God is the creator of the Heavens and the Earth. One of His names is the Great Creator. I believe that creation is a Divine attribute, and when we participate in the creation of anything good, we tap into a part of the Divine within us.
Adam was told, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” (Genesis 3:19). The Israelites were told, “Six days shalt thou labour” (Exodus 20:9). See also 1 Timothy 5:8.
Isn’t it also true that work is a creative process, and therefore is also Divine? Constructing a building, laying a road, teaching children, performing an art, practicing medicine--don't they all help create something that wasn’t there before?
In contrast, can you think of anything the Devil has ever created or a work he has ever performed? Is there any mention in the Bible of the Devil creating anything? He didn’t create Hell but was cast down to it (Isaiah 14:12-15). John in the New Testament refers to the Devil as the Father of Lies (John 8:44). Aren’t lies corrupt variations of truth?
I believe that the Devil is not capable of creating anything because there isn't any Divine within him. What, therefore, is left for him to offer but false copies of that which is good--imitations that bear no fruit? The Devil is the Great Copier.
Whom do we follow?
Do we seek to personify the attributes of the Great Creator or the Great Copier?
Ponder the following list over the next few days and weeks. The left column identifies Divine attributes and actions. The right column presents their flawed copies. Not their opposites! Clearly, the opposite of love is hate. The opposite of strength is weakness. But I’m not speaking of opposites. I’m speaking of their copies.
Original — Copy
Love — Lust
Earn — Claim
Teach — Tempt
Protect — Cage
Wisdom — Pride
Serve — Scheme
Inspire — Coerce
Ambition — Greed
Judge — Condemn
Justice — Revenge
Patience — Anxiety
Chastise — Ridicule
Strength — Brutality
Admonish — Harass
Encourage — Flatter
Enthusiasm — Force
Happiness — Pleasure
Passion — Compulsion
Force is needed on occasion for self-defense. Pleasure is fine, too, so long as we understand that it cannot substitute for happiness. But in terms of regular, ordinary life, we need to seek the originals and avoid the copies.
As you consider the above attributes over the next few days and weeks, ask yourself,
How often do we espouse the copies instead of their originals?
How often do we admire those who uphold the copies instead of the originals?
If we embrace the copies, then whose side are we on?