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Donald Miller, Creativity, and Truth

Last week, Donald Miller wrote a great piece entitled How To Increase Your Creative Productivity. A life-changing moment happened for Miller when he realized, “Rather than words being in me, the words were out there.” This truth changed his mindset about productivity. Production is not about creating something from within oneself, but discovering it beyond oneself.

His post is not just a helpful understanding of the creative process, but a necessary understanding of the nature of truth.

We live in a time in which truth is seen as something within us. It is something we create. Each person is responsible for producing their own truth.

The Bible teaches truth exists outside of us. It is written in God’s creation and ultimately sourced in the nature of God. Truth is not made, it’s revealed and discovered.

These are the two competing views of truth in our day. It’s appealing to believe truth lies within us where we can create it, control it, and define it for ourselves. It’s frightening to think truth lies beyond us where we can’t control it, define it, or keep it for ourselves.

While truth being within us sounds appealing, it’s exhausting, confusing, and too pressure filled for any person to bear. It is a sign of God’s grace that truth doesn’t rest within us, but beyond us. The weight of the world is not upon us. Truth lies outside of us and can be discovered by any of us.

For Miller and other artists, the reality of truth is a great relief. They can produce art without fear of running out of ideas or their well running dry. While they must re-charge so they can have the strength to search for truth, they do not have to continually produce from within themselves. Truth rests beyond them and there is a limitless supply from which they can draw.

For the rest of us, the reality of truth is also a great relief. The answer to our business problem or family struggle is not within us; it is beyond us and can be found as we excavate the truth from the places in which God has placed it—in creation, science, the Bible, within relationships, and every place in which God’s creative hand is at work.

The answer is not in you; it’s beyond you. Seek truth and it will be found.

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