February 28, 2003
Job Performance for Jesus
In the work-world, it is customary to conduct evaluations of personnel and projects. The following ten-point checklist will help you evaluate your work for Jesus at your place of employment.
1. Do I consider my job performance for Jesus a high priority?
Most people work forty-plus hours a week. If we're not serving Him on the job, we're not living the Christian life. Even those who are not employed in a salaried position must work full-time for the Lord (2 Th 3:10).
2. What am I working for?
We should be working to permeate, social, political, and economic realities with the Gospel of Jesus (Catechism, 898). We are working for the Holy Spirit Who will help us discover and invent the ways of permeating our culture with the Gospel.
If we're working for perishable food, we're in slavery (Jn 6:27). Even though we may receive salaries and benefits, we should work in thanksgiving, love and obedience to the Lord. If you inherited a million dollars today, would you go to work anyway? The answer should be "yes." We shouldn't work for the money but for the Master.
3. Do I have a prayer list of co-workers that I intercede for daily?
Little good happens in this world except by prayer. The Lord has assigned us certain people to lift up in prayer (see Jn 17:9). Are you doing your assignment? Do you have a prayer-partner at work? Do you remember to pray for workers in the Third and Fourth Worlds and in Communist countries?
4. Have I led a co-worker to Jesus in the last month? Have I even tried?
We are Jesus' witnesses (Acts 1:8) and should not be ashamed of the gospel (Rm 1:16). Each person must make his or her own decision for Christ, but we must give them the invitation. The Holy Spirit will empower us to witness for Jesus.
5. Do I take advantage of opportunities to minister to co-workers?
We must use our spiritual gifts to serve, heal, teach, encourage, and counsel co-workers on and off the job. "Make the most of the present opportunity" (Eph 5:16).
6. Am I willing to suffer on the job?
We should expect to be persecuted (2 Tm 3:12) and to take up the daily cross of self-sacrifice (Lk 9:23). This is redemptive suffering, which will have a powerful effect in changing the lives of co-workers.
7. Is my work of the highest quality?
Since we work for the Lord, we work harder and have the highest possible standards (Col 3:23). Because our work is a sacrifice to the Lord (Heb 13:16), it must be unblemished (see Lv 1:3).
8. Are my relationships with co-workers and especially with my boss characterized by Christian love? (1 Cor 13:1-3)
They'll know we are Christians by our love (Jn 13:35). Especially our relationships with our bosses (even unreasonable ones) are to give glory to God (1 Pt 2:18-19; Eph 6:5; Ti 2:9-10).
9. Would I quit my job if God told me to do so? Would I stay on the job against my will in obedience to God's will?
Sometimes, like Peter, we are called to "leave our nets" (Mt 4:20). At other times, we must stick it out. The main objective is to do God's will. The use of our spiritual gifts will move us in or out of a job. We should act in faith. Does it take deeper faith to leave or to stay on your job?
10. Do I keep holy the Lord's Day? (see Ex 20:8)
The Lord's Day is made for our benefit (Mk 2:27). Sunday is our day of rest and resurrection. It will make the difference between our work becoming the slavery of sin or the creativity of paradise (Gn 2:2-3). It is our "declaration of independence."
Nihil obstat: Rev. Ralph J. Lawrence, May 2, 2002
Imprimatur: Most Rev. Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, on May 6, 2002.