Saturday, 6 April 2013

Should Christians be creative?

As Christians, can we be creative and glorify God?

Firstly, The Lord inspired me to share this with you after speaking on this topic at Sárospataki Református Kollégium Gimnáziuma’s bi-annual literary convention of 2013.

This event was an opportunity for talented young writers from local Hungarian Christian high schools to compete in the fields of poetry translation and short story writing from a given stimulus.

The subject of humans being creative is sometimes a grey area for many young Christians because it can easily be confused with ‘Christian bad words’ like idolatry and self-glorification. 

Many have asked the same question that I did at one time or another about whether or not our gifts are acceptable to God, whether or not we should use them and how to use them in an acceptable way.

For example, I love to dance! I love having a really deep rhythmical drum beat to get lost in and to dance until I drop to the floor with happiness and a feeling of being connected. 

However, when I first became a Christian, I was lead to believe, by some of my Christian friends, that dancing was taboo and unacceptable. It was a worldly hobby that real Christians do not yolk themselves with as it is ungodly and it only attracts the attention of the opposite gender…

I agree that it is very possible to attract attention through dance – but that is not its only purpose! 

Unfortunately though, as a new Christian, I did not have the Biblical knowledge to support what The Spirit told me. So, from then on I stopped dancing as much as possible because I didn’t want to offend other Christians and on top of that, I stopped dancing in front of most people, in general.

Time passed and I became acquainted with King David and so, I would like to tell you that not only can you dance for The Lord but you can create in any and every way for God.

Let’s take a look at how this world began, going right back to Genesis. The world came into existence because God said let it be so. The world was made because our Father created it. Then, if we look at how people came into being: Genesis 1:27
 God made all of us in His image, both men and women. We are a small shadow-like reflection of Him. 

We cannot and never will be able to have and be everything that He is but each one of us can reflect a small part of His glory through the creativity that He gave us. 

Do you know what Adam’s first job was in the Bible? What was the first thing that God gave Adam to do? He called him to create names for all the animals and all the birds of the sky. It is clearly written in Genesis 2:19:

God didn’t tell Adam what to name them. He just took each animal to Adam “to see” what he would name them

So, Adam’s first task from God involved creativity. Can you imagine having to think of so many names for such a multitude of animals? Or, trying to remember them all after you finished naming them? It was no small task…

The other jobs given to Adam and indeed, Eve too were things like caring for the garden and nurturing all that God had created in it. They were the keepers of the garden and that involved decision making, planning, application and so on. These are all very much a part of the creative process and they were crucial to the keeping of God’s commands to them.

If we move forward and start thinking about what happened to God’s people after the fall, we can see that they were continuously expected by God to be creative. Although their works would never have the same value as they did in the garden – nonetheless, they continued to be creative as humans and they were regularly commanded to create, by God. For example, in Exodus 31:1-6:
<<< Now, this particular passage is overflowing with spiritual gold, in my opinion. There is just so much to work with here but I will try to pick out just a few of the main points:

1)      God carefully chooses and appoints people to be creative for His special purposes.
If He has given you a gift – he wants to use it for Him.

2)      In the description of the Spirit of God, we see what it means to have it. It means that if we have the Spirit of God – we can have His wisdom, understanding, knowledge and creativity. The scripture then lists a long but non exhaustive list of types of creativity that God wants this particular man to use.
He does the same with us. He chooses exactly how much of each type of gift to give to each individual. That’s why we have strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others.

3)      He doesn’t force Moses or Bezalel to do it all alone either. He says no, rest assured, I have also chosen others with strengths where you have weaknesses and they will help you complete my mission for you.
This tells us that God never tells us to do something that’s truly impossible. With God, all things are possible in His name. God prepares us and he prepares those around us to do all that He wants us to do. He empowers us and blesses our hand in ways beyond our imagination.

You see, God is the source of our creativity. 

We are just an imitation of Him and a mere glimmer of what He can do. Through us, He can show us how amazing He truly is. The things that we may say are impossible are as easy as tying your shoe laces for God.

It may be easy to say that these scriptures don’t apply to you or your gift because you are not a builder or a painter but believe me, you are an artist. 

You are an artist in whatever area of gifts He has chosen you to have.

Here, are some examples:

11)      Creative writing – there are many Christians that struggle with what or how to write, and if they have the right to write as ambassadors of God. If you want some fine examples of literary platinum or gold, read Songs of Solomon or the Psalms for some of the most exquisite poetry known to man. Then, if you are more into the imagery that can be built up through written codes, metaphors, symbols and so on – you will find no better than the book of Revelations! After reading just one chapter, you will need time to ponder the meat from it. Outside of the Bible, you have such writers as C.S Lewis who were called to write fiction and nonfiction.
22)      Music – we are continuously reminded to play loud exalting music for God. God loves music and being praised by it, that’s why he created so many instruments for us to build on them with musical genres – all of which can be used to glorify Him when used correctly and for His purpose. Look at Psalms 150:3-6:
“Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with the tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and pipe, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals.”
Almost every category of musical instrument is mentioned here and the genre in which we apply them is irrelevant – it is the state of our heart while using them to praise him that is of the truest importance.
33)      Singing – I have many Christian friends that loathe Churches that are a little louder or have people singing out at the tops of their voices. I absolutely disagree. Although, personally, I am not the best singer nor do I enjoy it as much as some – but we are commanded to sing with joy to our King. We are allowed to clap our hands as we sing praises to Him, so long as it is Him that we are clapping for. Look at Psalms 47:1:
“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.”
44)      Dance – as I’ve mentioned, look at King David – He is truly inspirational in terms of his audacity when dancing. He danced in front of God, half dressed while crowds were gathered! And, to make matters worse - he was a King! He had certain expectations to live up to; there were just things that a royal should and shouldn’t do. His behavior was simply unacceptable and irresponsible according to many at the time. Miriam, a God fearing woman, was actually punished for her lack of faith in that situation.

I would also like to add that you shouldn’t pick a fight with God. Don’t argue with Him in regards to your gifts of creativity! 

He gave you these gifts for a purpose that He will reveal to you in the correct timing. 

Heed the scripture, “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker.” Isaiah 45:9

He knows best… Just praise Him in any and every way you can because of that fact! Praise Him with every fiber of your being because He is God alone!


Written by Aiysha Jebali