不只是一個工作

By Robert J. Tamasy

你為什麼要工作?為了賺一份薪水?還是因為有錢才能買食物、衣服、加油、開車、為將來做一點投資,然後希望還有剩一些錢可以休閒?但這些就是你工作的理由嗎?

有些人說工作是讓他們在兩個週末間有事可做。或許你還可以想到其他的理由,但是幾年前喬治.華盛頓卡佛強調「為什麼工作?」是一個強而有力和深遠的問題。

卡佛1943年逝世,享年79歲,是一個非裔美國人,他是一個農業方面的化學家,發現了花生、大豆、鷹嘴豆和馬鈴薯的許多用途,到如今我們仍然受惠於他的發現。但是對他而言,他的工作不僅僅是一個在實驗室的工作而已。他這樣看自己的工作:

『人類需要一個目標、一個使命來讓他活下去。他可以是神的同工。我活著的目的和神的目的同樣是為了增加祂子民的福祉和快樂。基督徒不需要驚訝神在一個實驗室工作人身上所做的工』

神告訴我們一件事:我們很多人可能永遠也無法了解,神把我們放在這裡是有目的、有使命的。如果我們生活的目標和神給我們的目標一樣,我們就能擴大別人的生命以及找到自己生命的目標,那是超過薪水、時間和生命的。卡佛除了告訴我們他對工作的看法,也引用了使徒行傳17章28節說:「我們生活、動作、存留,都在乎祂。就如你們作詩的,有人說:『我們也是祂所生的。』」

在聖經第一章第一節,神很清楚地給工作意義和目的。神就賜福給他們,又對他們說:「要生養眾多,遍滿地面,治理這地,也要管理海裏的魚、空中的鳥,和地上各樣行動的活物。」(創世記128節)人類被設計當管理地球萬物的管家。這一節經文在目的和使命上面著墨更多:

我們在這裡的目的。神並沒有把我們擺在祂的展示櫃當中。祂定意要我們完成工作榮耀祂。「我們原是他的工作,在基督耶穌裏造成的,為要叫我們行善,就是神所預備叫我們行的。 (以弗所書210).

引導我們如何做工作。神不僅創造了工作,在聖經裡面祂給我們指示,告訴我們應當如何看待工作以及我們為什麼工作。「聖經都是神所默示的(或譯:凡神所默示的聖經),於教訓、督責、使人歸正、教導人學義都是有益的,叫屬神的人得以完全,預備行各樣的善事。(提摩太後書316-17)

我們的工作神會來評分。神會檢視我們的工作。「這些事都已聽見了,總意就是:敬畏神,謹守他的誡命,這是人所當盡的本分(或譯:這是眾人的本分)。 因為人所做的事,連一切隱藏的事,無論是善是惡,神都必審問。 (傳道書1213-14).

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業:箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」(Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace);他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」(The Heart of Mentoring

省思與問題討論

你如何回答「為什麼要工作」這個問題? 「工作不只是為了薪水;工作是有目的、有使命和有意義的。」分享你對這句話的看法。 你對卡佛給工作的定義以及從神的角度來看工作有甚麼看法?分享你的答案。 你覺得關於工作,聖經給了我們足夠的指示,告訴我們每天應該如何工作嗎?請分享你的看法。

備註: 如果你手上有聖經,希望知道更多關於這個主題的經文,請參考:箴言10章4節、12章24節、18章11節、22章29節;哥林多前書3章9節;以弗所書6章5-9節;歌羅西書3章17、23節。

MORE THAN “JUST A JOB”

By Robert J. Tamasy

Why do you go to work? To earn a paycheck? We all do that – it is good to have the money to buy food and clothing, put gas in our cars, pay bills, maybe invest a little for the future, and hopefully have some cash left over for fun activities. But is that the only reason you go to work?

Some people might respond that work gives them something to do. Others might comment that it helps to fill the time between weekends. You can probably think of other reasons, but years ago George Washington Carver addressed the “why go to work?” question in a way that was both powerful and profound.

Carver, who died in 1943 at the age of 79, was an African-American agricultural chemist who had discovered hundreds of uses for peanuts, soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes, among others. We still benefit from many of his discoveries today. But for him, his work was much more than “just a job” in a scientific lab. He explained it this way:

“Man, who needed a purpose, a mission, to keep him alive, had one. He could be…God”s co-worker…. My purpose alone must be God”s purpose – to increase the welfare and happiness of His people…. Why, then, should we who believe in Christ be so surprised at what God can do with a willing man in a laboratory?”

He hit on a truth that too many of us never fully grasp. God has placed us here for a purpose, a mission – and if we”re aligned with God”s purpose, we will enhance the lives of others and find lasting purpose that transcends paychecks, time clocks and deadlines. Along with offering his perspective on work, Carver cited Acts 17:28, “In Him (Jesus Christ) we live and move and have our being.”

From the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, it is clear God ordained special meaning and purpose for work. “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living create that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28). Mankind was designated to serve as stewards over His creation. The Scriptures say more about work in terms of purpose and mission:

A primary reason we are here. The Lord did not intend to display us in His trophy case; He had work He intended for us to accomplish for His glory. “For we are God”s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Guidelines provided for how we are to work. God did not merely create work. In the Bible, He gives instruction on what we are to do, how we are to do it, and why. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Our work will be evaluated by the Creator of work. Once our work is completed, it will be subject to divine inspection. “…here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

© 2017. Robert J. Tamasy has written Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace; Tufting Legacies; coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring, and edited numerous other books, including Advancing Through Adversity by Mike Landry. Bob”s website is www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com, and his biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

How would you answer the question, “Why do you go to work?” Is it important to have a sense of purpose, mission or meaning that we can find in the work we do, rather than simply regarding it as a source of income? Explain your answer. What are your thoughts about the statements by George Washington Carver concerning the significance of work, and striving to view it from God”s perspective? Do you think the Bible provides sufficient instruction and guidelines on how we are to pursue the work we are entrusted to do each day? Why or why not?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 10:4, 12:24, 18:11, 22:29; 1 Corinthians 3:9; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:17,23

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