The Reference

I often get asked to write references for people.  Some are looking for a new job, some are trying to get their children accepted into a special school, some are reaching for a higher level of responsibility, some are enrolling into a particular course and some are needing support as they defend themselves in legal matters.

When you choose someone to write a reference you select an individual who knows you well:  Someone who is capable of expressing the qualities you possess; someone who can vouch for your character and; someone whose opinion carries some weight because of their position or qualifications.

You would not choose a stranger to give you a reference, you would not choose someone with whom you were having an issue and you would not choose someone who had ‘history’ with you.  You choose the person who is best able to paint a picture that is going to present you and your abilities in the ‘best light’.

It usually takes me much longer to write a reference than I expected: I find that I have to carefully craft each sentence so that it truly reflects my observations and opinion of the individual, ensuring that I am being honest and not overstating the qualities which are present.

Often, once I have given the reference to the individual who has requested it they are surprised by the content.  They are pleased at the positive comments reflected but they are often enlightened by truths that perhaps they have not seen regarding themselves.  I have even had people say something like “I couldn’t recognise myself!” or “I should give myself the job!”

It is great to get a positive reference and it is encouraging to have carefully formed thoughts expressed for others to hear.


How does getting a reference from Jesus sound?

Some people would be horrified by the thought and would be intimidated by the fact that He sees all and knows us all.  Some would see Him as judgemental and narrow: limited in what He values and archaic in what He expects.

My experience is very different and suggests that getting His reference is incredibly beneficial.  Being held to His standard has helped me to value what is going well and to improve the areas I am lacking in…I don’t find Him judging me but inspiring me to greater heights and a more effective life.

Maybe you should ask Him what He thinks?


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