你為何事-或向誰-感恩?

By Robert J. Tamasy

雖然一年中的任何時間都可以感恩,但這個禮拜全世界會有幾百萬人正式慶祝感恩節。感恩節的好處之一是提供特別的動機讓我們停下來反省並想到我們要感恩的事與人。

一般而言,當我們想到福氣,會先想到財物:我們的房屋、食物、衣服、收入、工作、健康。但你曾否想過要感謝那些對你生命有正面影響的人呢?

當我想到要感謝的人,我發現我的名單相當長。那包括:我的父母;一位在我青少年和大學時期待我像父親一樣的叔叔;一些老師和教授,尤其是那些引導我作重要職業生涯決定的老師。然後還有那些冒險雇用我擔任他們報紙編輯的人,他們使我能在新聞界發展。

還有那些聘雇我擔任CBMC同工的人,這個服事讓我在專業和靈性上都蒙福。我在CBMC的工作使我能完成寫雜誌文章和書籍的目標,也引介我進入擔任別人心靈導師的改變生命過程。

在我20多年擔任CBMC團隊的一員,我可以參加許多會議,而在那些會議中我能夠從其他的專業作家和編輯那裡學習。此外,我也可以與許多我敬佩的人成為朋友,那些人都是同時致力於工作並服事上帝的人。他們展現出如何成功地整合信仰和職業,證明基督教與職場所關心的事並非無交集,而且可以有效、不妥協地處理。

誰是你特別要感謝的人──哪些人在你的生命中留下無法抹煞的印記,幫助你塑造成今天的你?

以下是聖經提供的一些有關感恩的建議:

為每件事感恩。我們所表達的感恩常常只專注於「好的事」──讓我們快樂的事。但生命中的挑戰、我們所遭遇的患難都有助於我們在個人和專業上的成長,這些挑戰與患難也是寶貴的,且值得我們感恩。「要常常喜樂,不住的禱告,凡事謝恩;因為這是神在基督耶穌裡向你們所定的旨意」(帖撒羅尼迦前書5章16-18節)。

感恩沒有極限。信靠耶穌基督的人可以把生活的每個層面都交托給祂。不需懼怕未來,相信上帝會供應我們的需要並引導我們去面對任何問題。「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)。

知道應向誰感謝。當表達感恩時,有人歸功於好運氣、命運或巧合。聖經告訴我們上帝引導我們的腳步,所以配得我們感謝與讚美。「我們要來感謝他,用詩歌向他歡呼!」(詩篇95篇2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: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
你是否正式紀念感恩節,或有其他特別的場合表達感謝?若有,你與你的家人和朋友是如何紀念? 在你生命中誰是你特別感謝的人?他們對塑造今天的你有何特別的影響? 在生命艱難的時候--當時的困苦與挑戰似乎無法解決,你曾否表達感恩?或者你認為對艱困表達感恩是不合理的?請解釋。 若你現在要為生活中的事表達感恩,你第一個想到的是什麼?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
詩篇100篇1-5節,105篇1-7節,106篇1-2節;哥林多後書9章10-11節;帖撒羅尼迦前書1章2節;歌羅西書2章6-7節

FOR WHAT – OR WHOM – ARE YOU THANKFUL?

By Robert J. Tamasy

This week millions of people all around the world will officially mark the observance of Thanksgiving Day, although it is perfectly acceptable to feel thankful at any time during the year. One of the good things about holidays like Thanksgiving Day is they provide specific motivation to pause, reflect and remember things – and people – for which we are grateful.

Typically, material things come to mind when we think in terms of blessings: our homes, food, clothing, income, jobs, good health. But have you ever considered directing your thanks toward those people that have made a positive impact on your life?

When I think of such individuals, I realize my list is fairly long. It includes: my parents; an uncle who was like a father figure to me, particularly during my teenage and college years; a number of teachers and professors, especially several that guided me in making key career decisions. Then there are the men who took the risk in hiring me to serve as editor of their newspapers, launching my career in journalism.

There also were those that hired me to join the CBMC staff, which proved a blessing both professionally and spiritually. My work at CBMC enabled me to fulfill my goals for writing magazine articles and books, and also introduced me to the life-changing process of mentoring other men on an individual basis.

Through my 20 years as a member of the CBMC team, I was able to attend conferences where I could learn from other professional writers and editors. In addition, I became friends with dozens of people I grew to admire for their dedication to their work – and serving God at the same time. They demonstrated how to successfully integrate faith and vocation, proving that Christianity and workplace concerns are not mutually exclusive, and can be effectively addressed without compromise.

Who are the people you are especially thankful for – those individuals who have left an indelible imprint on your life, helping to shape you into the person you are today?

Here are a few other suggestions the Bible offers regarding thanksgiving:

Be thankful for EVERYTHING. Often our expressions of thankfulness focus only on “good things” – things that make us happy. But the challenges of life, the adversities we encounter that contribute to our personal and professional growth, also are valuable and deserve appreciation. “Be joyful always…give thanks in all circumstances…” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

No limits to thanksgiving. Those whose faith is in Jesus Christ can entrust him with every aspect of our lives. There is no need to fear the future, confident that God will provide for our needs and guide us in confronting whatever problems and needs we encounter. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

Know the right one to thank. When expressing thanksgiving, some people credit good fortune or “luck,” fate or coincidence. The Bible teaches God guides our steps and is worthy of our thanks and praise. “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song” (Psalm 95:2).

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
Do you have a formal observance of Thanksgiving Day, or some other specific occasion when you express thankfulness? If so, what does that look like for you, your family and friends that join you? Who are some of the people in your life for whom you are especially thankful or appreciative – and what was the specific impact they have had in shaping who you are today? Have you ever expressed thankfulness for the hard times in life – challenges and adversities that for a time seemed to be without resolution? Or do you think feeling and being thankful for difficulties makes no sense? Explain your answer. If you were to express thankfulness for some things that are happening in your life right now, what would be the first thing that comes to your mind?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Psalm 100:1-5, 105:1-7, 106:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:10-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; Colossians 2:6-7

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