I’ve always been intrigued by the account of Adam naming the animals in Genesis 2:19-20. Names in the Bible carry identity, nature, and purpose. We today have the benefit of hindsight.
We’d look at an elephant, for example, and know its nature and temperament. However, for Adam, it was the first time animals ever existed and God wanted him to creatively call out the nature of each living thing.
The Lord wanted to give Adam a sense of ownership in the Garden. He also wanted to partner with His son in the creative process and participate in defining the nature of creation.
I often wondered what was going through Adam’s mind as he set eyes on each animal for the first time. The first man, made in the image of the Master Creator, with the creative nature of God in him, creatively called out the identity and purpose of the animals.
The word ‘creativity’ comes from the root word ‘to create’. We usually associate creativity with people in the field of arts and media. We admire those gifted in that field, see them as extraordinary and become convinced that creativity is not one of our gifts. Thus, we so limit creativity’s expression and shut down the creative ability within us.
What if we’re all supposed to be creative regardless of our field of work? We all remember the school teacher who flowed in his or her creative potential in the classroom, filling us with wonder and inspiration. We were stirred with a passion for the subject and challenged to learn. Yet we also remember the teacher who was just going through the motions, draining the life out of every lesson.
Creativity paints a vivid picture. It tells a story and helps us see with our hearts. God is the Master Creator – creativity is His nature. We’re made in the image of God, He has placed a little of His creative nature within us. What if creativity becomes a way of life and an every day experience?
To be creative is to be on the cutting edge, to do new things or have new ways of doing things. We’re living in times when what we did in the past might not work in the present and the future. Innovation is key in this season. God is doing a new thing. Creativity is for inventors, entrepreneurs, politicians, entertainers, chefs, students, leaders, and even stay-at-home mothers.
Let’s explore a few keys that will help unleash the power of creativity within us:
1. Cultivating Childlikeness
Children are the most creative, imaginative, and free-spirited. They’ve a great capacity to dream and imagine, until growing up and the harsh realities of life tell them to be pragmatic. We stifle creativity when we learn that it’s safer to stay within the box. Instead of being original, we settle for conformity.
Pablo Picasso said this, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
Childlikeness releases the freedom to be out of the box, imaginative, spontaneous, original, fun, and joyful. This relieves the burden of performance, productivity, and perfection. It often ends in unexpected moments of innovation and brilliance.
2. Overcome the Fear of Failure
A fear of failure tells us we’re not good enough, not creative enough, not talented enough. It causes us to devalue who we are and what we carry inside us.
We live in a performance culture, convinced that mistakes will doom us to mediocrity. We bought into the lie that creative people never fail, hence failure is proof that we’re not creative.
When we choose to create, we expose our fears. Our creative endeavours are acts of courage. We imprison ourselves to the status quo until we’ve the courage to step out of the boat. To live our lives as a creative journey is to be comfortable with risk and failure.
Creativity is a process of discovering who we are and what God created us to do, not a pursuit of perfection. Perfectionism is a facade we hide behind, because of our fear of failure. We must be comfortable with imperfections, vulnerability, and weakness. Trust that God has placed something unique and brilliant in us.
3. Be Filled with the Spirit
The craftsman Bezalel is recorded in Exodus 31:1-5 as being filled with the Holy Spirit. This happened as he was commissioned to build the tabernacle. It’s interesting that the Spirit didn’t just fall upon the priests or the prophets, but on the craftsmen who were making a structure that would house the presence of God.
When we’re plugged into the Holy Spirit and learn to communicate with Him, He reveals the heart of God to us. Creative strategies and ideas are downloaded. We begin to flow in what surpasses our own imagination and wisdom. We then paint a picture of God’s heart and nature to the world. People will look at us and wonder how we managed to do what we do and conclude that the Spirit of the Holy God is in us.
It’s time that we as believers don’t just play catch up with contemporary culture, but produce something that will transform culture. We carry solutions to the world’s problems and crises. What did God place upon your heart that you want to release to the world? It’s time to dream, take risks, and create.