I sat with my sister one morning and almost choked on my diet coke (my preferred a.m. caffeine boost) as she said, “You and Tann (our other sister) are the creative ones. I’m the science one.” As I looked around her house that is always decorated with love and attention to every detail, I saw immediately where her creativity was being expressed, even if she didn’t realize it.
There are probably many reasons people cringe when they hear the word “creativity;” I’ve come up with four that I hear regularly.
The Four C Killers:
- You think you weren’t born with any creativity. This is the CONTORTED view, and it’s just plain twisted and wrong. The Bible—the most important book that has ever been written and will ever be written—begins with a creative act, the creation of the Universe. Without the process of creating something, we would be, well, nothing. And you only have to get to the end of the first chapter in the first book of this great work to see where creativity fits in for us. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). Before God did anything else, He created. You can bet that he added that part of Himself into each of us as well.
- You limit creativity to acts of visual arts, writing, or music—the CONFINING view. How can you put boundaries on creativity? You can’t. Creativity is ANYTHING that comes from nothing. Here are just a few ways we can practice our creative side: gardening, cooking, sewing, decorating, fashion and styling, photography, public speaking, hiking, quilting, farming, baking, cleaning (yes, even cleaning), problem solving, knitting . . . . get the idea?
- You think you’ll never be as talented or famous as “The Natural One” or “The Lucky One” or whatever you want to call this person, so you don’t even try. This COMPARISON attitude is a deadly one. “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). Enough said.
- You are afraid to try, also called the COWARDLY view. I think even if we have gotten past all of the other C Killers, this one can paralyze us. I have always loved comic books and cartoons, but it’s only been in the last 3 years or so, that I have actually tried my hand at creating my own cartoons. Today it is one of my very favorite ways to express myself creatively. Just imagine what you could be missing out on only because of your fear of trying.
I think many of us have grown up thinking that practicing our creativity is a waste of time, especially if it does nothing to bring in money or show some other material value. But our Father gave us our individual creative gifts for a reason. “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
And so I practice cartoons and bring giggles to myself and I write stories to hopefully one day be read by others, even though I really don’t know what the end results will be. But for today, that doesn’t matter. What does, is that you need to explore those creative gifts that your Father gave to you for several whys—to bring a smile to your face and possibly others, to explore your emotions and handle them in a constructive way, and to worship Him all the way along.