你為什麼工作?

By Robert J. Tamasy

人們為許多不同的原因工作。一個主要的原因是要賺取生計──桌上有食物、頭上有屋頂、能夠付帳單、並達到他們想要的生活形態。無疑的,工作讓我們有事情做──讓我們定期地運用並投資我們的時間。

工作也能給我們自我價值感,能夠達成某件有價值之事的滿足感──尤其若那件事是你特別獨特被裝備去做的。若你享受你的工作,你就是幸運的少數工作者──非常快樂的一群人。但你是否曾經渴望工作被肯定,甚至希望贏得榮譽或獎賞,表明你是最好的--或者在你的公司或甚至在你的行業中最好的?

當我在編輯雜誌時,我會參加一個出版業的年會。每個年會的其中一晚會有一個比賽,期刊、作家和編輯會依照各個種類被評審並頒獎。有時我們的雜誌會得獎,那真是喜悅且滿足。但你曾否想過這樣的肯定轉瞬即逝──即使在評價最高的競賽中?

例如:你能說出過去五年美式足球超級杯選出的最有價值球員是哪些人嗎?或者過去五年贏得超級杯冠軍的隊伍?你能說出過去五年代表你們國家參加世界小姐選美比賽的女子嗎?過去五年諾貝爾經濟獎、科學獎、或其他獎項的得主是誰?過去五年奧斯卡金像獎最佳影片的片名?

我們還可以想出其他的例子。我們喜歡被肯定,因為那認可我們,使我們覺得有價值且有意義。但得獎與肯定都是短暫的,很快就被忘記。掌聲會變弱,好的感覺會消失,而且每個人都在尋找最新的「明星」。如舊約傳道書的作者所羅門王所宣稱:「都是虛空,都是捕風」(傳道書2章17節)。

這是否意味著追求卓越和個人的成就是徒然的,浪費時間與精力?聖經告訴我們盡自己最大努力是重要的,但驅動我們努力的源頭最重要:

只為一位觀眾表演。人們──即使是我們的雇主和同事──都是易變的。我們無法永遠討他們的喜歡。所以我們需要確定我們的工作得到一個正確之人的認可。「無論做甚麼,都要從心裏做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,因你們知道從主那裏必得著基業為賞賜;你們所事奉的乃是主基督。」(歌羅西書3章23-24節)。

得到上帝的稱讚。在實際的世界上,有時我們最好的工作表現會被忽視或忽略。但聖經向我們保證上帝注意我們為祂所做的所有事情,並且渴望要獎賞我們忠心的服事。「主人說:『好,你這又良善又忠心的僕人,你在不多的事上有忠心,我要把許多事派你管理」(馬太福音25章21節)。

得到長久的肯定。許多獎賞和榮譽的問題是隨著時間它們就失去價值和光彩。然而上帝給的肯定絕對不會褪色或失去價值。「到了牧長顯現的時候,你們必得那永不衰殘的榮耀冠冕」(彼得前書5章4節)。

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」(The Heart of Mentoring)。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com以及www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com 。

思想 / 討論題目
請說明你每天去工作的主要理由有那些。在你的職業生涯中,工作理由是否改變過? 想得到肯定是你工作的動力之一嗎,不論那是想被你的老闆注意和稱讚,或在你的公司或行業裡贏得聲望? 為何被肯定的「壽命」如此短暫,即使是最顯著的成就?這如何影響你對被肯定和獎賞的需求? 我們的工作主要是去服事上帝,討祂的喜悅,並滿足於得到祂的稱讚。你對於這觀念有何看法?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
傳道書2章24-26節;馬太福音6章19-21節;哥林多前書3章6-9節;腓立比書4章19節;歌羅西書3章17節

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING FOR?
By Robert J. Tamasy

People go to work for many different reasons. One primary reason is to earn a livelihood – putting food on the table, a roof over their heads, paying bills, and achieving their desired lifestyle. Without question, work gives us something to do – a way to utilize and invest our time on a regular basis.

Work also can give us a sense of self-worth, the satisfaction of being able to achieve something worthwhile – especially if it involves tasks you are uniquely or specially equipped to perform. If you have work that you enjoy, you are among the fortunate minority of workers – a very happy group. But have you ever gone to work yearning for recognition, even hoping to earn honors or awards that would signify that you were the best – or one of the best – in your company, or even your profession?

When I editing a magazine, I would attend an annual publisher”s conference. One evening each year included an awards contest where periodicals, writers and editors were judged and honored in various categories. Occasionally our magazine received an honor, and that was gratifying. But have you ever thought about how fleeting such recognition is – even in the most prestigious competitions?

For instance: Can you name the players chosen Most Valuable Player in the last five Super Bowls? Or the teams that won the last five World Cup championships? Can you name the women selected to represent your nation in the last five Miss Universe pageants? How about the last five Nobel Prize winners in economics, science, or some other field of endeavor? What were the names of the last five films to receive the Academy Award for motion picture of the year?

We could think of other examples. We like recognition. It affirms us, making us feel valued and significant. But awards and recognition are fleeting, soon forgotten. The applause fades, the good feelings disappear, and everyone searches for the newest “star.” As King Solomon, the writer of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, declared, “for all is vanity and a striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:17).

Does that mean the pursuit of excellence and personal fulfillment is futile, a waste of time and effort? The Bible tells us striving to do our best is important, but our motivations matter most:

Performing for an audience of one. People – even our employers and coworkers – are fickle. We cannot please them all the time. So we need to need to make sure we are working for the approval of the right person. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Receiving God”s commendation. In the real world, sometimes our best work is overlooked or ignored. But the Bible assures us God notices all we do for Him and is eager to reward us for devoted service. “His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things…” (Matthew 25:21).

Gaining recognition that endures. The problem with many awards and honors is they lose value and luster over time. God”s recognition, however, never fades or loses worth. “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:4).

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.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Describe your primary reasons for going to work each day. Have these changed during your career? Has the desire to receive recognition been one of your motivations for the work you do, whether to be noticed and commended by the person you work, or to earn prestige within your company or your industry? Explain your answer. Why do you think the “life span” of recognition is so short, that we are so quick to forget even the most notable accomplishments? How does this affect your own need for recognition and rewards? What is your reaction to the idea of striving primarily to serve and please God through our work, being content with receiving His commendation?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Ecclesiastes 2:24-26; Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Corinthians 3:6-9; Philippians 4:19; Colossians 3:17

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