“I’m useless. I don’t have any gifts or talents to offer.”
Many people feel this way. We have lost our sense of dignity and self-worth, blind to our own inherent creativity and God-given talents.
When we fail to believe in the dignity of ourselves and others, we struggle to answer the call to creativity and be all who God has created us to be. Made in the image of God, we have worth, value, and dignity that cannot be taken away from us. When we deny that truth, we deny part of God’s design for his people.
Genesis 1:26-28 states that human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. James 3:9 rebukes those who worship God with their mouths and yet curse someone else made in the likeness of God. We often fail to see the connection between the worthiness of God and cursing his image. Our value is inherent in our design, and we each reflect God’s intended purpose.
C.S. Lewis maintains in The Weight of Glory that, “There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal.” You – and others – possess dignity, worth, and value more than you even presently know.
Humans are the crown glory of God’s creation, distinct from every other creature on earth. We, as image bearers of God, are given a central task to “rule over” creation (Genesis 1). God is the king, but we are like the governors of his kingdom. He is the creator, but we are sub-creators called to this creative task. With our God-given dignity and worth comes a great responsibility to care for God’s creation.
The kind of rulership or dominion we are to exercise is not to be heavy-handed, as Genesis 2:15 indicates. Mankind was placed in the Garden of Eden to care for and keep it. The mandate is to exercise caring stewardship over the created realm – NOT to use and abuse it as we please.
Creativity plays a central role in developing a beautiful and productive garden, metaphorically speaking, in our own lives and cultures and requires fresh, inspired thinking.
The call to creativity carries on even after our fall into sin. Human gifts and creativity are expressed in building increasingly complex houses, buildings, walls, roads, etc. Genesis starts in a garden, but Revelation ends in a city. This is what we are made to do – use our creativity, our gifts, and our abilities to develop the potential of the created order.
Reflect on your inherent dignity, made in God’s image.
When we figure out what we are made for, how we fit into God's big picture of restoration, that's when we truly flourish. Be encouraged by this video from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.