What the Bible says about creativity

Did you know there’s a verse in the Bible that talks about creativity?

Consider: When you’re talking about an artist’s “work”, you’re usually referring to a new piece of art or a project or something that the artist has made—perhaps a new table to a carpenter or a new bronze to a sculptor or a new tapestry to a weaver. People who make things say, while describing their current project, “This is my work.”

There’s a verse in the Bible that I call the creativity verse, because it refers to the creative act of making such a work:

Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.Ephesians 2:10 (CEB)

The word translated here as “accomplishment” is the word for such a work.  Some versions use “handiwork” or “masterpiece.” I like this translation because it suggests that the job in question is not just any old project, like filling out a form or building a trash can, but a work of art, a true accomplishment.

The Greek word here is poiéma (pronounced “poy’-ay-mah”), which means “a thing made” or “a work,” and is the object of the verb poieó, which means “to make, do.” These two linguistic cousins describe the creative act – the one who makes and the thing that is made. The word only appears in one other place in the Bible, in Romans 1:20, where it refers to the collective works of God in creation, or the sum of all things that God has made, a sort of greatest hits collection of the Creator’s most fantastic works.

Also, the word poiéma is the ascendant of our modern “poem.” So perhaps it might be translated as such:

God is the Poet and each of us is a sonnet (re)created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.

This is the creativity verse because it describes both the Creator and His greatest creation—not nature, but us. And, it suggests that we are to make or do as God has done.

Thanks to @MAGuyton for a Twitter comment that aided this post.

About the Author

Len Wilson

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Christ follower. Storyteller. Strategist. Writer. Creative Director at St Andrew. Tickle monster. Author, Think Like a Five Year Old (Abingdon).