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Photo by Rafael Souza (CC by 2.0)

Photo by Rafael Souza
(CC by 2.0)

In a recent conversation with a friend the value of creativity came up. It turned a bit philosophical and we began comparing God-given talent vs. hard work. Another way to phrase this idea would be, can someone work really hard and achieve just as much as someone who has a natural gifting in that same area?

My friend brought up these verses:

Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts — to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you.” Exodus 31:1-6

His point was that God gives certain skills and talents to certain individuals. I think about this when I reminisce over my years of mission trips. If a team is building a house, I’m not the guy to design the blueprints. Home improvement is not my thing. I’ll hammer nails but home improvement is not my skill set. No matter how hard I work on improving my craftsmanship in that area I’ll never be  a master carpenter.

On the other hand, God has gifted me with different abilities. A wise pursuit for any one of us is diligence in discovering our created purpose. Once we begin to find our natural gifting then the real work begins of honing our creativity in that area.

That brings me to the point of this week’s blog. During our conversation I thought of this quote by John Cleese: “Creativity is not a talent, it is a way of operating.” I’ve heard several people say, “Yeah Dave, but I’m just not creative.” My response is, “Sure you are. But creativity requires work. It doesn’t just magically happen.”

I think the temptation is to compare ourselves to the best of the best. While the greatest artists of our time have an extraordinary natural gifting for their craft; it still requires work and dedication. I remember reading a blog post that stated, “If you want to be a better writer the best thing you can do is write. Reading about writing and actually sitting in a chair and cranking out a word count are two very different things.”

Be encouraged this week to not just think about creativity but to use creative actions. You don’t have to be a published writer to start a blog or to write more in your journal. Take more pictures, hammer more nails, sing intentionally, etc… You may never make a living doing the thing you love. But, you’ll certainly never make a living at it if you don’t put in the time. God has gifted you for something. Be diligent in discovering your gifts and then operate in that arena.

Til next time,