Creativity is a popular topic. A Google search for “creativity” produces over 600 million results. A search for “creativity blogs” produces over 21 million results. It seems that everyone, and every type of industry, loves this topic.
There’s a good reason for the intense interest. Creativity is embedded into every part of our lives—relationships, career, faith and spirituality, the arts, education, health and wellness, and so many others. There is no aspect of our lives that creativity cannot enhance.
And that’s exactly why I started this blog. I believe creativity is such a vital component of a fulfilling and productive life that I have dedicated my professional life to a single mission: helping people unlock their God-given creative potential.
In order to unpack this a bit, I’m sharing out several convictions I have about creativity. These perspectives guide all my thinking on this topic, and I know they can shape your appreciation of creativity as well.
1. God values creativity.
The very first image of God we see in Scripture is that of a Creator. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). God creates things. He brings them into existence. That’s first and foremost who He is.
We also have creative powers since we are made in God’s image. We can’t create things ex nihilo (“out of nothing”) like God can. But we can take existing materials and put them together in new and interesting ways that benefit society.
One of the ways we see creativity emphasized in the Bible is through music and the visual arts. From the artistry of the priests’ robes in Exodus, to the poetry and music of the Psalms, all the way to the hymns of Revelation, we see that God is deeply interested in creativity.
2. You were born to create.
I don’t normally use a lot of Scripture on my blog since I see it as more of a practical exploration of creativity, and not a Bible study. However, I can’t talk about foundations without including Scripture since it’s the foundation of my faith.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” We are literally God’s handiwork, created for good works. In a very real sense, we are born to create.
Your mission in life is to figure out what you were meant to do, and do it to the best of your ability. The author Frederick Buechner said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” We find the most joy, and we help the most people, when we are doing what we were born to do.
3. Everyone has creative gifts.
There’s a common misconception that creativity is confined to artists (or those who aspire to be). Most people believe that music, painting, film, writing, and similar areas are where true creativity happens. When we read about creative titans such as Steve Jobs, George Lucas, or Lin-Manuel Miranda, it’s easy to feel inferior by comparison.
Creativity, by definition, is all about creating things. You can do this in many different ways. It’s true that many people express their creativity by creating books, movies, and music. But what about the stay-at-home Mom who creates an orderly household for her family? Or the auto mechanic who has the skill to create a new engine? Or the janitor who creates a clean and orderly environment? Or the counselor who creates trust and rapport with a hurting client?
Creativity is not limited to artists. That’s a seriously narrow way of thinking. We must expand our horizons and realize that everyone has the capability to create by bringing something useful to the world.
4. Creativity is a habit that can be learned.
Almost everyone feels inspired to create sometimes. You might get a flash of insight or a great idea for a piece of artwork. But what about the other times when you don’t feel inspired or motivated? How can we still be creative?
The answer is that creativity is like a muscle that we must exercise. It’s great to occasionally feel inspired, but if we want to operate at our creative peak we have to think of creativity as a habit, not an emotion we feel whenever the Muse hits us.
One of the most important qualities you’ll find in the world’s most creative people is that they are lifelong learners. They never stop growing and learning. If we want to do the same, we must commit to constant growth as well. You can find lots of resources for growth on my Resources page.
These four convictions, in one way or another, drive everything I do. They are the foundation of my thinking about creativity, and I hope they inspire you as well.
What convictions do you have about creativity?
Originally Published on Kent Sanders
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