Evaluations

Throughout my working career I have been and continue to be on both sides of annual evaluations. As a school principal, one of my responsibilities was to evaluate teachers and staff. The seasoned teachers received evaluations twice each year while newer teachers were evaluated more often. The evaluation always included a time to sit down and discuss the process.

At the time I evaluated others, I myself was being evaluated. The purpose of any evaluation is for feedback and improvement. We should always welcome sincere thoughts about our performance when it is coming from someone who cares about us. Concerning evaluations I would like to consider 2 ideas.

One of the requirements of an evaluation is for the one being evaluated to know how they are being judged, specifically to know by what standard they are being evaluated. Ideally the person would have a copy of the evaluation instrument at the beginning of the process. It would be known to all exactly what was expected. It would be extremely unfair to evaluate a person using standards and objectives that were unknown. How could that help anyone improve?

And secondly, there is the subjectivity of the evaluator. We are all human and subject to our own prejudices and emotions. I am sure we have all been evaluated in a way we felt was unfair. But if we know the evaluator cares for us and wants what is best for us then we are more willing to accept the criticism and even give them room for doubt.

On the other hand, it may have been that we received glowing praise in every category and knew the evaluation was not worth much. We generally know. I remember once receiving an evaluation in which I received all 5’s with one exception. On one item I was given a 4 and the evaluator apologized and said they couldn’t give all 5’s. Needless to say I knew I did not deserve all 5’s and the whole process was a waste of time.

I also remember evaluating a teacher on one occasion. I was not at all hypercritical, in fact I was very lenient. But I was trying to help her grow in some needed areas and thus I gave her scores that would allow for improvement in those areas. I did not expect the reaction in the evaluation review. This was a seasoned teacher who broke down and cried and cried in my office. She exclaimed she had never received anything other than 5’s. We generally know what we deserve and she surely knew she didn’t deserve all 5’s. No, I didn’t change the scores. And I don’t know that it made a difference in her teaching. Maybe she did think she deserved all 5’s but I can assure you she did not.

Evaluations. We all answer to someone and we all face evaluations.

There is a scene found in Revelation 20 in which the Great Evaluation is described. All of mankind will stand before GOD for this evaluation. It is said that we will be judged by the things written in the books. These books are referring to the Holy Scriptures. So first note, we have the evaluation instrument that will be used. There will be no surprise items on which we are evaluated. We know now by what we will be judged, GOD’S word.

And secondly note, there will be no subjectivity of the Evaluator involved this time. GOD is completely fair. We will receive our reward according to our works while here on earth.

As we stand before this final evaluation, let us remember there is an Advocate available to plead our case before the Father. Who would want to stand before a judge in America’s courtroom facing a possible life or death sentence without legal representation? And yet we are provided an opportunity for Christ to represent us before the Father according to 1 John 2:1. Advocate, parakletos, someone to stand beside me during my life and prepare me for my last evaluation.

I urge you to accept the LORD on His terms while you are on this side of that evaluation. Accept His representation by becoming a child of His through belief and obedience. Proclaim Him as your Advocate and put Him on in baptism (Galatians 3:27). It will make all the difference when we face our last evaluation review.

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