INTRODUCTION: BUT I’M JUST NOT CREATIVE
But I’m just not very creative!
Of course you are. After all, if you’re a human being (and if you’re reading this, you are!) then you are. The very Word of God Himself says you were made in His image or likeness. (Genesis 1:27) You’re like Him, –AND HE IS CREATIVE! He created you or you wouldn’t be here. The very word for you is “creature”, which means “anything created.”
The problem, if there is one, is that you’re either not in the mood, or you’re just not trying, or you are always comparing your creations unfavorably with those of others. Let’s dissect these barriers to your creativty – that is your “creative ability; artistic or intellectual inventiveness.” (Webster’s New World Dictionary definition).
PROBLEM: YOU’RE NOT IN THE MOOD
Then get into the mood. In what are you interested? Go to the library and check out a book on the subject. Visit a hobby or craft shop or show. Take a walk. Look around. Ask people for ideas. Even baseball’s premier hitters hit slumps, –but they don’t quit swinging
PROBLEM: YOU’RE JUST NOT TRYING.
Ever have your kindergartner bring home a turkey made from tracing his/her hand on a paper plate and adding a few lines of drawing? Can you trace you hand on a paper plate? Then you can create. Can you operate a microwave? Then you can serve a vast menu of “modern meals”. “But I didn’t create them”, you say. No, but the person who did has only created frozen “stuff” until you heat it up! Even in creation, you need others. God did. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form and void…and the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters”. (Genesis 1:1-2). God and the Holy Spirit did it together. Maybe you’re just not trying. And what is the key to “trying”? One word, —start
PROBLEM: YOU’RE COMPARING YOUR CREATIONS UNFAVORABLY TO OTHERS.
So often when we say we’re just not creative, we really mean we’re not as creative as “so and so”. Our creation looks like a crock compared with his or hers. So, our mood blackens and we decide to not even try. Those who don’t try are almost always those who don’t start. So start.
“But I tried and failed.” So did Thomas Edison, -hundreds of times before he finally created the electric light bulb. Aren’t you glad he didn’t quit?
If you have Christ in you, then the Creator lives inside of you! Pray for His help, then turn Him loose. Get started! You’ll be amazed what He can and will do –using your hands and head!
Contributed by Clyde C. Miller
Senior Pastor (Retired), First Christian Assembly, Cincinnati, OH
February 6, 2002
ARE YOU GROWING IN CREATIVITY?
WHAT IS CREATIVITY?
It took me awhile to figure out why creativity was suggested as a character quality. After all, not all of us are high achievers, or given to breaking out of the ruts of our lives, or unusually skillful. These all call for creativity. However, upon reflection of its definition, “approaching things from a new perspective”, and the suggestion that we “look for ways to be a person of character”, we can see this surely calls for some innovation and creativity. Gifted people have always done this. John Adams gave his whole life to the pursuit of liberty in the early days of our country. Others were interested, but he was extremely creative in carrying out this dream.
There is a long list of books that tell you how to be creative. You can even hire a coach that will teach you how to be creative! You can contract for a “personal blueprint for success.” The advertisement for a coach says, “People hire coaches (in this area) because they want more.” I remember seeing courses in school advertised as “Creative Writing”. I should have taken one, it would have made this material more readable for you. Out of one of those classes a teacher gathered some remarkable high school writing. For example, “He was as tall as a 6 foot 3 inch tree.” Or, “Jack and Mary never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.” So much for a Creative Writing course.
THE BIBLE CALLS FOR CREATIVITY.
How in the world does this apply to Christian faith? What makes creativity a mark of Christian character? To be creative is to be visionary. To be creative is to be inspired. Now, that’s more like it. We all know what it is to be inspired to new heights or understandings. Here is where biblical teaching comes into focus. As mentioned above, creativity involves perspective. And for the believer, all of life takes on a new perspective. “If anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation.” Or as Phillips translates, “….he is a new person altogether.” 2 Cor. 5:17. And the hymn writer caught this:
Heaven above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen:
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, Flowr’s with deeper Beauty shine,
Since I know, as now I know, I am His and He is mine.
Christians can be inspired. We have new life in Christ. We are led by his Holy Spirit. We can call on Him for His perspective, His ideas, His wisdom, His strength and other resources we did not have when we did not believe. We may not be exceptionally visionary, or unusually clever or adept, but we can be inspired each day, and thus creative.
And not only can we be creative, we desire to be creative – as we seek ways and means by which we can be obedient to Him. As Jesus made clear, the top priorities of the Christian life are,“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) These call for transformation and inspiration and new perspective – these calls for creativity.
Paul calls for this in Romans 12:2 “but be ye transformed(changed) by the (entire) renewal of your mind-by its new ideals and its new attitude.” (Amplifed Version) Notice, we are charged with this responsibility, and that will call for creativity. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) And Samuel said to Saul as he became king, “do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” (1 Samuel 10:9) Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) “So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) And friend, these require not only obedience and dependence on God, but they require creativity.
How can we grow in creativity? We can develop the daily habit of meditating on God’s Word to inspire us and transform our mind into His perspective. And as we seek to please the Lord in our daily issues, tasks and decisions of life, and as we develop plans for the future, we can ask the Lord to help us see things from His perspective and other people to see things from theirs. And then as we gain new approaches to things, we can then act on them “with all our might” – intentionally, using our abilities and skills for pleasing Him.
APPLICATION: ARE YOU GROWING IN CREATIVITY?
Let’s spend these closing moments quietly with the Lord in prayer. In your life, are you growing in creativity? Are you growing in the Lord’s perspective on things? Are you meditating on His Word regularly? Are you asking Him for His perspective and wisdom in addressing daily life? Are you asking others for their perspective? Are you acting with all your heart to pleasing the Lord in your decisions and activities? Ask the Lord for forgiveness where you should have asked Him and others for perspective. And ask the Lord to show you steps you can take this week to practice and grow in creativity, so that you can please Him more fully. Commit to Him to take these steps with His help. Thank Him for His patience with you, for loving you, and for helping you.
Contributed by Dr. Paul E. Toms
Senior Pastor (Retired), Park Street Church, Boston, MA
January 22, 2002
Contributed by Pastor Lee McDowell
Pastor, Anchor Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
Preached January 6, 2002
This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.