Written by Cindy Palin

Being creative can put you in a vulnerable place. You may question the validity of your artistry due to the comments you’ve received.

If your art hasn’t been welcomed with open arms, then “you haven’t tried hard enough.” If you are a very successful artist, well “you’re just plain full of yourself.”

It helps to gain a godly perspective when it comes to creativity.

First of all, creativity is a calling. It has a seal of approval from Creator God. Look what He did with His skills when He created the universe. He then turned around and shared that creativity by making us in His image (Genesis 1:27).

Secondly, trust God with the gift of creativity He has given you. In Psalm 37, David—who was very poetic—tells us to “take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

It takes time to develop your creativity and even more time to find where it fits. Trust in God, and your artistry will flourish.

Thirdly, I think you will find God is super creative in revealing your desires. He will use your creativity in ways you never thought possible. Let people measure you all they want, but God gets the final word.

Ultimately, we create for Him first and foremost, seeking His approval, not those around us (Matthew 6:33).

Usually, doubt appears when our focus goes from vertical (Jesus) to horizontal (circumstances). Every once in a while, past mistakes cloud our reality.

In contrast, when we remember and celebrate the new creations we are in Christ, everyone around us can see how God is working through us (2 Corinthians 5:17).

He uses our unique, sometimes painful, experiences to shape our hearts and our art.

I have a friend who is a very gifted artist. She has doubted her creativity from time to time, perhaps because her style is so different. She studied at an art school and can create in many mediums.

She has given me jewelry, pottery, homemade journals, and original sketches; each gift is tailor-made for me.

One of her creations is a bracelet. I have one of those glitzy charm bracelets from Pandora, which I love. It’s packed with meaning, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the treasure my friend crafted.

There is a glistening black rose in the centre of the bracelet. My friend told me I remind her of the rose of Sharon, which signifies the beauty of the Shulamite woman in Song of Solomon. There is a green glass leaf charm representing God’s creation of man.

Next, there is a chain dangling in between two beads, symbolizing the bondage of mankind after the fall. A few beads further, a tiny corked glass vial contains a few minuscule seeds to illustrate the power of faith the size of a mustard seed. Finally, there is a tiny, silver key, celebrating the keys to the Kingdom. Talk about creativity!

Creativity is not always an easy road. Because the arts are so celebrated in our culture, those who recognize God’s creative call on their lives are often taken by surprise when opposition occurs. You will be misunderstood. You will have to work hard, even if your creativity is prolific.

The truth is, your calling is no different than that of the disciples. If they experienced hardships, you will too.

By using the gifts God has given, you are glorifying Him and celebrating His ongoing work. Sometimes, the more public His glorifying work takes you, the more you are a target (Ephesians 6:12).

Here is where talk can be cheap if we are not careful. I have experienced joy exercising my creativity, but I have also experienced great heartbreak with God’s creative calling on my life.

Not only can I not quit, but I must also use the pain to continue creating, and responsibly educate and encourage my fellow believers to do likewise.

If we believe in Jesus, we believe in the Body, and that belief requires action. Hone your creativity together, not at the expense of one another.

Take up your cross and follow Him, and may your creative heart be so focused after Him that you’ll draw a crowd of others going in the same direction.