CV stands for the Latin words curriculum vitae, which translate to “the course of your life”. Yet the only thing it really shows is a list of your credentials, certifications and professional affiliations.
As I entered my 20s, the need to build an impressive CV began to hit me hard. I found myself breathlessly consumed by a flurry of internships, studies and co-curricular activities – all for the sake of adding an extra line to my resume.
Chasing title after title, I found myself growing more and more accustomed to equating my value as a person to the work I did. I started thinking that people’s perception of me and my worth would be intrinsically tied to the measurable and visible accomplishments of my life.
I felt this way even in my church. Ministry and involvement in other church activities became a yardstick of my holiness. I began measuring my faith and the faith of others on visible “achievements” like church attendance, Bible school certificates and leadership roles.
But what I’ve come to learn – and must constantly remind myself of – is that our worth and faith are not measured by visible accolades. While a CV is still required for working life, we shouldn’t get caught up with chasing earthly glory.
Standing face to face with Jesus, He won’t ask for our prettily curated CV. Instead, we’ll be asked to give an account for how we led our lives (Romans 14:12).
He’s interested in the “course of our life”, how we spend our days. This means that Jesus sees and knows all the things we have done, including all the minor and hidden things the world wouldn’t celebrate – things that otherwise wouldn’t make the cut in our earthly CV.
Jesus continuously emphasised in His teachings that it was the hidden things that brought glory to the Father. The hidden things that the world won’t recognise and appreciate you for (and may even persecute you).
So, what are the things that God sees in the full course of our lives?
1. HOW WE TREAT OTHERS
When he was physically on earth, Jesus had a heart of compassion for the needy. He reached out to the poor and treated them with dignity. He saw them as a blessed community of people whom the kingdom of God belonged (Luke 6:20-21), not those “less fortunate” than Himself.
We are also called to serve the poor. But what is the heart behind our service? Is it to receive recognition? We can do highly visible things for the poor like organising donation drives or going on mission trips. But while these are all good, God is more interested in the condition of our heart and how we show our love to the poor each day.
So let us check our own hearts, and examine how we value and treat the poor. Do we treat them as “less” than us or as those who have been given the kingdom of God?
Jesus encouraged His disciples to give to the poor in secret (Matthew 6:4). He cautioned them against displaying their deeds so others would see and praise them, for this would make them hypocrites like the Pharisees.
We are called to give freely (2 Corinthians 9:6-8), which means to give without expecting anything in return, whether it’s recognition or physical repayment (Luke 14:14).
2. HOW WE STEWARD OUR RESOURCES
Think of money. It’s something that’s widely addressed in the Bible, and that’s not because God finds money important.
He’s concerned with how we handle it as one of the resources He gives to us. Do we see money as a means for our own ends? Or do we see it as something God has given to us so – something we can use to bless others and sow into His kingdom?
Jesus warned that we should never allow money to be our master. This is a reminder that has become exceedingly relevant today, given how often we allow ourselves to be controlled by the fear of not having enough. But Jesus says we shouldn’t fear (Luke 12:22-34, Matthew 6:25-34) because God is our provider.
3. HOW WE GUARD OUR HEART
Proverbs 4:23 is often given to dating couples or a person who’s crushing hard on someone. Leaders tell us to “guard our hearts” every time, but what does it really mean?
Guarding our hearts doesn’t just mean keeping strong emotions in check. The Hebrew translation of “guard” also means “to set a watchman” over our hearts because “everything we do flows from it”.
The rest of the passage then goes on to explain what “everything” consists of, which can be summarised as what we say, see, think and where we choose to go (Proverbs 4:24-26).
We ensure that God is the watchman of our heart when we abide in His word. It looks like Psalm 119:9: “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.”
A life lived carrying out hidden things for the glory of God promises eternal reward with our Father.
Striving to build an excellent CV isn’t wrong in itself. But where are your motivations flowing from?
Do they come from a heart that desires earthly rewards and the praises of men – or a heart that is guarded by the Word of God? A life lived carrying out hidden things for the glory of God promises eternal reward with our Father.
May He say to us “well done my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23) when He hears the full account of our lives.
THINK + TALK
- If you were to die today, what would people remember you for?
- Was this something eternal?
- How can you serve God’s kingdom?