In my experience using art as an expression of faith, I have learned that rejection is a natural part of the journey; it is inevitable. As a result, I have had to develop a thick skin. I have also had to find ways to cope with rejection and do so without sabotaging works in progress and the needed inspiration to press on. Thankfully, I discovered five steps to help me accept and respond to rejection. It is through these five steps that I am able to rise above, hold tight to my creativity and inspiration, and move forward with grace.
- Expect some rejection: Rejection is part of the journey and not unique to me. Also, the fact that I am a witness for Jesus means that the rejection may be more about Him than about my artistic ability.
- Learn from feedback: Constructive feedback provides me with other perspectives and helps me make my next set of artistic choices. It opens my mind to new opinions and thoughts, and can stimulate the creative process.
- Consider timing: Rejection may be indicative of inopportune timing. My work may simply not fit the need at the moment.
- Pray for humility. Rejection is sometimes God’s way of putting an end to my arrogance; it is His way of humbling my pride. My ability to press on is a result of my willingness to set aside my ego in exchange for service to God and surrender to His plan.
- Recognize an Attack of the Enemy: The enemy prowls around like a lion waiting to destroy anything good and I need to discern between constructive criticism and an attack from the enemy. I also need to remember that it is sometimes appropriate to respond to constructive criticism, but I don’t need to respond to an attack of the enemy because that battle is already won.
These may sound like simple steps, and yet they are by no means easy. But, scripture reminds me that I have tasted that the Lord is good and that as I come to Him, the living Stone, I may be rejected by men but I am chosen by God and precious to Him. By practicing these five steps, I keep my focus on this truth and move forward in humility and grace.
These steps are what works for me? What works for you?
Excerpt from “Art as an Expression of faith”, audio book coming soon.