I never realized that the Lenten season coincides with performance review time in many organizations. As I prepare to have conversations with both my leader and my team about 2016 performance, I am struck by the thought of a very different performance review – the performance review of my life.
See, at the end of the year, I spent time populating a document including all of the accomplishments for 2016. In order to write a compelling performance review, I spent a great deal of time reflecting on each and every project I participated in. I thought about the project as a whole, my specific activities, the overall results, and any of my specific actions leading to positive outcomes. After this reflection time, I carefully crafted a performance review of my accomplishments and gave myself a grade.
Here is why that gave me pause – I took so much time and care drafting this document for my employer on the work completed in 2016, and I have done a similar exercise nearly every year for the past 18 years.
How much time have I spent on the performance review of my life?
These annual reviews for work provide documentation to support a merit increase and possibly a bonus check. The performance review of my life determines my eternal resting place!
When it comes to a performance review at work, I know what my goals are and what good performance looks like.
What about my performance in God’s eyes?
Before I continue, I do need to add one thing, The Bible is very clear on salvation:
John 3:16 (ESV): “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
However, according to
James 2:24 (ESV): You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone
With all that in mind, if I were to start writing the performance review of my life thus far, it would look something like this:
- Belief: I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe He is the Son of God.
- Faith: I have faith that by believing in Jesus Christ, repenting of my sins and choosing to follow Him, I have received salvation.
- Purpose: I am still seeking the answer to God’s specific purpose for my life.
- Works: While I know I have done some good things, I am still not sure they are the right things. And, regardless, I know I can do more.
- I can give more time.
- I can share more of my God-given talents.
- I can be more generous.
This Lenten season, instead of focusing on “what I will give up”, I will instead focus on “what I will do differently” to draw closer to God. I commit to:
- Rejoicing in all circumstances and realizing that God has great plans for me
- Praying continually for God’s Divine Guidance
- Giving sincere thanks for all of God’s everyday miracles – both those seen and unseen
I come to you today in thanksgiving. These past few days have been very clear reminders of the everyday miracles You continue to provide. From Paul’s miraculous recovery (2/28/15), to my new job (2/29/16), to Paul’s mom’s successful surgery (2/27/17), You help us focus on what is good and rejoice…even in some of the most difficult trials.
Father, this Lenten season, I commit to taking more deliberate time to be in conversation with You. I ask You help me to see Your will, Your plans, Your time. I ask that You help me discern Your plans from my own. I know I cannot serve two masters – and I choose You.
And Father, I know so many who are suffering right now. I pray they can see You the way I saw You when Paul was sick. I pray they can feel Your loving arms wrapped around them and know they are never alone. And, I pray they openly receive Your peace beyond understanding as they process all that has happened and walk down these uncharted paths.
I love You, I thank You, I praise You!
In Jesus’ holy name,