10 Traits of Creative People

CreativePeoplePaulThomasEvansFBWhen I saw this list on Facebook, I was surprised that it described me, though I never thought of myself as creative. Then I chucked to myself, thinking that people will really be quite annoyed by anyone with these traits. See if you have them. Surprisingly (or not), Jesus might actually be the most creative person of all.

1. Easily bored. I’ve said often that a great sin of Christians or the church is being boring (and predictable), because Jesus was never boring! When told that they are committing the sin of killing people with boredom, they say that the complainers are unspiritual and sinful. But in the gospels, it is the unspiritual and sinful that are attracted to Jesus! The ones who disliked Jesus were the boring people among the religious leaders.

2. Risk takers. The church is often accused of keeping the status quo and being stuck in the past. She tends not to be creative and innovative, but boring and predictable (sorry for the repetition!). The church is risk averse. But Jesus was the greatest risk taker who risked everything for a venture that would cost him his life…and he asks his disciples to do the same.

3. Color outside the lines. If you created the lines, you’d really be very upset by such people. Didn’t the religious leaders nail Jesus for breaking the law of Moses? Does the church hierarchy not try to impose their outdated and tired religious tradition on the younger generation?

4. Think with their heart. Jesus loves God with all his heart and he asks his disciples to do likewise (Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30). If we think with our head our heart shrinks and we become fearful and overly cautious (often in the name of being prayerful!). If we think with our heart, our life blossoms and we live in the freedom of the Spirit (2 Cor 3:17).

5. Make lots of mistakes. I love this trait. But perfectionists, legalists, traditionalists and rule keepers fear making mistakes and looking bad. Incidentally, Jesus seemed to have made such a big mistake that he lost his life for it.

6. Hate the rules. This is my favorite. Jesus was killed because he was accused of breaking the rules (the BIBLE no less!). The most Bible-centered Jews accused Paul of breaking the law (of antinomianism) whenever he preached the gospel (Rom 6:1, 15), which is the gospel of God’s grace (Ac 20:24). The Dalai Lama says, “Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly. Rules are meant to be broken.” Will the church ever learn this?

7. Work independently. Jesus’ most important daily work was done alone when he prayed all night (Lk 6:12) and when he got up early in the morning to pray (Mk 1:35).

8. Change their mind a lot. Creative people change their mind often because they are not rigid and stubborn. They always weigh all options and thus are open, accommodating and flexible. The God of the OT is often recorded as the God who seems to be changing his mind (“repenting” in some older translations) depending on the circumstances and situation.

9. Have a reputation for eccentricity. Creative people see what common ordinary people do not. So they seem odd, weird, absent minded, eccentric or even egocentric.

10. Dream big. In the trailer of the movie The Son of God Jesus called Peter to be his disciple. When Peter asked Jesus what they were going to do, Jesus spontaneously said with a smile, “Change the world.” Don’t we just love Jesus? (Of course, this is creative liberty, but cute.)

Which of these traits resonate with you?


  1. forestsfailyou

    The best rules to break are the unwritten ones.

  2. Mark Mederich

    free to search beyond the status quo to find new horizons

  3. neh21718

    I also like this list a lot. Still, I think the autor has mixed up things a bit.

    It’s different to be creative from being a risk taker. Yes, the creative person will have the virtues described in 1,3,4,5,7,8,9,10.

    But I don’t think they *hate* rules (6). They just can’t abide to them. Which in their case, is their strength. Being creative is not an ideology and is nothing you are proud of. It just comes out of your mind and heart and makes you happy to occupy yourself with.

    But most of all, has risk taking very little to do with creativity. If you think about creative people in science or art, they are very risk averse people, some even very fearful. They need people who free them from the risk, so that they can blossom and develop their ideas. Whild e.g. the risk taker could be an enterpreneur, the creative people are those who enjoy being creative, while having a stable job. Without a secure environment, creative people can’t be creative. (Let’s not talk about creative manipulations and creative fraud here…)

    Being creative is normally a totally different state of mind, then that of taking risk and loving adventure.

    God loves and uses them both!