A Curse on Creativity

Andrea Poppleton

READ : Genesis 2:15-20; 3:16-19

God . . . brought them to the man to see what he would call them. (2:19)

Human beings can create because the Creator imparted creative capacity. That creative capacity is observable already in Genesis 2, when God gave the first man the task of naming “every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens” (v. 19a). God paraded all the animals and birds in front of Adam, and “whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name” (v. 19b). The naming was a creative act reminiscent of God’s. Adam spoke, and it was so.

But the divine-human creative partnership of Genesis 2 was quickly disrupted. In Genesis 3, the first man and woman disobeyed God’s command concerning the tree in the center of the garden. They gave a crafty serpent creative license in their lives, and their choice had terrible consequences. Adam and Eve were no longer welcome to co-create in the garden with God, and God pronounced a curse over their lives outside the garden.

The effects of that curse have been handed down through generations. Life is hard, and we have to labor to feed ourselves, with sweat on our faces. The pain and labor keep us from exercising our creative capacity. We struggle to survive instead of embracing newness of life. We are absorbed with work and toil instead of making space for beauty, hobby, and creativity. We spend our lives outside the garden even though God has designed us to live in creative partnership with him.


God, give me eyes to see the effects of the curse on my life.