It took me a long time to understand that creating was a spiritual experience, an expression and extension of my faith. When I was little, I created because that’s just what kids do. They color; they sculpt; they sing and dance; they draw and paint cute pictures; they come up with funny poems and songs; to act out their favorite movies or create scenes and characters of their own. When kids use their imaginations, they have no choice but to create—to bring a world to life that doesn’t exist other than in their minds.
As an adult, I saw it as just a hobby, not an integral part of my life. Adults lose their sense of the need to create. We box ourselves into groups of talents, with some creative, some not. But the reality is that we continue to create, even when we don’t realize it. And as Christians, we should strive to create, to influence our world and our culture through art, music, dance, words, entertainment—blurring the lines between “sacred” and “secular,” creating to express our spirits and bring beauty into the world.
There are many reasons to create as individuals, and as Christians, creating can deepen our faith and our understanding of the world, as well as give us a space and a voice to bring others into the kingdom. Even if you don’t see yourself as an “artist” or a “creative” person, here are a few reasons why I recommend that you find ways and spaces in which to create.
Creating Reflects the Creator
The Bible is filled with stories and praises of God creating. From the beginning of our world in Genesis to the creation of the new heaven and earth in Revelation, the Bible makes it clear that God creates. Psalm 104:24 says, “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” When we create, we are directly reflecting the God who created us, who wove the story of salvation and redemption into the world, and who continues to shape our journeys as we become who He calls us to be. We create music and art and architecture out of simple ideas or inspiring moments. God is the Creator. And by participating in the act of creating, we reflect the God we serve, whose image we were made in.
Creating Mimics Creation
Whether you’re composing a symphony, photographing a sunset, or painting a mural, art and creativity is a way for us to interpret the world around us. When we create, we’re expressing our experiences of the people, places, and things around us, whether that’s a beautiful ocean scene or a love story unfolding through a play. For Christians, this can be a deeply spiritual experience, to interpret the world God created through art, music, dance, photos, and other forms of creativity. We’re not only showing the others our perspective on life, but we’re also worshiping our Creator by celebrating His work in the world around us. One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 19 because it paints a beautiful picture of how God’s law, goodness, and mercy are revealed through creation. Song of Solomon tells a beautiful love story about a bride and groom that also reflects God’s love for His people. Through art and creativity, we can reveal Christ through creation.
We Were Made to Create
“…and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft” (Exodus 35:31-33). In Exodus, we see people literally filled with the Holy Spirit in order to create. God has made us to be creative—and that doesn’t just have to mean art or music. There are so many ways to be creative, but many of us spend our days just absorbing information or entertainment, or simply just spitting information back out there. To create takes imagination and innovation—make something new, whether that’s through painting, sculpting, photography, writing music, playing music, dance, design, architecture, fashion, building something, playing a sport, writing a story, telling a story, acting, the list goes on. There are so many ways to create, and creating is a good habit to build, even if you don’t think you’re good at it. Creating helps us express feelings and emotions, and it helps us interpret the world around us in a healthy way. We were made to create.
Whether you’re a professional designer or an amateur songwriter, make space in your life to create. Creating can help you connect with God, His creation, and yourself, and it helps us bring others into God’s story of salvation and redemption that He is creating through our world and our lives.