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葡萄樹傳媒

你可倚賴的成長策略

By Rick Boxx

我的一位朋友為了經濟對她生意上的影響而感到憂慮,她問了我一個好問題:「可以為有更多生意禱告嗎?」我的回答很簡單。我告訴她:「要視情況而定。」

這位朋友說,她很感謝上帝直到現在對她的供應,但也承認她很強烈希望能看到她的事業能成長。當我們談到這一點,我認為禱告求更多生意是否合適,這答案就在於潛在的動機。

若一個人決定禱告求更多的生意是為了將來擔心害怕,那麼這人就是忽略了耶穌要我們不憂慮的命令。當耶穌在馬太福音6章33節告訴祂的跟隨者:「你們要先求他的國和他的義,這些東西都要加給你們了」,祂是在強調動機。

同樣地,若一個企業主禱告求更多工作、更多銷售量、或更大的客戶群,只因為他/她想要增加收入,然後把錢花在他們想要的事物上,那麼「可以禱告求更多生意嗎?」,答案是不可以。

耶穌在與跟隨者的同一段談話中說:「一個人不能事奉兩個主;不是惡這個,愛那個,就是重這個,輕那個。你們不能又事奉神,又事奉瑪門」(馬太福音6章24節)。

然而,有一個非常正當的理由可以禱告求更多生意。事實上,我確定上帝會鼓勵你這麼禱告。若你希望你的事業成長是為了更能討上帝喜悅,並透過你的產品或服務去服事顧客,那麼上帝會──且想要答應這個禱告。而且那成長的景況可能超過你所能想像。

我們常常把上帝的同在或參與我們的生活局限在禮拜天早上。當我們面臨重大的個人或家庭事故,我們可能會理所當然地向祂禱告。但當面臨事業和工作上的需要,為了一些理由,我們一般都把上帝排除在外。

在聖經裡,我們不斷地看到上帝要我們禱告。但聖經也要求我們的心──我們的動機──需要在正確的位置,不論在工作、在家中或不論我們去到哪裡。

關於禱告,聖經告訴我們要「不住的禱告」(帖撒羅尼迦前書5章17節)。這意味著所有的時間,而且不論我們走到哪裡。聖經也提醒我們:「應當一無掛慮,只要凡事藉著禱告、祈求,和感謝,將你們所要的告訴神」(腓立比書4章6節)。

同時聖經說:「你們求也得不著,是因為你們妄求,要浪費在你們的宴樂中」(雅各書4章3節)。上帝強調我們的動機也記錄在許多其他地方,包括箴言16章2節:「人一切所行的,在自己眼中看為清潔;惟有耶和華衡量人心。

本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。想要更多了解正直資源中心或想要收到電子文件的「瑞克每天的正直時刻Rick”s daily Integrity Moments」系列文章,請上網www.integrityresource.org。他的書「如何生意興隆而不犧牲正直」提供人們正直地作生意的方法。

思想 / 討論題目
你是否為你的工作--或你的事業禱告?你是否曾經考慮這麼做?為什麼? 在工商專業界,我們計畫、估算、設定目標、分析並評估。但我們卻很少想到為工作禱告。你想為什麼會如此? 你曾否為事業或工作相關的事禱告,而且得到一個直接且明確的答案嗎?若是,請解釋那情況,並說明在你禱告後發生了什麼事。 為何上帝這麼強調我們禱告背後的動機?註:若你想參考有關此主題的其他聖經經文,請查看以下經節:
撒母耳記上16章7節;箴言4章23節、16章9節、17章3節、21章2節、26章24-26節;馬太福音6章5-8節;馬可福音11章22-24節

A GROWTH STRATEGY YOU CAN COUNT ON

By Rick Boxx

A friend of mine, wearied by the impact the economy has had on her business, asked me a good question. She wondered, "Is it okay to pray for more business?" My answer to her was simple. I told her, "It depends."

The friend said she was grateful for what God has provided to date, but also admitted she had a strong desire to see her business grow. As we talked about this, I explained that I believe the answer to whether it is proper to pray for more business lies in the underlying motives.

If an individual decides to pray for more business out of worry and fear of what the future might hold, then that person is ignoring Jesus’ command not to worry. Jesus was focusing on the motive when He told His followers in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well."

In a similar sense, if a business owner is praying for more work, more sales or a larger clientele base solely because he or she wants an increased income to spend on things they want, again the answer to the question, “Is it okay to pray for more business?” would be no.

In the same discourse with people that were following Him, Jesus made this statement: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).

However, there is one very legitimate reason for praying for more business. In fact, I feel certain God would encourage you to do so. If your desire to grow your business stems from a greater desire to better please God and serve customers through the products or services you can provide, then that is a prayer God can answer – and wants to answer. Perhaps in a way far greater than anything you could imagine.

Too often we relegate any sense of God”s presence and personal involvement in our lives to what happens on Sunday mornings. Or perhaps we feel free to pray to Him when we confront serious personal or family issues. But when it comes to business and workplace needs, for some reason we typically leave God out of the equation.

Repeatedly we see in the Bible that God wants us to pray. But it also advises us that our hearts – our motives – need to be in the right place, whether at work, at home, or wherever we go.

About prayer, we are told to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). That means all of the time, and everywhere we go. We also are admonished, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

At the same time, it says, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3). God”s emphasis on our motives is cited in many other places, including Proverbs 16:2, which says, “All a man”s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.

Copyright 2011, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick”s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Do you pray for your work – or for your business? Have you ever considered doing so? Why or why not? In the business and professional world, we plan, we project, we set goals, we analyze and we evaluate. But when it comes to prayer, it seems that is something we rarely do. Why do you think this is the case? Can you think of a time when you did pray for a business or work-related issue and received a direct, definitive answer to your prayers? If so, explain the situation and what happened after you prayed. Why do you think God puts such strong emphasis on the motives behind our prayers? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: 1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 4:23, 16:9, 17:3, 21:2, 26:24-26; Matthew 6:5-8; Mark 11:22-24

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