For many of us, the desire to create is a driving force in our lives. Creatives seek to express (themselves, profound truth, etc.) and inspire (conversation, emotional responses, curiousity, etc.) through the things they make. But what does the Bible have to say about creativity? How should we as Christians engage with and think about artistic creation and expression? (See also “What Does the Bible Say About Art?”).
We’ll take a look at several Bible verses about creativity to unpack this topic and to reflect on creativity from a Godly perspective.
Creativity From a Biblical Perspective
The very first verse of the Bible details an act of creativity and creation. Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Lord, our God is the ultimate creative. God fashioned the entire universe out of nothingness; His creativity breathed us into being. As Jeremiah 10:12 puts it, “But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.” Genesis also tells us that God created humanity in His image. We might well say then that we are created to be creatives, just like our Lord.
Creativity and creative skill are God-given gifts. In Exodus 35:35 we are told that “The Lord has given [His people] special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers.” God filled the artisans and craftspeople of Israel with skill; He inspired their artistic designs and invited them to follow in His footsteps, creating things that served as a testament to the majesty of the Lord.
When we engage with our creative side we glorify God by the things He equips and inspires us to make. Creativity then is an act of worship. And this is so important--the process of creating is itself valuable, apart from that which we create. In today’s culture it is tempting to view creativity through a utilitarian lens, placing value and worth only on what is produced and how is serves (or enriches) us. But the Lord delights in creating. And as creatures made in God’s image, we delight in it too; there is value and worth in simply leaning into the gifts and creative inclinations that God has blessed us with. It is an opportunity to praise the Lord, to stop and marvel at the wonders of life. Whether our creations are valuable by a financial metric of the world is irrelevant.
Creativity Draws Us Closer to God
As Scripture says in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." We are God's creation, fearfully and wonderfully made in His image; creativity as a practice invites us to draw closer to our Creator. To live creatively extends beyond explicitly artistic spaces (such as painting, writing, or photography); we can incorporate creativity in every aspect of our lives.
Creativity helps us to center our lives around God's presence; it is viewing the world not through the world's lens but through the lens of the Divine Creator. It is embracing a Kingdom mindset here and now. The Bible says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our creativity is a gift, allowing us to glimpse life as God intends it.
The Bible demonstrates to us that our creativity is a reflection of God as the ultimate creator. God made all things and His mercy and loves is continually reshaping and restoring us. As Psalm 139:14 puts it, "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."
Creativity and the creative process are good and beautiful ways of glorifying the wonder of God. It is an invitation to draw closer to the Divine and to worship the Lord. Humanity in the image of God; all of the world serves as a testament to God as a creative. Likewise, the Lord equips and inspires us to live out of God-given gifts, to glimpse His Kingdom on this side of heaven.
To learn more about what it means to embrace creativity as a spiritual practice, check out our series "Creativity and Faith".