By Robert J. Tamasy
勞勃．泰默西是領袖資產協會的通訊部副部長，這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有40年經驗的退休新聞工作者。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：啟發人們將其潛能發揮到極至的10個原則」（The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential）。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com 。
思想 / 討論題目
當你想到今天或本週在工作中面對的事情，什麼是你最害怕的事？什麼事會造成你許多個晚上睡不著？ 你是否同意恐懼會對我們在職場中的決策發揮強烈的影響？為什麼？ 當你覺得害怕，不論是在工商界或專業界或在處理個人或家庭的事情時，你一向都如何反應？ 本篇「週一嗎哪」所提到的聖經觀點中，哪一點對你最有意義或最有幫助？請解釋。若你想參考有關此主題的其他聖經經文，請查看以下經節：
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
By Robert J. Tamasy
Oct. 31 marks the annual observance of Halloween in the United States, when millions of children – and some men and women – put on costumes that range from cartoon and TV characters to witches and ghosts. For many people, it seems their objective is to appear as frightening as possible.
We do not need Halloween, however, to experience fear. Everyday life and work can be scary enough. Whether it involves the threat of earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis, or more constant worries caused by an uncertain world economy, there is much that can make us fearful and anxious.
In recent days, fear has influenced sharp ups and downs of the stock market, for example. Whether the market rises or falls on a particular day often has less to do with what is actually happening at that moment than what the so-called “experts” project – or fear – will occur in the foreseeable future. News reports, even rumors, can cause chaos among investors all around the world.
Each of us experiences fear from time to time. What are you most afraid of: The prospect of losing your job? Worries about a dramatic decline in business – or not having business rebound sufficiently after a downturn? Having a colleague chosen for a coveted promotion instead of yourself? Not being able to keep pace with a very formidable competitor? Losing a key staff member – or not being able to hire a suitable replacement for someone that has already left your team?
When we recognize circumstances are beyond our control and undesirable outcomes loom, fear can become a natural response. But what if we could have confidence that circumstances were under control, being guided by someone with our best interests in mind? Would that minimize – or even eliminate – fear you are experiencing? Take a look at several things the Bible has to say about fear and how we should deal with it:
We are not alone. When confronting difficult times, or anticipating adversity, one of our greatest fears is in having to deal with those circumstances alone. God has promised those trusting in Him that He will always be with them, whether they are in the workplace, traveling, at home, or anywhere they go. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I still strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). “God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you“” (Hebrews 13:5).
We have a guide through difficult times. It is comforting to be accompanied by someone that is familiar with the environment and context of challenges we are facing, just as a shepherd knows the sometimes dangerous terrain where he leads his sheep. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…” (Psalm 23:4).
Fear is not our only option. Trusting in God”s providence, protection and provision can give us assurance that no matter how daunting the present or future may seem, we do not need to be overcome by fear or despair. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist for 40 years, he is the author of Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
As you think about issues facing you at work today – or this week – what is it that you are most afraid of? What, if anything, can cause sleepless nights for you? Do you agree with the view that fear can exert a strong influence in workplace decisions that we make? Why or why not? How do you typically respond whenever you feel afraid, whether in a business or professional context, or in dealing with personal or family issues? Which of the biblical perspectives on fear presented in this “Monday Manna,” if any, is most meaningful or helpful for you? Explain your answer.NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 3:5-6, 16:4,9, 20:24; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Matthew 8:23-27, 14:22-31; Hebrews 10:30-31