Performance Evaluation

Performance Evaluation

At work I had to have my annual "performance evaluation" done. I've had to go through this several times over the last eight years and in the past I've also had to give them. It's not an easy thing for either end of the table but it is very necessary thing for increasing the productivity and efficiency of the employee. Most companies have such a system showing it's wisdom in application.

Well, last Thursday I didn't do too well. In fact it was probably one of my worst scores ever. There were reasons (or excuses) for my lack luster performance but I had to face up to them and realize my shortcomings over the last year. This was not an easy thing to do but I had been forced by the exercise of the performance evaluation.

I began thinking. If such an exercise could force in me a retrospective of my shortcomings and how I need to improve them then wouldn't evaluations be a good thing in the ecclesia also? Has it ever been done before? Who would administer it? Would it have the danger of being abused? Would it cause more ill will then love? What do you think?

First of all I want to give some scriptural thoughts on judgment. How we should react to judgment or criticism. What will it be like to be at the judgment seat of Christ? Most importantly we'll talk about examining ourselves, finding our faults and fixing them. After that let's go through the categories of the performance evaluation and see how they might be applied to our spiritual walk.

Thoughts on Judgment

Flesh automatically hates to be criticized. Our normal reaction to someone pointing out our flaws is to lash back out at them. The hair on our back stands on end. No matter if the criticism is right or wrong our natural inclination is to stand up for ourselves, fight for our rights, raise our voice and just level the other person for daring to say such a thing.

This is wrong. Peter says,

"For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. {20} For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." (1 Pet 2:19-20)

When we're wrong we need to accept we're wrong. When we're in the right we need to take it patiently. I don't think that means we should let the other person ride all over us. It means we are to be in control of ourselves, gentle and peaceable, not being quick to wrath and self vindication.

Another problem is that we often react against the method rather then the message. When a person is yelling we can then justify not hearing them by saying, "They shouldn't have talked to me that way." Sometimes we look at the person rather then the message. "Who do they think they are to tell me that?" A truly humble person will accept the message in what ever form it comes.

What will it be like at the judgment seat of Christ? Will we be making excuses then? Jesus Christ can, and does, pierce right to our inner souls. He knows our thoughts and our motives. We will not be able to stand before him on that day and say "Lord, I was only trying to . . ." or "Jesus, you don't understand. I was going to do it but I ..." I really believe that Jesus will be able, with maybe a sentence, or a parable, draw out of us our own condemnation. Nathan the prophet did it to King David. Jesus did it to the Pharisees. He asked them this question after a parable "What will he do unto those husbandmen?" Their reply, "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen. . ." Thus they were judged out of their own mouths (Luke 19:22). What's you're reply going to be? Whatever your answer it's going to be drawn straight from your heart, whether it is good or evil.

Before that day comes we have to be preparing for it now. Paul says in 1 Cor. 11:31-32,

"For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. {32} But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world."

The performance evaluation forces you to examine yourself. You have no other choice if you want to keep your job. You wouldn't do it otherwise, yet in the Bible we are told to examine ourselves. Hopefully the breaking of bread forces us to do this. It is one of the hardest things to do---to honestly examine ourselves. If we can develop such discerning then there will be greater chance of success at the judgment seat of Christ seeing we have all ready judged ourselves.

It is not only that you have judged yourself but you have embraced your faults, you have sought for forgiveness and you actively try to fix it. A history of performance evaluations can show our major flaws. I believe that each one of us has at least one major personality obstacle to overcome, which is extremely difficult for us to surmount, some sort of thorn in the flesh that we must subdue. It could be anger, depression, ill will or my old enemy "being unapproachable". We constantly have to be on the look out for it, realize what it is and consistently repair it through the grace of God.

Performance Evaluation

With this in mind let's take the performance evaluation. You'll have to do it yourself though. Maybe use your imagination to see what Christ would say to you.

There are fifteen personality traits that can be scored from 0 for "unsatisfactory" up to a 4 for "clearly outstanding". The categories are as follows and we'll go through each one of these in more detail.

  1. Knowledge
  2. Quantity
  3. Accuracy
  4. Judgment
  5. Innovation
  6. Appearance and Habits
  7. Orderliness
  8. Courtesy
  9. Cooperation
  10. Initiative
  11. Reliability
  12. Perseverance
  13. Stability
  14. Attendance
  15. Alertness

Now as we go through these one be one don't fall into the trap of trying to score other people. This is meant as an exercise for YOU. At this time before the memorials you are to examine yourselves.


How do you score in the knowledge category? It's interesting that this would be the first one in a job evaluation. How appropriate it is in a spiritual evaluation? Paul says in Col. 1:9-10,

"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; {10} That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"

Peter puts it as one of the initial steps towards growing in love (2 Pet. 1:5-7) and wished that we would "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Pet. 3:18). We all know that knowledge is important for it is the basis by which we make our decisions. We must constantly be putting these words of wisdom in our minds so we can have the knowledge that will make us wise unto salvation. Reading, studying, going to Bible class are all ways we can increase our score in the knowledge category.


What type of worker are we in the ecclesia? Slow? Fast? An exceptional producer? God does expect something out of us. He has given us certain abilities, what ever they may be, and he expects us to put them to use. Peter puts it this way in 1 Peter 4:10-11,

"As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. {11} If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

What comes to mind is the parable of the talents. We have God given abilities and we will be judged on how we use those abilities. What type of fruits are we producing in the ecclesia and in our lives? Is it enough? Are we matching our output with our abilities?


Inaccuracy in a spiritual sense would be the sins that we commit. We are striving to lead holy and just lives which is marred when we sin. Our accuracy score goes down. Sin in the Greek literally means "to miss the mark". How often are we hitting the mark? How are we doing brothers and sisters at purging sin out of our live? Are we letting Jesus Christ live within us so that we might defeat sin or does the world too easily find its way into our hearts.

Paul says, "do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31) which of course is impossible for "all have fallen short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). The interesting thing with this performance evaluation is that it recognizes the inability of man to be perfectly clear of error. For the highest score of four you must be extremely accurate and "rarely" commit error. The Lord knows how sinful man is so he has provided a way for us to score high in this category through the forgiveness found in his Son Jesus Christ.

(1 John 1:8-9) "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. {9} If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."


Judgment in this sense is our capacity to make reasonable decisions. Do we make the right choice or the wrong choice? In our lives of discipleship it is our ability to take the first principles and use them to discern between good and evil. This is showed to us in Hebrews 5:12-14,

"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. {13} For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. {14} But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

We are constantly in our lives being faced with expected or unexpected decisions that put us to the proof to see if we'll make the right choice. Will it be good or will it be evil? The capacity to discern is based solely on how effectually the word of God lives within us. Often we make bad judgments by either neglecting or forgetting about God. It takes spiritual insight and a keen eye to consistently ask ourselves before each situation, "Is this really what God wants me to do?" or "Is this really where God wants me to be?"


We are called upon to be builders in our ecclesia. Being a builder can be a difficult task for it involves creativity and innovation. God has given man the greatest of minds to think and develop wonderful things. How have we been using these gifts to better glorify him? Are we finding new and exciting things that might continually stir up our hearts unto righteousness?

The greatest challenge is the competition from the world around us. We have been given the commission to preach the gospel to all the world. If they don't hear then what are we to do? Do we give up or do we get innovative? The Bible Reading Seminars were a great idea that has produced a lot of fruit. How come we didn't think of that? What other ideas are out there ready to become reality for the glory of God? What new approaches are out there that we are willing to adapt for our needs?

Appearance and Habits

Isn't it interesting that a job evaluation would be concerned with appearance and habits? We can also find the same concern in the Bible such as 1 Tim 2:9-10 (NIV),

"I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

Paul recognized that appearance and habits are tied together. We show our hearts and our devotion by the care we take in personal appearance.


Are we orderly in the ecclesia? Or are we disruptive and sarcastic about following certain patterns in our worship? Paul had the problem in Corinth of brethren and sisters standing up in meeting talking at the same time and causing confusion. His final words to them were,

"Let all things be done decently and in order." (1 Cor 14:40)

We shouldn't use this verse to push our own agenda for a certain tradition but it does show the need for some sort of orderliness and organization in our worship.

Are we orderly in our lives? Do we have time to daily read the Bible? Do we set aside time for prayer?


Courtesy on the job is described as respect for others and politeness. In the spiritual sense this would be the high ideal of love. It is a disregard for self so that others might be edified both physically and spiritually. Scriptural admonitions can be found in Heb. 13:1-2 (NIV),

"Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain (i.e. have hospitality for) strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing."

and 1 Pet 4:8-9 (NIV),

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."

How are we scoring in the love and hospitality category? How often do we have fellowship outside of Sunday mornings? How often do we reach out to someone in need? Are we always considering others above ourselves?


Going along with the idea of courtesy is the category of cooperation. There might be someone in the ecclesia with a good idea. How willing are we to help out and cooperate so that their objectives might be met? Jesus said,

"And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." (Mat 5:41)

We are all laborers together in God's house. It is good for us to cooperate and work together for the common good. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says,

"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. {10} For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."

It is then imperative that we walk together, helping each other to the kingdom.


There's possibly nothing worse then having to tell a person over and over again to do something. How often does God do this with us? We must have initiative in our lives to voluntarily start projects and attempt new tasks. Isaiah was such a prophet. His willingness is shown in Isaiah 6:8,

"I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."

Another great example is the initiative of Paul who endangered his life to bring the gospel to the remotest of places. How often are we motivated to follow the examples of these great men? How many signs and troubles does God need to bring into our lives before we finally obey? God is pleased with those who are diligent and striving after Him.


How well can we be trusted to complete a task? Reliability is the same as trustworthiness and dependability. It is being a man or woman of your word. Jesus commands us not to swear (or make oaths) but just to let our 'yes' be a 'yes' and our 'no' be a 'no'. We should be people who can be depended upon that when we say we are going to do something then we will do it. God is such a one that we can rely on.

"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man." (Psa 118:8)

If He is so trustworthy then we must be trustworthy too.


Jesus said in Matthew 24:13,

"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

Perseverance and endurance are essential to our salvation. There will be many obstacles in the way that will try to make us stumble and fall. Only our perseverance will keep us in steady pursuit of the kingdom of God. Is our faith suffering through the trials we are undergoing? Perseverance brethren! God has a plan. Keep steady and you will realize his grace.


How stable are you in your faith? James says,

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." (James 1:8)

God is looking for us to build on him, the Rock. That is the only way by which we can achieve stability in our lives. Do you become angry easily? That's unstable. Do you grumble and complain a lot (Phil. 2:14)? That's unstable. Stability comes only from the peace of God which rules in our hearts. How stable are you in God?


Here's an interesting category which has a spiritual counterpart found in Heb. 10:24-25,

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: {25} Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

We're not coming to meetings just for the sake of having our names checked in the attendance box. Our assembling together is a show of our love and concern for others. It's a outward expression of our desire to be around those of like precious faith. We shouldn't forsake that. There are no holidays from this work.

The fact is that when you're not here you are missed. So many brethren and sisters have a self important view that they can pick and choose to come to meeting based on how spiritually strong they feel. What they fail to realize is that they are needed for those who come to meeting looking for spiritual support. If you're not there then they aren't going to get it. Just as the job at work doesn't get done when you're away so the work of the ecclesia doesn't get done when you're away.


Alertness according to this job evaluation is the ability to quickly understand new information and situations. I would like to change this a little in our spiritual concept to that of constant watching and praying for the return of our Lord. Are we alert to the fact that at any moment our Lord may come back? Does it permeate our lives? Or are we drunk with the cares of this world so that when the time comes we shall be found wanting. The exhortation of Peter is that,

"The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." (1 Peter 4:7).


Well, how did you score? We have to be honest with ourselves if we are going to inherit the kingdom. Our flesh naturally doesn't like to be judged, but we have to be open and forthright as we come before these memorials. If we don't examine ourselves here then guess who's going to do it in the end --- Jesus Christ. We must realize our areas of weakness, ask for strength and strive to correct our inability. Think on these categories we've gone through this morning like knowledge, accuracy, innovation, perseverance, etc. and truly examine yourselves.