This is a little embarrassing for me to admit, but I’ve always had a fascination with dancing. Perhaps it’s because I have flat feet, and don’t so much walk as clomp from one place to another, so the natural grace of a dancer is mesmerizing to me. It could also be that, growing up in a conservative environment, dancing was something good Christian kids simply didn’t do. It was considered a dangerous byproduct of the secular world, like armed robbery or voting Democrat. In all seriousness though, I think what really captivates me about dancing is the creative expression. There is a certain wonder and imagination you can only find in art, and it’s something we as Christians have often struggled to duplicate.
Some time ago, Mike Romero of Relevant Magazine wrote an article where he urged Christians to embrace their creativity. Humans, he argued, were designed by God to create. Therefore, the church needed to make the pursuit and fulfilment of artistic gifts a priority. He writes,
“Here’s the truth: It’s impossible to lack creativity while standing in the presence of the creator. The Lord has graced us with an intrinsic ability to create. To design beauty from nothing. To write, to draw, to build, to sing and to dance for something and someone bigger than ourselves…”
“The Lord always has a purpose for blessing us with gifts—and He wouldn’t be so clear about our creative prowess if He didn’t expect us to use it without abandon. Ephesians 2:10 says we were ‘created in Christ Jesus for good works.’ Attention, people of the free world, this does not mean to ignore your gifts, talents and innate creativity because you might be too afraid of what the world thinks of you.”
Romero’s words take on an even sharper meaning when you consider how Christian art is frequently accused of shoddy craftsmanship. Christian movies such as God’s Not Dead are boosted by religious viewers, but largely panned by critics. Meanwhile, Christian comedians such as John Crist have frequently joked about how simple and repetitive faith-based music can be. Sure, it’s great the gospel message is being shared, but doesn’t it deserve more? Shouldn’t we, as believers, care about how the life of Jesus is being presented to our audience?
Martin Luther once said, “The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”
Whatever your passion may be, you have been called to work at it with all your heart. If you’re an athlete, train in such a way that brings glory to God. If you’re a scholar or a scientist, commit yourself to the discipline of God’s creation. Artists should dance, paint, write, and sing without fear of whomever is watching. And if your gift is silent service, know that God sees you and is proud.
As Romero mentioned earlier when he quoted Ephesians 2:10, “we were called by God to do good works”. Whatever joy Christ has placed in your heart, do not be afraid to share it with others. Instead, embrace your creativity, and celebrate God through your own means of worship.
Think and Pray
Think for a moment about your job as a birdhouse that you are responsible for building. What will your birdhouse look like? It there an originality and craftsmanship to your work?
Lord, let me feel Your creativity flow through me today. Give me ideas, approaches and inventiveness that will contribute to the work I do and bring glory to You. Amen.
Ryan Duncan is a writer and Editor for Salem Web Network. He blogs regularly for Crosswalk.com, a Salem-owned site specializing in Christian content centered around faith, family, culture and entertainment.