I sit here on vacation, on New Year’s Eve 2013, reviewing the life I have led this past year.
Recently, I put in a request for a review of my work as a Controller of a company of which I have been employed for the past 14 years. It had been three years since my last performance and salary review. I put together a summation of some of the important issues that I have handled including expense cuts, employee relations, business deals, and the monetary gains that I have accomplished for them. I highlighted all the good that I felt I had done and the plans that I have for the future. Needless to say, I did NOT include anything that I felt was a underachievement or loss experienced by the company due to my performance.
The purpose of a review is usually to give some feedback and to plan for what training one might need, what skill areas to develop further, and how one might be better utilized in the workplace. It is also to evaluate how one’s relationships with the supervisor/boss and fellow employees are going.
Not only do we expect to be rewarded in our work by salary consideration, but we’ve had reviews and expected rewards throughout our entire lives. Look back to your education, report cards and graduation achievements as well as sports banquets and trophies.
Yet how often do we review how we’ve performed in the past in our Christian life and what goals we have for the future in our spiritual life?
Jesus stated: “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak”(Matthew 12:36, NLT).
Paul stated: “For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body” (2 Corinthians 5:10, NLT).
And Jeremiah stated: “But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10, NLT).
So what kind of relationship do I have with THE BOSS? How am I doing with the plans that God has for me? Have I met the goals that He has set for me over the past year? Is there additional training that I need to go through in 2014? Have I earned any other praise or rewards from God in addition to the free gift of eternal life?
I pretty much deserved what I received in my work performance review this year. I did receive a raise! But in my Christian life, I believe that I have failed far more than I should have in the work the Lord gave me to do. I succeeded in my career BECAUSE I put that first over the past six months due to circumstances. But in so doing, I have put some of God’s work on a back-burner. I feel like I haven’t put forth enough effort in personal relationships with my fellow parishioners that I normally do. And I have felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit within me – knowing I have failed in fully utilizing the gift of hospitality, which God has given me. I have grieved the Holy Spirit; I feel it in my poor soul.
And yet, I have accomplished some things in my 2013 Christian walk. I have read His Word daily and read the Bible in its entirety. I have participated in small group Bible study and Christian fellowship. I have ministered to Earl as my husband and my pastor as well as to those within the church who have had pastoral needs. I have visited those hospitalized and in hospice. I have fed the hungry at the Charleston Shelter and volunteered my time at the James Island Outreach Food Bank and remained a board member. I became the liaison on the Charleston-Atlantic Presbytery Presbyterian Women’s Team.
Yesterday, I went with Earl to visit a woman named Libba whom we dearly love from our previous church. Her husband Floyd passed away in recent weeks. He was one of the members of the pastor nominating committee that brought Earl to that church in 2006. He was a dear man, full of the Spirit and a determined follower of the Lord. Our visit with Libba brought tears to both Earl’s and my eyes. These are the kind of ministries that I know God wants me to do more. These personal visits with the elderly are what bring a smile to my soul and bring joy deep within me from the Holy Spirit.
I have reviewed my Christian performance for 2013, and I have made plans for 2014. The elderly are my passion. Spending more time with people and offering them the love of Jesus is my New Year’s resolution. I believe my relationship with God will grow a little deeper and a lot stronger as I bend my will even more to His will. And on that glorious judgment day, I pray that I will hear, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”To each of you - Happy New Year and may your life be full of the work of the Holy Spirit and the blessings from our God on High!