I believe that each of us is an artist; that we were created to create.
I also believe that most of us don’t really believe that. Our creative capacity is hard to see when we pile on the expectations of society, the huge distractions of modern technology and entertainment, and the pervading idea that some people “have it” and some people “do not have it.” Doing “something productive” usually means something less than artistic. The arts themselves seem like an indulgence at best and a waste of time at worst.
Being an artist is not so much about what you do or what talents you have. It has much more to do with how you live, and how you do what you do. Living life “artistically” means to look at all aspects of life as an opportunity to create something, to express oneself, or to communicate to others.
Some would protest: “I’m not creative,” or “I don’t have time,” or even “My art is bad.” Yet, I would say that each of us is called, anointed, and purposed to spend our lives co-creating with the Holy Spirit, fulfilling the commands of God on our lives.
Biblical Calls to Creativity
In Genesis 8, God tells Noah to “be fruitful and multiply.” Seen through a creative lens, God is not only saying to reproduce (which is a procreative act), but he is also demanding fruitfulness, which is a product of maturity, growth, and artistry.
Next, we see Jesus in Matthew 28 instructing the disciples to “go and make disciples of all the nations.” The key word here is make, a creative word by any standard. In this case, Jesus is showing us that in this command, our “canvas” is the world. People of all nations are the seeds and the source material, and disciples are the final product.
In hearing God tell Noah to procreate and be fruitful, we usually leave out the idea of how important creativity is to procreation, and how a priority of intimacy breeds healthy families. When Jesus gives the Great Commission, we focus on the “GO” part and less on the “make disciples” part. Missions without creativity or artistry make little progress.
Artistry exists inside relationship. Procreation happens through relationship. Missions happen through relationship.
A painter never paints inside a vacuum, void of outside influence. On the contrary, the painting is always a snapshot of the artist’s relationship to previous artists, to previous teachers, to current input, to current students, to the state of their world at that moment.
Each of us is an artist, in every area of life. Beginner artists express, while mature artists communicate. That communication exists inside of a relationship with everything that the artist comes into contact with.
Seek out relationship. Seek out new input. Ask questions and intentionally grow in your creativity and artistry. It’s what you were made for.