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Creativity

vs. Underachievement
Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective

Key Verse

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2

The operational definition of creativity is “approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective.” Perspective is a point of view or way of looking at an object, an idea, or a situation. Each person has a unique way of viewing circumstances. When you focus only on your own perspective, your understanding will be limited. Many problems can be resolved by looking at them differently. Understanding and inspiration often come as you ask God or others for ideas, consider times you did this before, and search for wisdom. Creativity does not always mean having a new idea, but it may mean applying what you already know in a different way. The creative person thinks of ways to improve results and produce excellent work. He is excited when his ideas benefit others.

A creative person will look for alternate routes when he comes to what may seem to be a dead end.
Underachievement is demonstrated by giving up at a dead end.

The opposite of creativity is underachievement. An under­achieving person does less than he could or should. Remaining in his comfort zone, he misses opportunities to grow. Apathy may cause him to rush through an assignment because he doesn’t care about the quality. He may not realize how his lack of effort impacts others and saps their energy. He exerts little effort to find a way around obstacles. His poor work may result from laziness, feelings of inadequacy, or a fear of failure. Underachievement may also be due to insufficient knowledge, limited perspective, or a lack of inspiration. However, a person can develop his creativity and be more productive as he seeks knowledge and wisdom.

Evaluation Questions

  • Have I identified my interests, talents, and abilities?
  • Do I allow God’s Word to inspire and direct my creative energy?
  • How do I use my creativity to benefit others?
  • Do I look for potential new opportunities in the challenges I face?
  • When one way doesn’t work, do I give up, or do I try again with a new approach?
  • Do I overcome boredom by seeking positive or productive activities?
  • Am I quick to say “no” to someone’s new idea, or am I willing to try it?
  • Do I look for faster and more productive ways to work instead of sticking with the usual method?
  • Do I cultivate creative ideas through observation, research, and play?

More About Creativity

“How often do we attempt work for God to the limit of our incompetency rather than to the limit of God’s omnipotency?”
J. Hudson Taylor
Transformation results as we behold the Lord and yield to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). As we see God’s character through testimonies in Scripture, we grow in our understanding and obedience to His Word. Here are ten aspects of Creativity with supporting verses found in God’s Word.

God enables me to:

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Recognize that I am blessed with gifts.

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7:11
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Expand my skills.

“Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.” Proverbs 24:27
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Think His thoughts.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
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See opportunities instead of obstacles.

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13–14
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View things from more than one perspective.

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” II Corinthians 4:18
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Keep trying.

“Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.” II Chronicles 15:7
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Use my talents for good.

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” Matthew 24:45–46
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Use Biblical principles to solve problems.

“Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:104–105
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Learn from every situation.

“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9:9
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Seek new ways to build my character.

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22–24

Creativity in Scripture

Four Friends Find a Way

“And when they could not come nigh unto him [Jesus] for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was.”
Mark 2:4
Jesus ministered publicly for three years and showed what the Kingdom of God looked like on earth. Early in His ministry, Jesus taught in synagogues throughout Galilee. People were amazed by His wisdom and miracles. Once, while Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, He cast out an unclean spirit from a man! Another time, Jesus was visiting the home of two disciples and cured Peter’s mother-in-law, who had a fever. Jesus healed many people who came to Him with diseases. News of these miracles spread quickly, and people thronged to see and hear Jesus. Soon, He could no longer enter the cities without multitudes of people pressing about Him. Consequently, Jesus chose to teach in desert places, where the people would come to see and hear Him. One day, Jesus visited a house in the city of Capernaum. As soon as people heard that He was there, they hastily crowded into the house and around the door. Who would also come to see Jesus that day and why? What would they do when they realized that they could not enter the house due to so many people? What creative idea would God give them, and how would their perseverance be rewarded?

Revealed in Nature

Raccoon

The raccoon demonstrates creativity by refusing to be stopped by obstacles. Clever raccoons have been known to figure out how to open latches on doors and get inside of sealed containers.

For Kids

Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum

The Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum uses examples from the lives of men and women in the Bible whose walk with God resulted in good character or whose lack of faith produced poor character. Through this study, children are encouraged to meditate on the Word of God to renew their minds and use their imaginations within God’s boundaries to express His creativity.

View the Creativity booklet sample:

Get the complete Creativity booklet with all four lessons & activities:

Free Resources for Creativity

Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!

Bible Story Coloring Page
Verse & Definition Word Search
Related Hymn Sheet Music
“When you do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”
George Washington Carver
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