REFERENCE CHECK

Aug
2017
12

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                  “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind,                                     the man Christ Jesus…” (1 Timothy 2:5).

There’s an old expression known as ‘vouching for someone.’  One might say, “Sure you can extend credit to Pete. I’ll vouch for him because I know him to be a stand-up guy.  If he says he’ll do something . . . he will. I have no doubt he’ll pay you what’s due.” As years passed, we grew to call it a reference. In one of my work settings, I did a lot of reference checking in conjunction with job applications. In some cases, I found that they were unreliable because often times the applicant would list people with whom they had worked rather than their supervisor. Therefore, you never quite got the full story. Scrutinizing references began to really become a difficult endeavor whenever employers were legally advised to provide restricted information limited to date of hire and position held.

These days, it is not unusual for employers to ‘snoop’ the social media platforms of perspective job candidates. There, a company can find out all kinds of information that most applicants would rather not reveal to a future employer. Thinking that you are sharing information among ‘friends’ – all the posts one has made about calling off from work and how much they hate their current employer may be just hanging out there publicly for the world to see. Provocative photos, discriminatory comments, sharing confidential information about clients, or slandering work colleagues and bosses says a lot about who you are and what risk and challenge you will most likely represent to a future employer. It’s frequently enough to put your application on the bottom of the pile and just move on.

One of my interview questions used to be, “do you know anyone who works here and what would they say about you?” I cannot begin to count the number of times that I have gone to a good employee to vouch for one of these ‘name-droppers’ and their response was, “I really don’t want to say.” When we demonstrate a complete lack of discretion as to how we represent ourselves in today’s highly visible society, we can never be quite sure what will come back to haunt us or who will stand up for us. If that is true for the things of this world, who will advocate for us when it comes to heavenly things which we hope will take us to a place of eternal comfort?  The Apostle Paul said to fellow believers – “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand” (Colossians 3:1).

As we set our sights heavenward, it is important that we live a life following the example which Jesus Himself demonstrated for us. Knowing that we would never be without sin, Jesus became the rescuer to liberate us from condemnation. “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25). I have always loved the words penned by Carol Gilman in the chorus to the song, “He’s Ever Interceding” –

And He’s ever interceding to the Father for His children;
Yes, He’s ever interceding to the Father for His own;
Through Him you can reach the Father, So, bring Him all your heavy burdens;
Yes, for you He’s interceding, So, come boldly to the throne.

Jesus understood that we were incapable of living a life without sin, but He does expect that we will work toward doing so. Some of us want the glory of heaven but not the burden of obedience here on earth. Many will seek the benefit of Jesus’ great sacrifice without endeavoring to live like He lived. If we love Him enough that our life has been changed, then we must make the effort to walk the faithful walk. In doing so, we will build a resume for serving Him alone and have the full assurance that He is the one and only reference we will need for eternal placement.

REFLECTION: How do the words of Romans 8:34 (“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us”) give us an assurance that Jesus is actively advocating on our behalf?

A NEW LOOKUP  DEVOTION IS UPLOADED EACH WEEK. THE NEXT WEEKLY POSTING WILL BE ON SAT., AUGUST 19, 2017.  COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

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