in God’s Image Blessed to
Be a Blessing
Created to Be Creative
Have you ever heard
someone say, or maybe you’ve said it, “I’m not very creative; I
can’t even draw a stick figure!” While it’s true that many people
can’t draw, the visual arts are not the only measurement for
determining creativity. In fact, I believe creativity is a hallmark
trait of being made in God’s image!
God created Adam and Eve, he said,
"Let us make
man in our image, after our likeness . . .
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created
male and female he created
them” Genesis 1: 26-27 (ESV).
Christians we believe the term, “us,” is a direct reference to the
triune* nature of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. On the other
hand, there are those who would say the “us” is a reference to
God’s heavenly court, meaning God and his angels. This presents a
problem, because people are not created in the image of an angel.
We—human beings, male and female, and not any of the other
animals—are created in God’s
in Hebrew), in his likeness (*demuth in Hebrew). And since God is Spirit (John 4:12), this
image-likeness must refer to inward qualities such as our eternal nature, our
intellect, our morality, our social nature and being able to love and
be loved; all of which has been
damaged because of the fall—sin has marred our God-like image.
However, because of Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death and
resurrection, we can be restored by the transforming work of the Holy
The words create,created, and made or make
are used interchangeably throughout Scripture, and are sometimes used
to explain the same event, as referenced in Genesis 1, above. The Old
Testament Hebrew word for create,
or God-fashioning what was "not there before" (Latin, ex
nihilo, “out of nothing.”) The Hebrew word for made
or make in Genesis 1:26, “Let usmake
man. . .” is ‘asah,
which means to fashion,
accomplish, make, work, produce, prepare, to make an offering, appoint.
Only God can bara’,
create something from nothing,
but both God and people can ‘asah,
make things. In Genesis 1:26-27, bara’
and ‘asah are used interchangeably and refer to God’s work in
creation. In Exodus 25-28, God instructed Moses to have the children
of Israel “make” (‘asah) him a Sanctuary, and all the components
within the Sanctuary such as, making candlesticks, a wooden chest,
curtains, frames, and hooks, to name a few. They were to make things
(‘asah) from existing things that God had created (bara’) from
nothing. Throughout the Old Testament ‘asah
may refer to making a cake,
a garden, a crown, or even making
an agreement. There are a lot more! In fact, there are over 2000
references of ‘asah, some pertain to God-making
or doing, and others to people-making
In Psalm 51:10 David pleads, “Create
(bara’) in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within
knew in order to have a clean heart, it would be God’s doing. David
couldn’t “make” his heart clean! But he also knew there was a
purpose in having a clean heart, “Then
I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to
You” Psalm 51:13.
The equivalent New Testament Greek word for God’s creative
work is ktizo or ktisis,
create, form, or shape,making something from nothing.
The Apostle Paul tells us that those who are in Christ are a
God-created work, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation
(ktisis); the old things passed away; behold, new things have
come" 2 Corinthians 5:17. And like David who understood that
having a clean heart was not just for his benefit, God’s children
are made into new creatures for a purpose. “For by grace you have
been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift
of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are
His workmanship, created (ktizo)
in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them”
Because we are made in God’s image*, it makes sense that
creativity would be part of our DNA. Of course, not all of us can sing
well, write a novel, play a musical instrument, or even draw a stick
figure. But these are too narrow a definition of creativity! Consider
what you can do! Can you make
(‘asah) a cake? Can make
(‘asah) a garden? Can you make
(‘asah) an agreement—can you be agreeable? Can you make
(‘asah) a friend? Can you make
(‘asah) a card to send to someone who is sick or suffering? Can you make (‘asah) a prayer? Can you make
(‘asah) order out of chaos—by helping a friend in their time of
need? Can you make (‘asah)
your witness for Christ known? All of us can make
(‘asah) something and do it with the purpose of bringing God’s
kingdom to others. And we can do it with the knowledge that we have
God’s creative DNA working in
us to will and to act according to his good purpose (Philippians
2:13). Our good
works reflect God's image, his likeness, to the world!
My good friend and editor, Kit
MacLeod, shared her experience of volunteering at an
elementary school, and how God’s creative DNA was available to her.
She wrote, “I realized a lot of the things I've done were more spur
of the minute inspired, rather than planned. That goes back to the
concept of being open to God's inspiration, praying for it, and
believing it will flow according to His perfect plan. I remember
reading the book Owl Moon to a group of second graders, and seeing that there were some children
who were not very engaged. That particular book has the owl's "whoo-whoo-whooo"
repeated throughout. After I read it dramatically the first time, on a
whim I encouraged them to join in with me. As I continued reading,
even the most reluctant students became more and more engaged. They
were hanging on every word, waiting for their next chance to
dramatically hoot, grinning all the time. When we finished reading,
they applauded, delighted with the story and their part in it. I
believe the inspiration to engage them that way was just God's
creativity flowing through me, showing me opportunities to enjoy and
share enjoyment of His creative Spirit.”
So, let us
begin thinking of ways to put God’s creative intellect and power to
work in our lives, so that others may believe, be encouraged, and grow
in their faith! And when you tap into your creativity, you will
discover a deep joy, a Divine creative flow at work within you!
does being made in God's image mean to you?
2) How would you define creativity?
3) In what ways can you develop your God-given creativity?
4) How can you use your creativity to help others and further God's
Over the next week, pray for God's creative flow in your life. Make
an effort to pay attention to and be mindful of the ways he provides
it to you. Notice your own joy in those experiences. Thank God for
blessing you with creativity and continue to pray for more
opportunities to enjoy and share it.
to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
"Image," the Hebrew term, "tselem," is from an unused root meaning to shade; a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence, a representative figure, especially an idol --
image, vain shew. (We are not to make "graven images," "tselem," "carved idols.")
And "Likeness," the Hebrew, "demuth," is to "model, shape, fashion, to resemble, liken, consider."
these Hebrew terms in mind, we are to be representative figures of the
One True God, reflecting our Lord's likeness to the world.
How has God inspired you to be creative?Click
to share!Or use the Facebook feed, below.
*Jewish scholars reject the idea of a triune being. However, they
must still deal with at least the duality of God and his Spirit, “In
the beginning God created
the heavens and the earth . . . and the Spirit
of God was hovering over the waters” Genesis 1:1-2. (See also,
Genesis 6:3, Exodus 31:3, or Numbers 11:25 to name just a few.)