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How Do You Describe Yourself?

Last week I wrote a blog article called, “We Need Heroes.” In that article I wrote about our need for role models. As Christians, Jesus is the ultimate role model. We also have the saints as role models.

Today I ask you if you think you are a good role model to others. To do so, begin by asking how you would describe yourself to others.

Centering on the word “describe”, I suspect many people might begin by describing their physical attributes. Are you short or tall? What is your hair and eye color? Are you slender or “weight-challenged”? Are you young or old? What is your nationality? What is your ethnic background? All of these do indeed describe us but are they want God looks at (see 1 Samuel 16:1-13, especially verse 7)?

Now, think of the request to describe yourself in terms of a resume. Imagine you are applying for a new job. What would you put on your resume?

The exact content of your resume might depend on what job you are applying for. A resume generally includes education, work experience, and volunteering experience and hobbies if they are relevant to the job. A resume should answer the question why the company should consider you for the job. Do you meet the qualifications?

Now let’s re-envision your resume. You no longer need a resume for a new job. Now, you need a resume to get into Heaven. You are standing at the pearly gates where you are asked for your resume.

Does your education still matter? Thinking of secular education, college degrees, or even high school diplomas, aren’t required to get into Heaven, but God might be very interested to know if you used your education to help other people. How about your religious education? Most people won’t have college degrees in religion but what have your learned about your faith? How have you made it part of who you are? Matthew 7:21-23 reminds us that it is not enough to call Jesus “Lord”. We need to make our Catholic faith part of who we are.

Looking at your work experience, the Lord is not interested if you gained great notoriety. The Lord is concerned with who you helped or who you stepped on along the way. Here God is interested in something you might not put on a resume for a secular job. Are you a compassionate person? Are you a loving person? Have you kept the two greatest commandments, first to love God and then to love your neighbor?

Another quality to put on your resume is forgiveness. Are you a forgiving person? We pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If we want to be forgiven our sins, we need to be willing to forgive others.

Forgiveness…what about our own sins? Do we need to list our sins on our resume for Heaven? How does that possibility strike you?

In wondering if you need to put your sins on your resume, I think the question is have you confessed them in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, receiving God’s forgiveness? If you have, you don’t need to put them on your resume because your sins have been wiped away by the Blood of Christ. If you haven’t confessed your sins…..I suggest you do.

One last thought on your resume for Heaven. When we prepare a resume for a secular job, we might embellish the good things and omit the bad things (don’t forget the 7th Commandment about telling the truth).

When preparing your resume from Heaven, remember embellishing gets you no where. God already knows the truth. God knows us better than we know ourselves. The only reason God would ask us for a resume is to get us to look at ourselves.

So, how would you describe yourself?

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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