I worked for the U.S. Department of Justice; of the 20-plus yearly evaluations I received, I only remember three. It was my first worker assessment that set the tone for all the rest. As an officer, my direct supervisor was a Lieutenant. There were about a dozen lieutenants. Which shift you worked, what area of the building you were in and the particular job you had, determined which lieutenant happened to be your direct supervisor. During the first year, an officer’s assignments came from the “rookie roster;” where you worked, the job you did and the shift you worked were all changing constantly.
At my one-year mark, I received notice my first year’s evaluation was ready. I had never met the supervisor who was evaluating me. I went to his office and introduced myself. He did not know me either. He retrieved a file with my evaluation. Everything was “satisfactory.” I asked him how he could evaluate me seeing we had never met. He said he had talked to lieutenants I had worked for and made the evaluation. I left his office thinking, “This isn’t worth the paper it is written on.” From that time forward, I did not care about my evaluations. I worked as hard as the next guy and over the years received several rewards for a job well done. I received promotions in a timely manner and retired at the top of my pay grade. I did my job as I would do it unto the Lord, unconcerned of man’s recognition (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22).
What about our work for God? What type of evaluation would we receive from Him? Outstanding? Satisfactory? Poor?
In the every workplace, there are those who do not pull their weight. The work is often borderline acceptable, or others will need to “finish the job.” There are also those who come in, do their eight hours and go home. The work is good, and they will always get the job accomplished, but only go the extra mile when necessary. Then there are still others who always do “grade-A” work, and the completed tasks are noticeably superior compared to the rest.
Christ said something in Luke 17:10 that is amazing, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, we are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” In other words, to live the Christian life the way God wants us to live it, we have to do more than He commanded. How many of us pray, study the Bible, and go to church regularly – the very basics of the Christian life – not to mention witnessing, loving our enemy, putting away bitterness, wrath and anger from our lives and countless other things?
In your Christian life, are you not pulling your share, doing the bare minimum, or are you receiving an “outstanding” evaluation?
What can we do to be approved workers of God?
• Study, which is more than just reading, the word of God. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
• Hide the word of God in your heart. The more the word is in our hearts, the more we can make godly decisions and choices. Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
• Be a living sacrifice for God. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
• Renew your mind by thinking in a godly way instead of a secular way. This renewed mind is also the key to doing the will of God in your life. Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Sadly, I can picture those who are not Christians reading this and thinking, “I don’t know any Christian that does any of this.”
Christian, what would be your thoughts be if you woke up tomorrow morning and had a note on your table that read, “Come to my office today. It is time for your evaluation. – God?”
Preacher Tim Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit preacherjohnson.com.