Created to Create: How God Created Us In His Image to be Creative Beings

Created to Create

I don’t remember many of the routine days that collectively make up the story of my past, but some stick as vividly in my mind as the opening sentences of the Declaration of Independence that we were all made to recite endlessly as children in grade school. That day in the fall of 2016 is one of them. I had wandered aimlessly from job-to-job, not sure what I wanted to be when I grew up; this day, and a blur of days before it, working as a marketing temp at a pharmaceuticals company. The day stands out not for any particular accomplishment, or an accolade from my temporary boss, but because it’s one of the only days in my life that I vividly remember hearing the voice of God.

Don’t get me wrong, some people love the type of work that I was doing, but it just wasn’t for me. When I was younger, I had tinkered with the guitar, tried my hand at painting, sang in the chorus in high school and joined the drama club. While none of these had evolved into a full-time career, I had written a screenplay in college that was a semi-finalist in a screenwriting competition. In my heart, it was evident to me that the arts are where my passions run deepest. So, on that chilly fall day while I sat in the cavernous employee lounge typing away on the keys of a borrowed, company issued laptop, God spoke those fateful words to me… “I created you to create.”

Those words shook me to my core. Created to create? Me? I had been told for so long that this wasn’t a viable career choice, and that artists usually starve to death within the first year of attempting to create art for a living. Some have even gone so far as to say that God does all of the creating, and our job is to simply point people to Him. While I believe that our job is to show people the reason for our hope, isn’t creating something beautiful a great way to demonstrate to people the true nature of the Creator? So, did I hear God right? Are we created to create?

Created in His Image

Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” It’s evident from the very first passages of the Bible that God is a creator. In fact, He is the ultimate creator. Everything that surrounds us, from the endless blue skies, to the roaring oceans, to beautiful mountain vistas, are the works of His able hands. But, His greatest creation is you and me, and since we bear the image of our loving father, then it only stands to reason that we inherited the creative gene. In fact, not long after creation God told our first ancestor, Adam, to test his creativity and name all of the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air. Like Adam, “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) So, since we’re created in the image of God, to create like God, how can we use our creativity to do good works and be a reflection of our love for Him?

We Can Use Our Creativity to Glorify God

There are many ways to use our creativity. We can use it to advance our careers, to entertain strangers, to bring ourselves joy, and in any number of other pursuits. There is nothing wrong with these things, but the ultimate way we can use our creativity is to glorify God. There is no greater feeling than to know that what you create brings honor and glory to the Lord. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

A great example of this is in the story in Exodus when God calls upon the Hebrew craftsmen to help construct the tabernacle. He doesn’t tell them to stand back and let him do all the work. No, instead he tells Moses to say to them, “All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded.” Then, He chooses from among them the most creative to construct His dwelling. In chapter 35, Moses says to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills – to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.” Certainly, if God entrusted human beings with the design and construction of His holy inhabitance, He will find satisfaction in our small works meant for His glory. And, although we’re intended to “work for the Lord, not for human masters,” there is a very real benefit to those around us who also share in and enjoy our creative endeavors.

We Share God When We Share Our Creativity

Our creativity is meant for God’s glory, but it’s also intended to point others toward the Creator. It’s His very nature that’s in us, so when we create, others will see the reflection of the Perfect Craftsman in our work. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Before His ascension into heaven, Jesus instructs us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” In many cases, evangelism is the simple practice of presenting the gospel to people, but in some cases, it can be more complicated than that. Language barriers and cultural differences could keep some from understanding the message, but this is where creativity becomes a useful tool for sharing God’s grace. Since our creativity is a reflection of God’s character, and artistry is mostly universal, we can reach others through the things that we create. Once that connection has been made, then it becomes much easier to share the joy that we have with those who are lost. And, as our joy becomes their joy, they get to experience the fullness of life that God intended for all of His creation.

God Wants Us to Enjoy Life

One final reason that God delights in our creativity is simply because He wants us to enjoy our lives. Most of us recognize the verse from John 10 where Jesus tells us that, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Sure, bad things will happen to all of us from time-to-time, but God’s earnest desire is that regardless of the circumstances, we experience the joy of knowing and delighting in Him. What better way to delight in our loving Father than to engage in creative acts that bring us joy and also glorify Him?

While art is a great medium for expressing our creativity, you don’t have to be an artist to create. Creativity comes in many forms. Some build businesses as a way to serve others, some become doctors or scientists and create life-saving medications or surgical techniques, some simply serve others by creating the best cup of coffee that they can and sharing it with a smile. Whatever and whenever we create, we are acting in the very nature of our creator God and serving others with joy and abundance in our hearts. So, what will you create today? Go out into the world and share your creativity with others!


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