A Negative Appraisal
Loving Lord, I thank You for the timeless wisdom of Your Word. May I receive its truth today.
Read Malachi 2:1-9
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Eternal Light, Eternal Light! How pure the soul must be, which placed within your searching sight, returns your gaze with calm delight and does not shrink or flee” (Thomas Binney, 1798–1874).
Appraisals or performance reviews are part of life for the modern workforce in many parts of the world. We are asked to look over our progress in the past year, rejoice in the successes, come to terms with the failures and move forward in our work. I have usually appreciated mine but found it a challenge when appraising others. How can I help this person to identify the areas they need to work on and yet go away encouraged? Just occasionally, an appraisal seems to show nothing but negatives, and only warnings can be given. God’s appraisal of the priests in Malachi’s time is like this. These priests were chosen and called to be models of righteousness and truth. They were required to both show and tell the people what God was like, and help the people show the family likeness. Instead, they were behaving as if God was irrelevant and it was they, the priests, who were significant—as if their desires should be satisfied and their whims matter above God’s wishes.
How could these priests be helped to accept the seriousness of what they were doing? A few years ago, I had a recurring dream where students insisted on talking during an exam. I just couldn’t persuade them that this meant that they would fail; they thought it wasn’t important and wouldn’t make any difference. It never actually happened to me, but I can still feel the upset of not being able to prevent disaster. I think Malachi—and God—must have felt a bit like that. Priests had particular benefits and particular responsibilities. The New Testament tells us we are all priests, all called, like Levi, to walk with God “in peace and uprightness” with nothing false found on our lips (6).
A walk worthy of the Lord has moral rectitude (“uprightness,” 6), healthy relationships (“peace,” 6) and awareness of God’s presence (“He walked with me,” 6). How are you are doing!
Father, I want above all else to live a life that’s worthy of You. Hear my renewed desire to focus on You and Your will for me. Use my life for Your glory.
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