My 2.5 Star Review: Dealing with Criticism

When I launched my album ‘The Kingdom’ back in 2014, it was a joyous night of celebrating the accomplishment of the songs that the Lord had given me in that season. I was very proud of the work because I was deeply satisfied with the revelations and the messages these songs carried, which I knew would have a significant impact on people’s lives. It was also a dream to have recorded it with Ed Cash’s studio in Nashville, Tennessee, which had always been a lifelong dream of mine!

I remember the next day being pleasantly surprised that there had been a critic at my launch and they had written a public article reviewing my music. Curious of course, I logged in straight away to read it. Interestingly though, the article was not quite a positive one that I would have ‘shared’ enthusiastically over my social media. In fact, the album was given a 2.5/5 review for its work.  

I remember sitting there, having a brief moment staring at the computer screen. I knew I could allow my heart to go either of two ways: 1) I would let a number dictate or destroy the works that I knew to be powerful, or 2) listen to God’s voice, and be confident in the value of His work done through me. I chose the latter.

I know for some people receiving difficult criticism, especially in a public setting can cause one to spiral into condemnation and question their self-worth. First, your work is separate from your identity as a child of God, so don’t foolishly let a ‘performance’ dictate your value. Secondly, if your art has a greater purpose than just to ‘impress’, then that in itself is invaluable.

For me personally, I was and still am very proud of the work of art the Lord had given me. Not just because of the production and the effort put into the art of songwriting, which I personally thought was done phenomenally as a team, but also because of the fact that I’ve had very REAL testimonies of miracles that have been released because of these songs! One woman received a miracle baby (his name is Lucas) after declaring in faith the lyrics of ‘Hand in His’. This song also gave couples, who were suffering in marriage, the courage to love again with the strength of Christ. Do these songs have value? Absolutely.

As artists and creatives, especially if you know you are a son or daughter of God; having purpose in your art beyond simply ‘entertaining’ or ‘impressing’ others is vital. Art can be used to heal, uplift, and invite Heaven’s government – it is a conduit to express the very heartbeat of God. Your primary role is not to win the praises of man, but it is to be faithful to the assignment entrusted to you by the Father.

I pray that the Lord will release His grace upon you to create without fear but to create instead from the overflow of a steadfast confidence that He loves you and will partner with you to release His goodness across the earth.  

You can find the link to listen to my album ‘The Kingdom’ here!

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Alarice Hong

Alarice Hong

Senior Leader / Resident Mentor, Songwriting at Awaken Generation
A singer-songwriter, worship leader & guitarist, Alarice’s mission in life is to inspire others to live the radical call of Jesus over their lives. Born in Auckland, New Zealand to Singaporean parents, Alarice grew up around the world before being called to Singapore in 2011. A lover of great lyrics and songs that speak directly to the heart, Alarice’s music is played regionally across Singapore, Malaysia & Asia Pacific. Along with her husband Calvin, Alarice now ministers through song, worship leading & teaching locally and regionally. Alarice released her debut album ‘Sunday Afternoon’ in 2011 with Warner Music & her sophomore project ‘The Kingdom’ with Oops!Asia in 2014. Alarice has graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales in 2008 & has attended Bethel’s School of Worship in 2012. Follow her at @alaricemusic http://www.alaricemusic.com

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