So the one who boasts must boast in the Lord. For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends. – 2 Corinthians 10:17-18
Each year in the business and nonprofit world (and to an increasing degree in local church life), an employee approaches that dreaded moment called the “performance review.” This should be a constructive experience for everyone involved, a time for honest evaluation and encouragement of all parties.
There should also be no surprises. If a person is not performing up to the standards expressed by supervision, he or she should not hear it for the first time at an annual review. Each employee should know up front what the goals are, what basic behaviors are expected, and how he or she is performing. Likewise, the supervisor (particularly in Christian ministry) should not be “ambushed” by a disgruntled co-laborer simply because the opportunity is given.
At the end of this earthly life each Christ-follower will also receive a “performance review” (of sorts). The Lord will examine us in the area of growth and obedience to His express will. We will not be able to claim that we were ignorant of His expectations, because they have all been provided within the words of Scripture. We may cry that we failed (or did not have time) to learn His instructions, but that will be no excuse when we stand before His all-knowing gaze. Our only remedy will be the grace He has extended and our only response thanksgiving and worship to the glory of His name.
Remember, O my soul, the fig tree was charged, not with bearing noxious fruit, but no fruit. – Thomas Fuller