Ahh, appraisal season. Doesn’t matter which end you’re on – whether you’re appraiser or appraisee – there’s one thing we can all agree on: We’re all happy when it’s over.

A couple of weeks ago I heaved sigh of relief as I clicked the Submit button for the last appraisal report for 2016.

I’d had a challenging 6 months managing a new team. As part of the appraisal process, I asked each member of my team the following 3 questions:

1. Why do you deserve a good bonus?
2. How can I make your work more meaningful, and contribute towards your personal development?
3. Do you have any feedback for me?

Amid the appraisal interviews, 2 Corinthians 5:10 suddenly flashed in my mind: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

It dawned upon me that everyone will sit through a heavenly appraisal at the end of days. How would God, my Eternal Boss, appraise the life I’ve lived? Would I be rewarded or admonished for the things done on earth?

And just like I put three questions to my staff, the Holy Spirit asked me the following 3 questions:

1. How have I grown in the likeness of Christ?

In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul exhorts the church to follow his example as he follows Christ. Do I have such a close walk with God that I’d be confident having fellow Christians and friends follow my example? Or does even the thought of having my life up for scrutiny make me embarrassed and sheepish?

2. Do I reconcile man to Christ?

As Christians, we are charged to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). Do my actions at the workplace bring peace or cause divisions? Does my lifestyle bring glory to God, that others are reconciled with Christ through my words and deeds? Are there days or seasons where I’m so busy that I forget this ministry I’ve been entrusted with?

3. Do I allow God to search my heart like King David, and give God permission to give me “feedback” for improvement?

In Psalm 139:23-24, King David asked God to search his heart to see if there was any wickedness, and to guide and correct him if so. We all know this can’t have been easy – David had his very public failings. But because of his humility and repentance, David walked closely with God.

Are we humble enough to follow David’s example?

Based on my appraisal conversations, I think most people think of ourselves as performing above average at work. Of course, this doesn’t make sense – someone has to be below average! How many of us will be humble enough to accept criticism and work on suggested areas of improvement?

I’m thankful I’m done with my annual work appraisal. I can be pleased about my earthly boss giving me a good assessment.

But it’s so much more important to consider how our true Master views our lives and the works of our hands. Will our works on earth pass the test of fire (1 Corinthians 3:13-15), or will we escape from the flames naked, with nothing to show for the ministry/calling God has entrusted to us?

We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). What work will we prioritise in 2017: That of temporal or eternal value?