Someone told you that necessity is the mother of invention. That may well be true. However, today, I want to suggest that, Evaluation is the Father of Improvement.
Think for a moment about the automobile industry. Constant evaluation of market, performance, safety, fuel efficiency gives us improved transportation. Similarly, great marriages have couples who evaluate themselves. If evaluation is good in: Industry, family, job, relationships, education, health, then evaluation is also important in our DISCIPLESHIP!
Paul says the same in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
Self-evaluation is investigating where you have been, where you currently are, and what direction you are headed. Honestly evaluate yourself and make any necessary changes. Then ask someone to evaluate you and be ready for honesty.
Before we look at How Jesus evaluated His disciples, take a look at what Proverbs says about evaluation.
- Proverbs 15:22-23, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!” I label this Timing.
- Proverbs 18:17, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” I label this Objectivity.
- Proverbs 20:18, “Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.” I label this Advice (counsel / guidance).
- Proverbs 27:17-19, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored. As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.” I label this Personal Interest.
Evaluation is not flattery or compliments, not always pleasant. Evaluation is timely and objective appraisal given for guidance by someone who has a personal interest in your physical and spiritual well-being. There is a place for this in our lives. It takes someone we trust to point out to us who we really are. As disciples we can build relationships that allow us to do that for each other.
Think about Jesus and His Disciples:
- Jesus Shared Insights that Challenged Their Thinking. In Mark 6:7-13, 30-32 He gives Situational Insight. In Mark 9:38-41 He offers Relational Insight. And in John 1:41-42 He supplies Personal Insight.
- Jesus Showed His Disciples Their Blind Spots. In Luke 10:17-20. The disciples thought they had it easy over Satan. Jesus tells them not to let power go to their head. Satan is still cunning – don’t get puffed up.
- Jesus even gave Rebuke when needed. Mark 8:31-33. He calls the stone (Peter) Satan. Sometimes we all need rebuke.
Here is the point. Jesus timely and objectively guided those He had a personal interest in.
- Choose timing well.
- Maintain objectivity.
- Guide and advise do not always criticize.
- Speak the truth out of love and personal interest as you seek what is best for the other.
It is time for a check-up. How are your doing as a disciple?