I recently published a post on the website of my faith community. Since the article is about the creative process, and this blog deals with this topic from time-to-time, I thought it might be appropriate to share with you. Even if you are not of the same faith tradition (or any traditional at all), I hope you find these words encouraging.
For We are God’s Handiwork: Using Our Gifts
The writer of the book of Genesis states that humankind is created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Much has been written and preached over the centuries on the meaning of this verse, and the general conclusion is that one of the ways we reflect the image of God is through our creative capacities.
That being said, it is no surprise that we are required by God to exercise the creative gifts He gives us. In fact, the human capacity to create is elevated and sanctified by God himself. In the book of Exodus, He specifically names and calls out two accomplished artisans to coordinate the decoration and furnishings of the temple.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have 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 crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you (ex. 31:1-6 NIV)
In bestowing wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, the Lord fully equipped these men and “all the skilled workers” to engage in the creative process with a wide range of media. We too are equipped for creative works in a variety of ways suited to our time and culture. Some are called and gifted to make music, art, written works, spoken addresses or the like. Even those skills which we may not consider “creative” can be employed with such wisdom, knowledge, and understanding so to be elevated to a level of artistry. For example, if you are an adept administrator, then hone your abilities to be an even better one. If your life is centered around the home, then make that home an oasis of beauty and serenity in a chaotic world. The apostle Paul tells us …Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,…(Colossians 3:23 NIV).
What is the purpose of our gifts? The apostle Peter points to the reason: Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms (1 Peter 4:10 NIV). It is that simple– we create for the glory of God and for the service of others.
We reflect the image of God whenever we engage in our creative endeavors, for 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)
LJGloyd (c) 2015