Select Page
Whose Is It Really? Exploring Creativity as a Stewardship

Whose Is It Really? Exploring Creativity as a Stewardship

Is It mine? Isn’t it mine? God blessed me with it, didn’t He?

This is a question and conversation that we all need to engage with throughout our lives.

A core question, or truth, that we must face, whether you are currently a believer or not, is: Who/What is the source of life?

If you reach the conclusion that the source is Father God, the creator of all things, the big questions shouldn’t stop there.
Our next question should be…If God is the source of our lives, why were we created? What does our creator expect of us?

I think the last is an important question that has significant implications on how we live our lives. Those of us who believe in Jesus and trust Him with our salvation should also understand that we have surrendered our lives to Jesus. God’s Word reminds us that this means the end of self, that we die, and it is now Jesus who lives in us. (See Galatians 2:20)

The world may not recognize God the Father, the creator of all, as the owner and operator of all that He created. But we in Christ should, because we intentionally return the deed of the house back over to the Creator.

One of the places that makes the most sense for this conversation is found in Matthew 25:14-30. Let me read this passage and then talk about the implications for our lives.

Starting in verse 14:

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

What we see here in the plainest language is God asking those who He’s invited into His kingdom to take what we’ve been given and treat it like an investment. To use it, to multiply it. This reflects the very first command that God the Father gave to humanity in Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

He told them to be fruitful and multiply. But this isn’t simply a recommendation of what we should do with our property. Instead, these are commands given by the One who still owns that which we hold.

As you saw in the parable in Matthew, this property still belonged to the master. And he, at a moment’s notice, could decide to reward the steward for excellent stewardship or remove the property and place it in the hands of one who has demonstrated they know how to invest and steward that property wisely.

This clearly makes sense as we engage in the conversation regarding our finances, even though we still struggle with the foundational truth that any finances God has given us, He has really just asked us to hold until He needs to use them again. It’s never that we have a certain amount of financial resources and decide to give a portion of it, even giving a portion of it back. All of our resources are His, and we have relinquished the illusion of control over them. Recognizing that at any moment, God has full ownership over those resources to do with them as He chooses for the betterment of His kingdom.

But let’s take that application even further. Why do we only engage with this conversation around finances?

What has God given us? What is the extent of His creation?

The truth is, everything we have, everything we are, is from Him and thus His. He has not relinquished ownership of anything that He has created. Therefore, everything is a question of our stewardship and not our ownership.

In the same way that each of the men in Matthew 25 had a responsibility to use what they were handed wisely, they were not owners of those resources but simply called upon to be managers of them.

For some, this can be an easy way to sidestep responsibility. But that would be making the same mistake as the one who buried the talents in the ground. He decided that he was not going to trust the heart and wisdom of the master but would instead give back exactly what the master had handed him. From a worldly perspective, this sounds fair and reasonable. But God called this servant worthless and slothful. While these are not identity statements, they are statements regarding this servant’s activity. The identity statement here is servant. Has that servant actually lived out the truth of who he’s called to serve? He disrespected the intent of his master and stopped truly serving him, instead serving his own fears and desires for self-preservation.

The master says to his creation, “Be fruitful and multiply.”

 

What if we applied that to our thoughts that He gives us? How do we ensure that each one of the creative ideas that He gives us is multiplied? How do we ensure that our character, our leadership skills, and our experiences are fruitful and multiplied?

Just like the wise servants, we can take those ideas, thoughts, skills, and experiences and invest them into different people and different work with intentional plans for them to bear fruit and multiply. So let’s apply that to every aspect of our lives and for the context of this conversation, specifically to our creative endeavors.

1. Recognize the Real Source

Recognize the source of our creativity is God. Acknowledge our creative abilities as gifts from God. This recognition helps us shift our focus from our often self-glorifying ways to making sure that all of our work truly glorifies God, the source of our creativity.

2. Develop and Hone Your Skills

It also means that we would have an intent to develop and hone our skills. 2 Timothy 1:6 says to “fan into flame the gift of God.” That gift Timothy spoke of is the Spirit of God poured into each one of us, but the gifts of God are numerous. They include every aspect of creation. Let us take those sparks and fan them into even more. Let us not be complacent with our creative ideas and skills. Let us invest time and effort into improving our skills—not for our own glory, but as an act of stewardship. He put that creative talent within us. Investing time in growing it is one way that we can steward it so that it can be fruitful and multiply.

Whether through formal education, simple practice, or seeking mentorship in how we use it, we would honor God by moving towards excellence in the use of our creative skills and using those skills to serve and inspire others.

3. Serve With Your Art

As we channel our creativity towards serving others and not just about creating a work of art, this could be another way to make sure it is fruitful. It could be through creating art that inspires, writing that encourages, or music that uplifts. Creating art for beauty’s sake can glorify the Father, but let us make sure that we lean in with the intent that it would be fruitful and multiply God’s glory as well. By doing so, we reflect God’s love and grace to the world, making sure that it multiplies more and more.

Engaging in community projects, collaborating with other creatives, and using our platforms to address social issues, spread the gospel, and bring about positive change are all ways to make sure that our creative gifts are fruitful and multiply.

4. Manage Your Creative Resources

What about managing the creative resources that He has given us? We all have the same amount of time, but are we using it wisely? Are we planning and prioritizing? Are we allocating specific times for creative work, knowing that we can get more out of it as we focus? Are we applying principles of financial stewardship that will help us get more out of our creative efforts as well? Managing our creative resources wisely is another way to ensure that our creativity is fruitful and multiplies.

5. Cultivate A Heart of Gratitude

Truly, cultivating a heart of gratitude and contentment should be where we begin. Being grateful for the gifts and content with what He’s poured into us, what He’s placed in our hands, can fuel the joy that will really mark everything we create. Joy that is birthed through God’s Spirit alone. Embracing a mindset of gratitude for the opportunities to create and sharing our work can help it truly be fruitful and multiply, as this is where the fruit of the Spirit will really live out its beauty through each work.

 

Take every gift, take every piece, take every aspect of the life that you may have thought was yours, and surrender it to the Father. Let Him have His way with it, as we continue to steward it for His glory. And as we live life this way, let us continue to recognize that His commands for stewardship are across all of creation, and let us lean into the question, “Is it mine?” Knowing that the answer is, “No, it’s His.”

 

Did you enjoy this post?

Check out the last post and consider subscribing to receive these regularly.
For more inspirational content check out FreedomStoryPodcastNetwork.com