8 Biblical Reasons You Should Have a Creative Hobby
- Kathryn Graves Crosswalk Contributing Writer
- 2019 2 Oct
Jesus loves you and He wants you to be like Him. While this may not be news to you, what may come as a surprise is the ways in which this truth needs to be applied to our lives, specifically concerning creative pursuits. We were created to be creative!
So let’s take the last part first. Jesus wants us to be like Him. The relevant question then becomes, What is Jesus like?
1. We are made in His image.
Among many other traits, such as love, light, truth, and compassion, the Bible tells us Jesus is Creator. John 1:3-4 says it was His word that spoke our world and outer space into existence. Everything we see in the natural world around us was His doing. He thought up the complexities of the microscopic world.
If we are going to be like Jesus, we must include creativity on the list. We can even go further—we are made in God’s image according to Genesis 1:27. This means we are born with the capacity to reflect all of His attributes, including creativity.
2. You were designed by God.
You might think this is the same as being created in God’s image, but note a nuance. In general, people are created in the image of God. But you as an individual were created by Him.
Psalm 119:73 is just one of many verses where the Bible confirms this truth. He knows everything about you according to Psalm 139:1, and in that same chapter, verses 13-16 say He designed you to be unique. Since God created you in His own image, and He intended for you to be just like you are, then it’s safe to assume He included at least a bit of creativity.
Even if you don’t think there is a creative bone in your body, one is there somewhere. It might be covered up with a lot of other things like negative self-talk or a crazy-busy schedule, but it’s there.
Later in this article we’ll take a look at some creative pursuits that may not seem creative at first glance, so don’t give up hope yet.
3. Creativity brings God glory.
All of creation glorifies God, both animals and inanimate objects like mountains and trees. Psalm 19:1 states that the very heavens declare the glory of God and the skies tell of the work of His hands.
And Psalm 97:6 says the heavens proclaim His righteousness and reflect His glory. Human beings are told to glorify God. You might wonder how animals and other created things glorify God. It comes by doing what they were created to do.
When birds fly, or eat worms, or go “tweet” like we tell our toddlers they do, they bring God glory. Mountains stay put and rivers flow and He is made evident. We don’t usually stop to consider that these are ways they glorify God, but they are.
Since we’ve established that Jesus designed us to be creative, then we can be assured that when we create, in the very process of doing it, we honor Him.
Utilizing the gifts and interests Jesus gave us pleases Him. And even beyond that, others will glorify God too. When someone views a painting, if the artist gives God credit for their ability, He receives praise. When I see a quilt someone has made, I am just amazed at how anyone could ever do that, and I realize it is a gift from God.
4. Creativity is an act of obedience.
This follows closely the truth we discovered about glorifying God. When we choose to be obedient in any area of our lives, we bring God glory.
In fact, the glory we ascribe to Him is magnified because we have a choice, unlike animals and natural elements such as mountains. 1 Samuel 15:22 says that to obey is better even than bringing a sacrifice.
Putting our creative abilities to use is a form of obedience—and can even be viewed as an act of worship in this context.
5. Jesus equips us to do what He desires for us to do
We usually need to learn how to do something creative. Singers take voice lessons, musicians learn to play their instruments, artists take classes to hone their skills, and sometimes oral tradition or imitating parents teaches us.
The point here is that when we pinpoint the direction our creativity will take, we can find help to either learn it in the first place or gain instruction to improve on our natural ability. Some people seem to have evident natural gifts in creative areas, and some have to dig a little deeper to uncover theirs. But all of us can do something.
We may need to refine our ideas of what constitutes creative pursuits. For instance, using one’s intellect to solve problems is not only creative, but sometimes leads to new inventions.
Coming up with new flavor combinations of foods in the kitchen, gardening with varied colors and forms of plants, choosing which vegetables to plant where in the garden, designing a fresh approach to home decor, or even thinking of new plays for little league ball teams all count as creativity put to work.
No matter how we choose to express the creative part of ourselves, we can rest assured that Jesus will help us if we just ask. For example, if I’m gardening, and puzzled by how to lay out the rows, I can pray for guidance. Then the Lord might plant the thought in my mind that Grandpa used to design his garden for maximum production with minimum pest trouble, and I need to find out how he did it.
Sometimes Jesus helps us as a result of worship. My friend Karen says she is often inspired to write poetry or songs, or even an article, after spending time alone with God praying in a natural setting.
These five reasons to find a creative hobby fall under the truth that Jesus wants you to be like Him. But what does Jesus loving us have to do with the importance of creativity?
6. Jesus wants you to find something to enjoy.
One can’t read the Bible without realizing that joy is something the Lord provides for us. In Genesis, we read about how God provided a beautiful garden for Adam and Eve to live in. His evident desire was for them to enjoy their lives.
Unfortunately for us, the first couple failed, sin entered the world, and people now live on an earth contaminated by sin. But that doesn’t mean God has changed His desire for us. Throughout the rest of the Bible, joy is a constant theme for those who trust in Him.
One way we experience joy is through a creative pursuit. I believe it pleases Jesus when we discover this type of joy.
When we make something, it becomes almost like our baby. We get excited and want to share it with others. We continually try to improve on it because we want it to be the product of our best effort. (This is not about perfection. It’s simply doing our best for its intrinsic value).
My artist friend won’t sign a painting until she is sure she’s done her best. But her excitement when she places the final mark on the paper is almost contagious. She usually sends me a photo text of her latest work and we rejoice together. I think that makes Jesus smile.
7. Jesus knows our free time needs a purpose.
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:15-16 that we are to be wise and make the most of the time we have. Proverbs is full of admonitions to not be lazy and to work.
But at the same time, we are instructed to follow the Lord’s example and rest one day a week. How can we reconcile these instructions and our busy lives with unending demands?
While corporate worship every week is essential, a creative hobby is just the answer for relaxation with a purpose. Scientists say that if you work primarily with your brain at your job, then you should work with your hands at a hobby to relax. Conversely, if you work primarily with your hands at your job, you should mostly use your brain in your hobby.
So, a factory worker or mechanic might write poetry as a hobby. And an accountant might love to re-finish old furniture. I am a writer in my day job, but I love to play with colors in my hobbies of pastel painting and decorating my home. These activities give my brain a rest.
A creative hobby can never be called a waste of time. Something useful to God has been produced—and we’ll talk about that next.
8. Jesus wants to love others through you.
God also intends for others to be blessed by what we create. Somebody will stay warm at night because of a homemade quilt. Somebody who doesn’t believe in God might realize He exists when they view a painting. Poetry and songs speak to the soul of eternal truth.
Another friend of mine creates beautiful carved wood pieces such as boxes and bowls. Still another builds log furniture. A woman in my church loves to cook and provides meals for families when they’ve lost a loved one. The list of possible hobbies and ways for God to use them is as varied and individually unique as people themselves.
We should never get the idea that Jesus doesn’t have a higher purpose for a hobby just because we don’t make a career out of it the way musicians or artists, or many other creative professionals do. (And just be aware—He can use whatever we do on a much larger scale than we might ever dream).
I didn’t plan to write a book about how to clean out your closet—but God helped me turn my hobby interest in fashion into a business, and then combined it with my career of writing. Now women are led into a closer relationship with the Lord when they read my book, Fashioned by God. My point here is that nothing is too mundane for God to use.
A creative hobby gives Him all kinds of ways to bless others through activities that bring us joy, which further multiplies our joy. He loves and uses whatever you make—even if you only think it’s something pretty to look at. God is the original beauty expert and loves to bless people through it.
So go ahead—express yourself in whatever direction interests you. And rest assured, it interests Jesus. He can’t wait to see what you create.
Kathryn Graves, author of the book Fashioned by God, is a style expert, fashion coach, and Premier Designs jewelry consultant. She is also a pastor’s wife, Bible teacher, and holds a degree in Psychology. Kathryn helps women discover the source of real beauty in Jesus, freeing them to gain confidence in their personal styles. She is Mimi to three grandsons, and loves to play with color, both in fashion and interior design, and painting with pastels. You can learn more at KathrynGraves.com or find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/yacobchuk
Kathryn Graves, author of Woven: Discovering Your Beautiful Tapestry of Confidence, Rest, and Focus, and Fashioned by God, holds a BA in Psychology, is a pastor’s wife and Bible teacher, and spent 15 years in the fashion industry. Kathryn is Mimi to four grandsons, and loves to play with color—including interior design, clothing, and painting with pastels. In addition to her website, find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.