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Jonathan Malm - November 17, 2014

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Jonathan Malm - November 17, 2014

5 Things Creative Christians Choose to Be

Jonathan Malm - November 17, 2014

Have you ever noticed that the most creative people are often the ones turned off by God? I don’t believe this has to be the case.

In the beginning God created. Creativity is reflective of our creative God. Everything we see was designed by our Creator. He saw that what He made was good. And when we are creative, we get to share in that goodness. He’s given us the opportunity to work with our hands and see the fruit of our labor. What an amazing opportunity.

I see the Christian faith as a very creative thing. When Christians infuse creativity into their walk with God, they experience a new level of relationship with their Creator. I’ve seen creative Christians are intentional with their lives. They’ve chosen to do things differently than others.

Here are five things I’ve seen can make you a creative Christian:

Be Limited. When Gideon went after the people invading his homeland he was outnumbered, 4 to 1. (Judges 6) God stepped in and reduced his army to only 300 (against 135,000 enemy troops). God forced Gideon to take creative measures. Measures that were completely unconventional. They limited Gideon, but gave a chance for God to reveal His limitlessness.

Through shock-and-awe tactics, the enemy army turned on each other and ultimately fled. God got the glory. Gideon got the win.

God says his power is made perfect in our weaknesses and limitations. (2 Cor. 12:9) As much as I don’t like the thought of being limited, it makes we wonder if we should be quicker to embrace limitations in our lives. God seems to thrive in that environment.

When forced to work within a strict framework, the imagination is taxed to its utmost… and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom, the work is likely to sprawl. T.S. Elliott

Be Brave. Allodoxaphobia is the fear of other people’s opinions. And I’m pretty sure almost everyone has an undiagnosed case of this phobia. We are all desperately insecure and fear what others think about us and our work. Sometimes it can keep us from even trying. We don’t want to risk the negative opinions people might have. But I know this for sure, “The fear of man lays a snare.” (Proverbs 29:25) If you start making decisions based on what people think, you’ll be trapped.

No matter what we do in life, we’ll never be able to avoid negative opinions. It just isn’t possible. The people that succeed in life squash that fear. They put it to the side and create in spite of it. They put themselves out there and risk rejection.

Have you let fear hold you back?

Be Curious. Who on earth figured out that you could eat olives or drink coffee? Proverbs 25:2 says that God loves to hide things from us, because He loves us to seek them out. I love the passage. It almost shows a hide-and-seek playing God. He delights in hiding things for us to discover. God wants us to be curious. This tells me something: He isn’t threatened by our questions. He wants us to explore and ponder—to challenge and question. To figure out unique uses for things.

Christianity isn’t meant to be a blind faith. The world needs more curious Christians. We need to delve into the mysteries of God and His Word. There’s more than just history and pithy proverbs inside. There are stories and mysteries that rival J.J. Abram’s greatest masterpiece.

Curiosity killed the cat. But I say it’s worth the risk.

Be Tenacious. You have to admire Jacob. He wrestled with God and survived. (Gen 32:22) Jacob wouldn’t let go of God until God blessed him. That was the turning point in Jacob’s life. His tenacity led to him getting a new name and becoming a revered figure to those who came after him.

Lots of people have ideas. But few people wrestle them through until the end. Most of the creative process is sweat and tenacity. An idea is a good thing, but the true magic happens when you persevere through resistance and make it happen. It’s the same for our walk with God. God wants us to seek Him unrelentingly. He wants us to pursue Him. To be tenacious.

Be Redemptive. An honest movie about the Bible would surely be R-rated. Violence, blood, cursing at God. In Psalms 73, Asaph is upset with God. And he takes the whole psalm to lay out his case.

“For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain!”

But you’ll notice, God didn’t let Asaph leave it there. Asaph ended the psalm like this: “I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand.” God let Asaph vent his frustrations, but He didn’t leave him in the doldrums of despair. God encouraged him and redeemed his thoughts.

It’s amazing how God has the power to redeem anything—if we’ll let him. No matter how messed up things get, creative Christians look for how to make something redemptive. How to pull something good out of it. God delights in redeeming things, and if we’ll let him work through us, we can become people who are redemptive.

Let me ask you this? Have you seen your walk with God as a creative endeavor? Perhaps you need to infuse a little more creativity into your relationship with Him. Maybe it’s time to commune with your creator God in a new way. What will you choose to be?’

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  1. When I was a kid, all I wanted was to be a writer and artist and read science fiction and fantasy stories – but the churches I visited disapproved of all those things unless they were stilted and preachy. So naturally when the choice was between “godly” and “worldly heathen SF,” I chose the worldly heathen SF. It took years and years – until my mid-20s really – before I realized that God made me creative on purpose, for a purpose, and that the sci-fi and fantasy wasn’t automatically evil. Finally, I reconciled with God, and in the process, reconciled with myself. 🙂
    Now I’m creating stories and art to bring glory to God and to raise awareness and funds for the A21 Campaign against human trafficking – which I never would’ve done otherwise.

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