Shaping Creativity.

In the depths of man’s heart there is an urgency to express oneself, to be intimately and purely understood. Oftentimes, it feels unattainable. This is the birth place of creativity.

Before I go any further in exploring the true depths of one’s self (defined as soul, mind and body) there is a desperate need to define what creativity is. According to the traditional definition, creativity is “the ability to make new things or think of new ideas.” Although that is beautiful and captures the root of creation (create, rooted in “creat” which is latin for production, ultimately something put inside of us from our Creator God) there is something about this definition that cuts off how fundamental creativity truly is. Though creativity at its roots is a space for creation, it is also a space for collaboration, expansion, re-imagination and fresh understanding. I think it is a real shame that often tied to the creative stigmata, is the belief that it is a strictly artistic trait. Here is where I would like to expand on that definition and point out something utterly amazing. Creativity is the making of new things, but likewise it is also the birthplace of new ideas. This makes creativity an even playing field for all mankind. 

Let me point out a simple side note here. God deemed it entirely appropriate to reveal His truth through words, a commonly accepted creative outlet. The collection of letters, poetry, prophecy and biography that make up the canonized Holy Bible is a direct reflection of how much our Father loves us. So much so that He gave us a reference and a place to interact with Him in the form of a book.

That being said, scripture shows us in 2 Corinthians 5, that we are awaiting our “new body” or, how we will be in eternity. We live by faith, not by sight. We understand the craving of eternity. Later in the chapter, Paul writes this: 

    “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.           2 Corinthians 5:16-21

The staggering importance in this text is the declaration of new creation. If anyone is in Christ, they are a “new creation.” God, in essence, is the nature of creativity; making us AND making us new! Through the fullness of God, belief in Jesus Christ, indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we become the outpouring of creativity. Our being, therefore, is made to create. 

The most upsetting thing I hear, as someone who empowers artists, is the phrase “I am not good enough.” 

There are a few schools of thought here: first, comparison leads to shame and determining your own self worth. By comparing yourself to another, you discredit your own gifting! If you are a creation of God, you are, in fact, good enough! You are better than good enough, because Jesus has created and reshaped you with the very gifting that you have. Some might argue that a “fresh revelation” is not new. However that is entirely contrary to you being created! The Maker of the heavens and the earth points out this truth throughout our collective narrative.

Secondly, It is a false sense of humility. A portrait of pride. By saying you are “not good enough” your perception becomes the standard. You are saying that God, in His eternal glory, goodness, power, love and everything else we don’t even have words to express, does not get to set the standard, instead you do. Evidently this one rubs people the wrong way, especially pastors or leaders of worshippers. The Lord has given you authority to develop what He has given you. Using the language, “You are not good enough for…” is setting a standard. Our language should not be that of speaking negatively about someone’s ability, but instead to encourage growth. 

On the contrary, there is always something to be said about ability. People that go to school, train, practice, work at and shape their gifts, playing a part in becoming excellent at what they do, have a different perception. These people, when they say “I am not good enough,” become determined to be better. Oftentimes this is a craving to chase after the heart of God through the potential that is revealed to them as they perfect their craft. To these people, through admiration and love, caution this: YOU ARE NOT YOUR ABILITY! Do not get lost thinking that you are strictly your craft. You are a child of God, adopted into His family. You are more than what you do!

Lastly, this is not a thought God has about you! Nowhere in scripture does Jesus say “You are not good enough,”  in reference to pursuing His heart. He challenges our ideals and shifts our paradigms, but doesn’t discourage us from partaking in acts of worship through creativity. If God doesn’t think this way about you, why do you allow yourself to believe fabrications and lies?

God knows us. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.” Psalm 91:14. We, as a people, all engage with God in radically different ways, so much so that the once connected Church has turned into many churches. We are one body many parts. We need to be expressive creatives, coming up with new ways of thinking and new expressions of the heart of God. These two areas of exploration cover all things made by hand and made in your mind! Every human has a creative outlet, whether it is widely accepted as “creative”, challenged as actually being “art”, or is as basic as creating entrepreneurial structures in business. Some people are able to take abstract thought beyond the depths of other’s comprehension. Others can bring clarity to the most challenging of concepts. Everyone created is creative. 

We will never see the full form of God. Even though that is true, imagine for a moment that everyone explored the full potential of their creativity! Because God is the essence of creativity, how many more will experience of beauty of God at the hand of expression and live without the identity crisis of “I am not good enough.” 

You - whoever you are - are amazing and hold the keys to creativity in the engine of your heart, mind and soul! Jesus is the driver. Will you go where He drives you?