It’s that time of year again! No, not Christmas and New Years – I’m referring to that OTHER “special” time of year.
You know, that time where we endure employee performance reviews with our bosses – telling them what we’ve done, then hearing how the boss sees us. I admit it – this is one of the more uncomfortable times of year for me – hoping my boss will appreciate how hard I’ve worked, but fearing he didn’t notice or understand what I did.
I’ve lived through this performance review cycle 31 times in my career. After 31 times, it’s still uncomfortable. Because let’s face it, deep down we all want to be viewed as “better than most,” and not just “average.”
In some ways, my Christian life is like this, always wondering how “the Big Boss” views me. I want God to be so impressed with me that He comments to the angels about my amazing performance. And since God built me to be task-oriented, I run my personal life with “to-do” lists trying to achieve great results for God. I love checking items off my list. Did your devotions? Check! And in my imagination, a little voice whispers “God is SO pleased with you for spending time with Him.”
So you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that in addition to my “to-do” lists, I also set annual goals for my life. Please don’t laugh at me – remember, God made me like this. It helps me get things done. Besides, having annual goals is WAY better than New Years resolutions. Because I can work on goals all year, and not just throw everything away on January 2nd when I choose cheesecake over my New Year’s diet.
Which I probably will……
As I get to the end of this year and reflect on the state of my personal 2013 goals, I’m afraid they aren’t in great shape. My personal performance rating would be “Didn’t Meet Expectations.” I didn’t lose 15 pounds. I didn’t de-clutter the house. I didn’t spend as much time with friends as I intended. I’ve been focused on just surviving in 2013, and it shows.
In spite all that I didn’t do, I was able to spend time with Jesus most days. And you know what? That made all the difference. Because Jesus is not like an earthly boss….no, He is WAY better!
Bosses says “Get things done.”
Jesus says “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind.”
Bosses says “Live by your accomplishments.”
Jesus says “Live by faith.”
Bosses say “Figure it out!”
Jesus says “Follow me, and trust me.”
Bosses say “You can be replaced.”
Jesus says “You’re precious to me – I gave my life for you.”
Bosses say “You’ll be held accountable.”
Jesus says “Your faith in me saves you from your sins, I see you as righteous.”
And that’s when I realize….being rated as “righteous” by the God of the universe….well, I can’t think of a better rating than that! So why am I working so hard to impress Jesus, when all He asks is that I love Him, trust Him, place my faith in Him?
And as I hold on tightly to Jesus each day and trust Him, He shows me things I can do for Him that day, that don’t necessarily “count” toward my goals – but that share Christ’s love with others. And you know what? I think Jesus cares a lot more about my following His lead and sharing His love with others each day than about my annual goals. I just need to remind my task-oriented brain of that.
How about you – do you live off a “to-do” list? Are you constantly checking to see if you’ve done enough to please God? I’d love to hear your thoughts…..