Does God Care about Your Artwork?

Does God care about your artwork?

He does.

Everyone expresses themselves creatively. It can’t be helped. It’s one of the things we’re born to do. It’s part of what the Bible refers to when it says we’re made in God’s image. (Genesis 1:26.)

An essential part of God’s nature is that, beyond all possible imagination of abundance and diversity, he’s creative (Genesis 1:1). We reflect that part of his nature in the abundance and diversity of our art, music, movies, etc. The difference is, God creates out of nothing. We, at best, “borrow” any material we can find and repurpose it. As Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

Our creativity is an outpouring of our world-view, emotions, past experiences, hopes, dreams and disappointments. This means some creativity goes down like a Jagged Little Pill, while other art or music is like Walking on Sunshine under Blue Skies.

Does God care about all that?

Yes, he does. God became man. Jesus breathed, ate, laughed, cried, slept. Ran his fingers along pieces of wood as a carpenter. Saw the sun set, felt the rain. God knows what it’s like to be human, to create.

And what about the art that reflects struggle, challenge, pain, disappointment? If you’re honest in your art and your art reflects your struggles, Jesus completely understands. The carpenter was nailed to a tree.

There is pain and suffering, but there’s also hope. Because of the resurrection, our art will sometimes reflect that bitter becomes sweet, pessimism becomes optimism, cynicism gives way to seeing things more clearly, darkness becomes light, death bows to life.

And, against all odds, there is joy.

Hebrews 12 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Who you are is important to God. What you express in your art is meaningful. You are his creation, and he has crafted you for great things (Ephesians 2:10).

Here’s a question you can use for self-coaching. Share your thoughts in the comments section or contact me directly.

  • What has God crafted you to do?

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21 Responses

  1. Albert R Upson says:

    My Father God has crafted me to be a artist pop art cartoonist he has given me this Gift to serve to the world and to glorify him in teaching and motivating people. its all about his Kingdom!!!

    • Jim says:

      Wow, Albert. That simultaneously feels like an encouragment and a call to action for Christian creatives. Thanks!!!

    • Phillis says:

      Amen God has placed his beauty all around for us to be inspired by, what away to express his love for u s all. 💕

  2. Rae says:

    As an artist I understand that art is made with love.If I do not love it then it simply is not finished. During the process of making a painting I experience joy , delight and all other emotions that are both positive and negative and most of all love and peace . In mark making I experience peace . I see this as Gods gift to me and to all that view and experience my work

  3. Carolyn Duff says:

    I was always wondering if God loved what I do. I wondered if he enjoyed seeing me doing what I so enjoy doing. I do this out of love, passion, and self therapy. I am a reborn doll artist.

  4. Jennifer Eby says:

    I’m in a setting where I don’t see much appreciation for the type of art work I am inspired by my Christian walk to create but I believe all good gifts come down from above, from the Father of lights with whom there is no variableness neither shadow of turning. God Himself teaches this through the use of gifted artists in the making of the tabernacle, in the ordaining of singers and musicians, in the poetry of the psalms, in the very writing of His Word through the gift of writing he bestowed upon the writers. How exactly God wants to use the gifts He gives may change but that He gives them for His glory and honor and the edification of mankind remains unvaried in our unvarying God.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for the reminder Jennifer! Soli Deo gloria.

  5. Mary Lewison says:

    I have been drawing and painting seriously since I was 10. I am now 67. God gifted me with a lot of ability in art and teaching for which I’m grateful! I sign my work with my initials and a Cross because I never feel like I’m painting or drawing alone. I’m even contemplating leaving my initials off and just signing with the Cross. I suffer from depression, but two summers ago at an art fair a woman walked into my booth and said “your work is filled with so much joy!” I didn’t realize that even when I’m depressed God’s Joy shines through me : ) I realized right then that God was using my art to spread his Peace and Love. Before that I thought I just did nice paintings : )

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your transparency Mary! And thank you for the art that you’ve created and will create.

  6. Lynda says:

    I am a Christian with a gift from the Lord for creative expression. I love to draw, paint, and create. I have recently been posting my work online to share with others. Recently, a friend pointed out that I should not do this, as it creates pride in my, and pride is a sin. That everything I do should point to God as the source. I often create work out of scriptures I read, and often use biblical quotes in my work. She pointed out that several people commented how talented I was, and since they were saying that about me, God is not getting the glory. Now I am confused, as I always thought that sharing what I find beautiful is a way to help people see God. I don’t believe that I am creating for the ‘pride boost.’ What are your thoughts, please.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your comments Lynda.

      You are doing what God created you to do. You are being faithful in using the gifts and talents he has given you.

      Scripture commands us to be good stewards over the gifts he’s given us. These gifts are given for our benefit (this has a lot to do with joy, which is one of the reasons you love to draw, paint and create), and for the benefit of others. To not use what God has given us is an act of disobedience. (Matthew 25:14-30.)

      Regarding pride boost, I’ve never known anyone who has completely eradicated pride from their life. It’s definitely worth the struggle to address any sin through confession. (1 John 1:9) However, and this is the point I would share with your friend, it’s not the receiving of compliments that’s the issue, it’s what you do with these compliments. Internally, we should often thank God for any talent, and in fact, every good thing he has given us (James 1:17). Externally, when the situation allows it, let the person know how grateful you are to God for the skill he’s given you. By the way, it’s 100% appropriate to thank someone for a compliment, whether it’s related to art, or the wonderful dinner you just served your guests.

      One other thing to consider. Whenever you try to do something of significance in life, you’ll receive some degree of resistance (opposition.) This is the way it is in a fallen world. Thankfully, there are also times you’ll receive assistance – a kind word, an encouragement, an offer of tools and techniques to help you be a better artist, etc.

      You have something that God has given to only you. We need it, and we need you. Please press on.

  7. Sésé says:

    I was a bit scared because I wanted to make a fancomic in anime style of a cartoon I like but if always very greatful for what God gave me to be able to be creative and make art 🥰 I am always scared that maybe inappropriate especially when I create villains I wonder if it’s bad since I have to understand their mindset to put them in the story and they do all sorts of crimes😓

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your thoughts and questions Sésé!

      Wrestling with portraying evil is something all Christian artists have to come to grips with. One of the reasons we wrestle with it is we know that, in God, there’s ultimately endless beauty, joy, and wholeness. We (rightfully) want to be careful about not forgetting that reality.

      In fact, holding on to that reality may be a Christian artist’s super power. Christians know that there is real, true beauty and truth exist, and that there’s a standard for it. In fact, even more than a standard, there’s an embodiment for it – God is truth, beauty, loveliness, excellence.

      We live in a fallen world where everything has been touched by sin and broken, including our understanding of these standards and realities. Once again, the Christian artist has an explanation for why things are the way they are – why the world is such a mess. Non-Christians often borrow the standards of truth, beauty, justice from the Bible. These things are native languages for Christians.

      The Biblical perspectives that Christian’s hold – that there is truth and justice, joy and loveliness, and that all of that has been broken – gives you an incredible range in which to tell your stories.

      The Bible is filled with criminals, theives, prostitutes, adulterers, rapists, murderers… the list goes on.

      Why does the Bible tell us about all of these people?

      Here are some realities from the Bible…
      The world was created by God and he said it was good. (Genesis 1,2)
      The world was messed up as a result of the fall described in Genesis 3.
      Crime, sin, hurt, destruction resulted from the fall and are real.
      The worst of us is capable of extraordinary atrocities.
      The best of us is continually marred by sin.
      Only one person (Jesus) was perfect, holy, without sin, pleasing to God.
      This one person willingly offered himself as a sacrifice.
      As a result of this sacrifice, Jesus took on our sin (as well as God’s righteous punishment for it.)
      God gives us his (Jesus’) righteousness by faith.

      Therefore, these realities also exist too:
      Any sinner can be redeemed by faith.
      But not all sinners come to faith.
      The redemption of anyone at any time is an ultimate radical, supernatural act of God.
      Redemption yields extraordinary things, among which are forgiveness, healing, re-creation, restoration, shalom.

      A Christian is at liberty to tell stories that reflect any of the realities shown in the Bible. This will provide you with a rich vein of possibilities for themes and character development in your stories.

      It will be helpful for you to remember that, in the end, do all you do for the glory of God. The first question and answer from the Westminster Catechism states it well: “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

      I genuinely wish you success, Sésé.

  8. Kelsey Simpson says:

    This was great to read! I’m going back to school to get my BFA. At first I wasn’t sure I should because my art hasn’t gone far like some I know. But my friend encouraged me back into it when I just about gave up. I am now half way through a children’s book (creating the illustrations for it.) My friend recently helped me find a way to reach out to our community by creating a club or class. I’m going today to talk with my pastor about it. Prayers please😊

    • Jim says:

      Thanks for your thoughts Kelsey! Congratulations on going back to school. Best of success to you with the children’s book illustrations, as well as the potential community club. Would love to hear how things are going for you down the road.

  9. David Lin says:

    I believe God gave me the ability to draw my own anthropomorphic animal characters, and I was able to use my life experiences, my emotions, my observations, my feelings, my imaginations, and the complexities of human life in my drawings. Yet, sometimes I feel at odds with the church since I came across a ministry art website stating that I shouldn’t use self-expression in my drawing since that feels a little stifling. The thing is, ever since I started to draw and discover that I can draw my own anthropomorphic animal characters quite well, I couldn’t seem to put my pencil down and keep drawing. I do believe that my creativity should never be ignored at all. And because I can draw quite well (since I finished college recenlty) I’ve been thinking about making graphic novels and animations. I mean really, I enjoy viewing other people’s art and animations without having to compare myself to them.

  10. Beth Stuart says:

    I am so confused about my artistic ability. I think of God-given gifts and talents as things like preaching, teaching, helping others, etc., but I don’t think of my artistic ability like those things, so I struggle with feeling like my art is just a waste of time.

    I do get joy from creating, drawing, painting, crafting, but really struggle wondering why God gave me a talent that just seems to be a waste of time evangelically speaking. Like everything a Christian does is suppose to be focused on bringing others to Christ or something? I know it’s me misunderstanding, but it’s the struggle I am in. I would love to feel free to draw and enjoy it thoroughly no matter what I am drawing, that not every piece has some significant meaning, but I am struggling wondering why I seem to have this talent that just seems to take up my time, you know? Like I was given a talent that doesn’t really seem to mean anything.

    For instance, what does drawing a beautiful still-life painting do for anyone or further God’s kingdom? There’s this part of me that says “create, draw, it makes me happy,” and this other part that says that everything I spend time doing should be “Billy Graham-ish.” I just don’t get it.

    What am I supposed to do with art when most of the time I spend on it is just for me? I have a natural talent but I’ve only been drawing for a few years so I am still practicing. Can I practice, can I draw whatever I want, or am I supposed to always create art that has Christian meaning?

    Like a Christian musician for example, are they always supposed to make Christian music, or is it ok if they enjoy making secular music too? Why did God give this talent to me if all it seems to do is be for me? I’ve given away some work, but it wasn’t anything that had some sort of Christian meaning. I’ve created drawings that had Bible verses on it too, and other Christian work, but what about the stuff I enjoy that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with furthering God’s kingdom?

    • Jim says:

      Thank you, Beth, for taking the time to ask these insightful questions!

      Although it may sometimes feel frustrating, you are blessed with a high level of self-awareness and a desire to please God. It’s evident that you want to serve God well, and it’s commendable that you deeply ponder these things.

      Art is inherently valuable. The act of creating art is intrinsically worthwhile. Art doesn’t need justification; it doesn’t require a reason to exist.

      God is a creator, as established in the very first verse of the Bible. Later in that same chapter (Genesis 1), we learn that God made us in His image. Thus, every person possesses some form of creativity. When we create anything, we’re mirroring a facet of God’s nature to the world. This applies to both non-Christians and Christians. Every human bears God’s image, even if it’s a flawed or distorted one due to sin. In essence, to create is intrinsic to being human; it’s an innate drive. To apply it to our daily lives: when we choose our attire, decide on a paint color for a room, or select flowers for display, we’re exercising our creative nature. We do these things instinctively, almost subconsciously, and such acts don’t need an evangelistic purpose to be meaningful and valuable to us and others.

      When you draw, Beth, you’re not only reflecting God’s image (which is commendable in itself), but you’re also utilizing a gift He has bestowed upon you. It’s CRUCIAL that you harness, cultivate, and enhance any gift God has granted you. Here’s the reason: only you can offer the unique blend of talent, experience, training, skills, and personality that you possess to the world and, specifically, to the church. You are an integral component of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12). It advances God’s kingdom when you employ the talents He has given you.

      Art produced by Christians doesn’t need to be evangelistic to be valid. If you’re genuine in your faith in God, your collective works over time will naturally convey your worldview. However, when any artist—Christian or otherwise—employs a heavy-handed, agenda-driven approach in their art, it risks being perceived as manipulative. Such overt manipulation can resemble propaganda, and this can, paradoxically, dilute the intended message. As a Christian artist, your primary goal should be to deepen your love for Christ. Your art will naturally emerge from that.

      Your talent holds significance! While working on one of your still-life paintings, allow room in your mind, heart, and spirit to joyfully embrace thoughts like: “It pleases God to grant me the skill to craft this painting. I’m mirroring back to Him an essence of humanity and the privilege of having a gift that allows me to express myself. The canvas is my field, my brushes the plow, and my paints the seed. This is the responsibility the Lord has entrusted me with. I will honor Him by returning to Him the gift He has given me, striving to produce the best work I can in this moment as a tribute to His glory.

      One last word of encouragement, Beth: God’s vast creation encompasses many wonders, some of which we may never witness or experience, yet none are in vain. Scientists theorize that it rains diamonds on Neptune. What does it mean to you as an artist that God does that?

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