Performance Review Time?

21 Nov

It’s about that time of the year again, at least for some of us, when the boss (metaphorically) taps you on the shoulder and says, “it’s time for your annual review”.
 
It’s been a few years since I worked in the corporate world but I clearly remember the mixed feelings. On the one hand, who doesn’t want to be told they are doing a good job? Who doesn’t want a pay rise, or a bonus and the promise of more to come?
 
But on the other hand, what if your boss is a hard task master? What if you never really get along with her? Or, what if you just haven’t really been bringing your A-game to work this year? It can be a tough time of hard truths and challenges. 
 
Recently I experienced something of a performance review but it came from the Lord of the Universe. The SNAC staff team enjoyed the privilege of taking a few days away to pray, plan and think about church and mission and serving the Lord Jesus here in St George next year.
 
One of the joys of the time was delving into God’s Word together as Phil led us in some studies in Revelation 1-3.  But the joys weren’t without challenges. As God’s Word does when his Holy Spirit applies to us – it turned out to be something of a performance review from the Lord.
 
See, it’s one thing to have a boss at work but it’s a completely different thing to have the Lord and Creator of the Universe giving you a performance review. Here are just some of the titles that Jesus is given in the first 3 chapters of Revelation:
–       “The First and the Last,  the One who was dead and came to life” (Rev 2:8)
–       “The One who has the sharp, double-edged sword” (Rev 2:12)
–       “The Son of God,  the One whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like fine bronze” (Rev 2:18)
–       “The Holy One, the True One,  the One who has the key of David, who opens and no one will close, and closes and no one opens” (Rev 3:7)
 
It’s hard to read these titles and not realize that your view of Jesus is too small! If there is someone who has the right to review you, it’s him.
 And, since he has every right to review his people, the letters to the seven churches can hit you like a tonne of bricks.  Would you like to be the church of Ephesus about whom Jesus said:

I know your works, your labor, and your endurance,  and that you cannot tolerate evil… but I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first.” (Rev 2:2-4)

Or worse, the church at Pergamum about whom Jesus said

“I know  where you live—where Satan’s throne is!” (Rev 2:13) or the church at Laodecia – “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. ….. you are lukewarm, and … I am going to vomit  you out of My mouth. (Rev 3:15). 

It’s obvious from Revelation 1-3 that Jesus has the right and also cares about how his people serve him. It’s true that Performance Reviews at work can be humbling experiences but generally they are supposed to be for your good.
 
So, given that it is the review time of the year – how about scheduling in a review with the Lord this week? Have a read of Revelation 1-3 – I’d love to hear how it strikes you as you apply it to your own life and the life of our church.

Jason Veitch

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