the glory of our great God.

As human beings, we are created in the image of our Creator. Yet only one part of his creation is given the responsibility of bearing his image. One of the ways we image him to a watching world is through our ability to create and make things. We are given the gift of creativity and personal handiwork. And it comes in all shapes, sizes, and skills.

This is no small matter. When we create we are doing so as image bearers. The fact that I craft a sentence or an article, or even create a new recipe in the kitchen, tells a story about the God who made me. My creative capacities are not merely for my own benefit, but are meant to draw me, and those who are watching, back to the Creator. Like the heavens above me, every gift I possess is designed to declare the glory of God.

But unlike God, my creative capabilities are limited by my personhood. I cannot create a prosthetic arm for an engineering project, or design a new building, or fix an anesthesia machine, or even make a gourmet-style cupcake. Even with the most adequate training I would still fall short of the goal. Why? That is not my gifting. God simply did not create me with the attention to detail needed to do such things.  

And that is the great leveler when it comes to looking at our gifts. Every way we create, design, work, and labor is meant to point away from ourselves and direct our gaze to the God who gave us these gifts. We should take our cue from the skies above us. As beautiful as a bright and sunny day is, the sky derives its value from God. The splendor of the sky is meant to make us glorify the One who made it. The same is true for our gifts. Every capability we have to create something new, beautiful, or innovative is a different facet of being created as image bearers. All of our creative capacities are meant to point us back to the Creator—the giver of all good gifts.

This understanding of our gifts transforms a jealous heart also. Within the family of God there is no room for jealousy. We are all given gifts, talents, and capabilities that are designed to serve his people and make much of him. But we are all limited in what we can do, too. If we could do it all we would be God, and we would be prone to boasting in our own strength. When we see another person possessing a creative quality that we lack, rather than wallowing in jealousy and self-pity, we should use it as an opportunity to worship God for the gift he has given that person. That’s all it is—a gift.

God possesses all of the creative capabilities we have individually in the core of his deity. He is everything in one. He is artistic, good with words, intricate, detail-oriented, attentive, innovative, and so much more. In his kindness he made us image bearers so we could, like the skies, declare his glory in this world.