Why you don't have to fear your appraisal

Whether it’s feedback or an end-of-project review, appraisals are scary.

We want to know we’re doing ok. Maybe there’s a chance of losing our job.

But the gospel gives us the resources to fight the fear.

A security

Jesus doesn’t only secure our future. He secures our present.

He’s given us God's approval and provision, regardless of our performance.

Losing a job is scary. But we're his children and always will be. There’s rest knowing that God won’t let us go hungry (Luke 12:28-30).

An identity

Perhaps our performance is under-par. Then we need to remember criticism is good. Like a flu jab or sports massage. Uncomfortable but good.

And feedback is good exactly because it’s uncomfortable - it exposes what we don’t see ourselves.

We’re not finished articles (2 Corinthians 3:18). God allows constructive criticism to help us grow.

This doesn’t mean it’s always right. But there’s usually some truth to it.

“Have I said something I haven’t meant? Have I overlooked something important? Does what I say match what I do?”

Our cast-iron identity in Jesus allows us to ask these questions without fear of rejection.

An opportunity

Even when it seems unfair, feedback gives us opportunity to display the gospel.

With our identity in tact, we don't have to make excuses. We can respond gratefully and calmly. This communicates something profound:

I receive feedback well because I’m not what I should be. I’m grateful because I want to grow. I'm calm because my flaws don’t affect my identity.

Only Christians can do this.

An acquired taste

So David Powlison is right:

‘Fair-minded criticism is one of life’s best pleasures, an acquired taste well worth acquiring.’

Appraisals are scary. But God gives us the resources to face them.

He uses them to show us who he is and who we are in him.