Why do we create? Part 3


In our last entry we considered the effect of sin on our motivation for creating.

This time we think about how and why we can create as Christians in the light of Christ’s salvation.

I’m sure we all know this quote from Colossians 3: ‘whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him’.

Anything we now do, from cleaning the bathroom, to painting a masterpiece, we should do with Christ’s reputation in mind, even going so far as giving thanks for even the most mundane tasks we might be called to do.

Giving thanks to God for doing the dishes? Or the vacuuming? Or cleaning the toilet? Seems a bit weird, and quite frankly, hard. Actually though, as Christians everything we now do is part of God’s plan to bring about the redemption of creation through Christ, and he has called us to be involved, even through the most unpleasant tasks! That’s actually pretty amazing, and worth giving thanks for!

Furthermore, I believe that Christ’s command in Matthew 28 to ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’, is a creation mandate command as much as an evangelical one. The imagery of going out or going forth, is strongly reminiscent of God’s command to Adam in Genesis 1, and is as much about bringing the whole of creation under the lordship of Christ as it is about making converts. It’s simple really, making disciples leads to people who should (in theory) better fulfil the mandate given to Adam in Genesis.

What does this mean for us today then? Well as Christians, we can realise that absolutely everything we do is an act of creation, God is using all that happens in our lives to bring everything under the Lordship of Christ. While that includes our sin, we should be actively seeking to use all that we do, whether work, leisure, or anything in-between to faithfully serve toward that end, seeking to glorify God through our actions.

We should also be thankful that we are involved in God’s awesome plan of redemption!

How does that apply to art and design more directly though? Well we’re planning on discussing this more directly in a future blog post or series, but firstly it’s important to remember that art and design is as valuable as any use of time. It may be tempting to say that some jobs, or hobbies are more valuable than others, but based on a redemptive view of our lives, that is not true. Art and design are as much a part of God’s redemptive plan as science or medicine (look at the craftsmanship required in the creation of the tabernacle in Exodus), and so we must give these things the credit they are due.

Also it’s important to remember that as mentioned above, all the creativity we express is to be done in the name of Jesus, and for his glory. That means thinking about the projects we do, what we show, how it affects others, how it might affect his reputation, much the same as any action we take.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything we create has to be overtly ‘Christian’, there’s been a lot of bad art created as a result of that thinking. No, if are rejoicing in the Lord and enjoying him, we will naturally want the artwork we create to honour him, and I believe will lead to better and more impactful work as a result.

So, those are a few thoughts on why we create. What do you think though? Do you agree, disagree, or something else to say? If so we’d love to hear from you, email us on our contact page and we may publish what you say.

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