Codye Reystead

God once said to me, “Comparison is like death to the creative...it has the ability to cause My creatives to disengage completely, and com- petition can smother the creative spirit within My sons and daughters.”

Sadly, when we begin to discover and explore our creativity in God, we often begin to compare our creative expressions, our creative works, with the creative expressions of others. For instance, someone who has started to explore painting as a creative expression may look at someone else’s artwork and think to themselves, I could never capture light like he can, or my paintings will never look as good as hers do.

Thoughts of comparison come in many forms—and with regard to all facets of creativity.

Someone who has just discovered his love for an instrument might hear another musician play that particular instrument and think to himself, Wow, she sounds amazing...I’ll never be able to play like that. Or someone experimenting in the kitchen may compare the meals she creates to another individual’s dish. A person dreaming of carving grand wooden furniture notices another carpenter’s creation and decides he will never be able to create anything that beautiful. Consequently, he chooses to abandon the dream all together.

Thoughts of comparison can come to any creative, no matter the medium or form of creativity. When we start to explore and use our own God-given creativity, we also often start to compare what we do or produce to other people’s works and creations.

In addition, when comparison enters our thought processes, we can become fearful, afraid that our God-given form of creative expression will never look, sound, or be as “great” as someone else’s.

In effect, these fear-led thoughts can keep us from fully discovering our creative inheritance and cause us to disengage from the creative journey with God all together.

In fact, comparing our creative expressions to those of others can open the door for competition to come creeping into our thoughts. For instance, someone who expresses themselves through writing may begin to not only compare the content of what they write, how well they write, and how much they write, but also attempt to “out-do” another writer’s expression in the process.

Competition might have its place in the natural realm, but when supernaturally creating with God, competition has no place.

When fed and focused upon, competition can easily gain momentum, quickly smothering the creative spirit. As a result, our God-led creativity devolves into metric-led productivity or obsessive perfectionism, which leads to estrangement from the nurturing, relational part of creativity with God and can ultimately lead to entirely flesh-based efforts, or sadly frustrated resignation. Thoughts of comparison and competition can be powerful, but they cannot stand against God’s truth concerning creativity.

Creativity in Jesus is inherently designed to be honored and embraced as a unique expression in and through each of us!

We must learn to refuse comparison and competition, and instead learn to value all creative expressions, whether they are of our own or another individual’s. We may not particularly be fond of someone else’s creative expression, but as the sons and daughters of God, we are still called to value the divine existence of the God-given creativity we see in others.

Your creative works, what you produce with your hands, your words, your being, are not designed to look, sound, or be like anyone else’s. God didn’t intend for them to. God has given you, His child, full permission to uniquely create in Him.

He has gifted you with very special, highly individualized, creative expressions for you to create and to enjoy with Him.

Often, while the world is in pursuit of perfection in the creative process, God is in pursuit of relationship. Creativity in God is not about achieving perfection, but instead coming into a greater partnership during the creative process—a partnership of creativity in which we as the children of God are free to simply dream, be, and create with God. It is our creative inheritance to create in partnership with God, free from the world’s ideals and expectations of perfection.

As your read these words, may you be released to create, free from the spirit of comparison and competition. May you be released from the worldly expectation of perfection and instead be propelled directly into the creative heart of God where you can simply enjoy creating with your Creator, in the beautiful partnership uniquely given to you.

So now, go, open your gift of creative expression and create with God! He is waiting!

Codye Reystead

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