Of all the gifts God gave man, the greatest is undoubtedly the divine spark that is creativity: the inspirational ecstasy of solving a problem, creating a new work of art, devising a process that leads to personal discovery, or taking a new turn in a relationship. All of these and more original expressions of humanity stem from that primal, God-given urge among all mankind to do what no other entity in Creation can – create.
As a word, “creative” generally conjures images of people who, for lack of a better phrase, are “different from us.” One might imagine the turtleneck-and-beret wearing poet, the outlandishly outfitted pop diva, the laconic, mysterious ad executive from a popular cable series, or any other number of unique individuals from the enticing to the downright bizarre. We wonder where their whimsy and seemingly extraordinary insight into the human condition originates. It is not wrong to marvel in this way, though not at the individual, but at their gift, for whether secular or religious, in every creative expression we see echoes of the mind of God. The gift, however, is much more than that – it is all about our ability to innovate, to have truly original thoughts and develop truly original actions and products.
Evolutionists argue that the learning capability of monkeys is empirical evidence for their close link to us in the evolutionary chain. No matter how many behaviors a chimp emulates, no monkey ever developed brand new behaviors originating from nothing more than idle inspiration. Put an ape in a room with a suspended banana and a number of tools, all but one of which are unsuitable for retrieving the banana, and he will quickly and efficiently select the one useful tool, say a ladder, often on the first try. How many monkeys, however, have ever decided that harvesting bananas from trees might be easier without having to climb the trunk and therefore set out to discover a suitable material from which to fashion an ax, built a forge to create it, used it to chop down another tree, invented a saw, hammer, nails, and hinges, then used the components to build a ladder which then rests against the first tree, facilitating easier banana harvesting? Animals take what they are given to do only what they already know how to do; man develops something new to do then sets about finding a way to do it, inventing what he needs along the way.
Far beyond the arts, creativity is indispensable to nearly every aspect of life, and even individuals who do not view themselves as “creative” routinely express the capability in their every day lives. When a mother exhausts every recommended discipline and develops her own, original method for correcting unacceptable behavior in her child, or when an office worker develops a novel filing system, or a young couple of uncertain relational development figure out a way to communicate their positions and establish relational boundaries from there – each of these involves the art of creation. Now, perhaps one might say that this is standard fare for human living. We all have relationships, we all have jobs, and most of us have families. How creative is it to realize time outs are better than scolding, that sorting by topic is better than by letter, or that describing a relationship in terms of temperature and pressure is better than in metaphorical geographical locations? Therein lies the true beauty of creativity – we do it so often that we don’t even realize it!
While the evolutionist’s monkeys can learn the idea of hot and cold, they cannot apply the abstract concept of magnitude, which is required to understand temperature, to something like a relationship as in the previous paragraph. How many times have we heard of a relationship “cooling off” or “heating up?” People’s core body temperatures are not changing, yet the meaning is clear. More importantly, how is this definitively a divine component of our nature? What makes it God-like rather than just human nature?
If we look through the Bible, we see God’s infinite creativity abounding, but it is no more apparent than in Christ’s favorite method of instruction: parables. In Matthew 13, the disciples ask Christ why he teaches people through stories. Indeed, Levitical law was decidedly lacking in flowery prose, opting instead for a more direct, unadorned style, but Christ presented the new covenant between God and man in relational, allegorical terms. Christ answers his disciples in verse 11, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of Heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” In other words, while traveling with Christ, the disciples received divine revelation of His and therefore God’s nature. Of course this was necessary as they would be Christ’s ambassadors to Earth once he left, and it is important to note that each of the disciples first had to choose to follow Him before any revelation occurred, but it was not God’s plan that every being on earth be granted sudden insight into the mysteries of Heaven. As Christ explained in verse 12, even if the Mystery of Heaven was revealed to the the masses, “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” Indeed, Christ in his human-incarnate glory performed wondrous signs and miracles before their very eyes, yet they did not acknowledge his divinity. If their hearts, unlike the prepared, receptive hearts of the disciples, received sudden revelation, they would not heed it in any case, having no one to explain it to them, and nothing to which to relate it.
Understanding the limited nature of the human mind (after all, He created it), Christ spoke in terms relative to the human experience. When Christ described the reaction of Heaven when someone takes Him as his or her savior, He didn’t just say, “That makes God happy,” or, “There’s a terrific party in Heaven.” Rather, he used something we all can relate to: money. In Luke 15:8-10 He says, “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
In closing, consider this: in this blog post, there are likely one or more sentences that have never been constructed before – possibly one or two that will never be written in exactly the same way ever again. John 1:3 says, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.” Incredibly, the Bible does not say that God makes all things; rather, it says that through Him are all things made. That means someone else is doing the making, and we are privileged for it to be us. Seeing that creative expression can be as mundane as varying your routine to make your day more efficient to producing the next bestselling book, we should all reassess our interpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” He gave us the divine gift to do something no other part of His creation can: something new. Now it is our responsibility to do it for Him.