The Use of Creative and Spiritual Gifts

I recently heard a couple of things that pointed me towards something about creating things, or doing work of any kind, in a way. What I heard was that in light of our gifts (what we’re good at), every effort to use them should be for the purpose of strengthening others rather than building ourselves up. In fact, the very fact that we are good at one particular thing could very well turn into something we recognize but don’t focus on, or something we don’t even realize.

If we focus on the fact that we’re good at something, it could easily turn into a point of pride. “Look how good I am at painting. I am building up my kingdom with all the great works I’m making. How great I am,” one could think. Or, “I’m so great at serving. Look at how generous I am toward other people, how right my heart is towards others. I’m so holy.” Both of these thoughts are easy to think, but entirely destructive.

In the life of the artist, you obviously aren’t always doing something for another person in particular, unless it’s a commission. Artists tend to do things because of the love for that activity/art. Musicians love music and making music. Writers love words, language, and stories or arguments or both. Even so, the focus is not on how well you can do it and how great you can make yourself. That’s when you fail.

Many people think that the Church is a place for people who want to be holy. Or better put, a “good person.” Someone with high morals. The Church is a community of people trying to be good and living good lives. It’s sad. They miss the whole point of the Church existing, that we’re here because God reconciled us to Himself through His Son’s blood. His Son, Jesus, rose from the dead, conquering death so that we don’t have to fear death. God gets all the glory through our lives; there is nothing we can boast about, even though we often end up doing so in vain.

We don’t necessarily know how pure, good, and right our works are. We all stumble in many ways. But what we’re gifted in is for the building up of either God’s kingdom or a temporary kingdom, and God’s kingdom will stand despite our imperfection.