Colouring Outside the Lines

 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.   Ephesians 2:10

One of the things that attracted people to Jesus was His original and authentic approach. In a world of rigid rules, hackneyed phrases and empty religion, Jesus burst onto the scene with passion, integrity, and creativity. Unlike anyone before Him, or since, He modelled the importance of colouring outside the lines. He saw things in a new way, He used different entry points to tackle the challenges of life, and He was a master at bringing freshness to the familiar. No wonder it was said of Him, “No one ever spoke the way this man does” John 7:46.

Like Jesus, we need to colour outside the lines. No one’s attracted to legalism, paternalism or hollow displays of piety. If we hope to draw people to Christ, then we need to create new and fresh styles with which to reach our world with the Gospel. We must be willing to shift and change, we must be adaptable. We must guard against being dated and institutionalized. If we hope to stay on the cutting edge then we must undergo drastic alterations. As the old Roman politician, Publius Syrus, said, “It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.”

So flex your creative muscles. See things in a new way. Focus on your abilities – not your inabilities. Bypass obstacles with lateral thinking. Develop resources and habits which foster your creativity. Determine to work hard and learn as you go. Recognize that “if you don’t feel awkward doing something new, you are not doing something new” Ken Blanchard. And remember, the aim of all creative endeavours must always be to point people toward the Saviour – not man.

After all, creativity is a means, not the end. As it says in Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Thus, our creativity should never step beyond the parameters of God’s Word. It should never be in conflict with orthodox belief (although it may find itself in conflict with traditional practice). For when all is said and done, the reason we colour outside the lines is to draw people inside the church.

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