The assignment? Build a bird feeder and then make scientific observations at several different times of day. The attached instructions included a toilet paper tube covered with peanut butter and birdseed or a string of cheerios, raisins, and dried apples.

The finished project by my 3rd grader included much more, turning the simple bird feeder into a three-tier condominium! Our relatively new tree couldn’t support the weight and we had to hang it from the support pole instead.

This week’s character trait is creativity. Approaching a need, task, or idea from a new perspective. It’s using one’s imagination or original ideas to produce an artistic work or solve a problem. It’s thinking outside the box.

Sometimes creativity is hard to comprehend. I’m reminded of Gideon who gathered an army to oust the Midianites. Then God reduced their numbers from 32,000 to 300 … and sent them into battle with trumpets and jar-covered torches. (See Judges 7) The method was unusual but the victory was the Lord’s.

Other times, creativity helps us get the message in a memorable way. Jesus often taught in parables, or stories, to illustrate Kingdom principles in a way people could understand. Jesus said the Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field or a treasure hidden in a field or a net that was let down into the lake. (See Matthew 13:1-52)

That’s one reason why my blog posts, devotionals, and books use ordinary things like trees, gardens, making lemonade, and the game of football to point out deeper truths about life. As a writer, my brain finds creative insight in the everyday experiences.

If God is the Creator of heaven and earth … and we were formed in His image, then we are capable of creativity as well. And if you need a little inspiration, I believe God can help you think up new ideas and solutions. All you have to do is ask.

What about you? Do you consider yourself to be creative or do you follow the patterns set out by others? When is creativity helpful? How do you come up with new ideas?

Character Matters – Creativity
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