Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV
The month of February kicks off Performance Review for employees in my organization. For the next couple of weeks, employees will be asked to do self-evaluation as well as be evaluated by their managers or supervisors to determine their “Merit increase rate.” Undoubtedly, many employees will be disappointed at the end of the process for not getting the rate increase they think they deserve. This is because many employees tend to exaggerate their contributions or quality of work throughout a given year. Some employees assume because their performance exceeded expectations in a particular month or two, their PR score for the entire year should reflect that they exceeded expectations, and they should be compensated accordingly.
When I do performance review for my employees, I challenge them to examine themselves and see whether they have been performing at a level that increases productivity and quality in addition to the different categories used to evaluate them. I also asked them to think about areas for improvement, lessons learned, and goals for the upcoming year. Then I compare their previous year’s performance with the current year’s performance to see if there is any growth or regression.
In today’s text, the writer challenges the saints in the church at Corinth to examine themselves, to see whether they are in the faith. How should believers do that? First, create a list of personal strengths and weaknesses. Second, document areas of sin in their lives. Third, assess their faithfulness to the great commission of Jesus Christ. Fourth, evaluate their prayer life and their discipline in studying the word of God. Fifth, do a spiritual gift assessment and determine whether they are using their spiritual gift to the glory of God or not.
Christian believers should test themselves continuously to ascertain if their lives are pleasing to God, and if they are proclaiming the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ by words and deeds. Our goal is to receive an imperishable crown from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on the day of judgment. This will be our eternal “merit increase.”
In the interim, we have to test ourselves daily to make sure we remain withing the circumference of God’s grace through faith in Christ Jesus. We have to ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts daily and know our hearts and our anxious thoughts. Indeed, we should pray for the Holy Spirit to point out anything in us that offends God, and lead us along the path of everlasting life (Psalm 139:23-24).
Though we are people of faith, we yet struggle with the sins of this world while we are in the flesh. Indeed, for the most part, we do not do the good we want to do, but the evil we do not want to do—this we keep doing (Romans 7:19). Therefore, we need to examine ourselves and ask the Lord to do our performance review as often as necessary.
At the end of every year, I do a spiritual performance review of myself to ascertain my position in the spiritual growth continuum. Doing so always reveals blind spots and other areas of sin in my life that need to be addressed. Then, I spend the first 40 days of the following year to fast and pray so I can increase my spiritual and personal productivity as a disciple of Jesus Christ throughout the new year.
God loved us while we were yet sinners and died for our redemption and salvation. But He does not want us to remain in a state of sinful rebellion to His will. Therefore, we have to examine ourselves continuously to see whether we are honoring God in every area of life as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.
Questions for Personal Reflection
When was the last time you did a spiritual performance review?
What did you learn about yourselves when you did your spiritual performance review?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for loving me when I fall short of your expectations. May your Holy Spirit continue to reveal to me areas of sin in my life so I can remain in a relationship of loving union with you.