克服苦毒的怒氣

By Rick Boxx

幾年前,我的老闆要我主持一個特別的工作小組來解決公司的一個大問題。對我來說,這是一個政策上的地雷和典型的全輸局面。我的老闆大概希望我在結果出來之後站在他那邊,但是我沒有。

特別小組的研究結果顯示,真正問題的癥結點其實是老闆處理問題的方式。報告交出數天後,我被降職了。我的老闆變成了我的敵人。

有超過兩年的時間,對他,我懷著一種苦毒的怒氣。因為我覺得自己被不公平地對待和誤解,成為老闆自己問題的代罪羔羊。所以一有機會,我就說他壞話。

帶著沉重的怒氣和苦毒,我並不指望這個錯誤會被平反。有一天,我突然驚覺,怒氣對我的影響已經遠遠超過傷害我的人對我的影響。即使我說壞話成功地打擊了他,也不能平息我的怒氣。

於是,我開始做一些早就應該要做的事:我決定要閱讀、默想,應用聖經中關於憤怒的教導。例如,以弗所書4章26節說:「生氣卻不要犯罪;不可含怒到日落。」依照經文的標準,太陽已經日落了好幾百次,我的憤怒已經腐敗到讓魔鬼有許多的機會來破壞神在我身上所做的工以及要透過我成就的事。

然後,我開始思考馬太福音6章15-16節,在這裡耶穌說: 「你們不饒恕人的過犯,你們的天父也必不饒恕你們的過犯。」當我用一根手指指著我的上司,其他四根手指則指著自己。想到這裡,神啟示我: 我不饒恕我的老闆,怎麼能期望神會饒恕我其他許多的罪?我知道除了要原諒我的前老闆之外,我也需要請求神饒恕我的許多罪,包括在我裡面不饒恕的靈。

為了要知道下一步神要我做什麼,我讀了馬太福音5章23-24節。在這裡耶穌說到: 「所以,你在祭壇上獻禮物的時候,若想起弟兄向你懷怨,就把禮物留在壇前,先去同弟兄和好,然後來獻禮物。」

雖然憤怒跟了我超過二年,我最後還是打電話給前老闆,請求他的原諒,希望能開始和好的第一步。這個舉動沒有改變他所做的事,但是卻把我從苦毒的怒氣和毀滅性的影響中救拔出來。憤怒是情緒的癌症,而饒恕就是抗癌的最佳藥方。

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。更多相關訊息請上www.integrityresource.org瑞克的新書「非典型企業」(Unconventional Business)提供了五個用神的方式來使企業成長的關鍵。

省思與問題討論

你聽到苦毒的怒氣一詞有什麼感覺?你有過類似的經歷嗎?如果有,請解釋它對你有什麼影響? 哪種怒氣被認為是正當的?哪一種狀況之下,對人有苦毒的怒氣有正面的價值?請分享你的看法。 經文告訴我們說:不要含怒到日落。我們要如何把它實踐出來?你覺得這是很重要的嗎? 為什麼我們要下定決心饒恕別人對我們做的錯事,即便對方沒有要求我們饒恕他?這麼做切合實際嗎?饒恕別人的冒犯,結果會如何?

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12章16節、箴言14章29節、箴言15章18節、17章27節、箴言18章19節、箴言29章8節,11節;以弗所書4章31節;歌羅西書3章8節

OVERCOMING TOXIC ANGER

By Rick Boxx

Years ago, my boss at the time appointed me to chair a taskforce to address a major problem in our company. For me, this became a political landmine, a classic no-win situation. My boss was likely hoping I would protect him from the possible fallout of the taskforce”s decision, but I did not.

In its findings, the taskforce concluded the real issue was my boss”s approach to the problem we had been researching. Soon after my report was finalized and submitted, I received a demotion. My boss, who had been an advocate for me, became my enemy.

For more than two years I fostered a toxic anger towards him. I felt unjustly treated and maligned. I had become the scapegoat for a problem of my boss”s own making. Seeking to strike back and gain a measure of revenge, every time I had an opportunity, I bad-mouthed this man to others.

After carrying this weight of anger and bitterness, with no hope of the executive ever offering to correct the wrong he had done to me, I came to a startling, yet freeing realization: My anger had been hurting me much more than it had affected him. Even if my negative comments succeeded in diminishing my boss in the eyes of others, my anger was not appeased.

Then I began to do something I should have considered much sooner – I determined to read, meditate on, and apply what the Bible teaches about anger, justified or not. For instance, Ephesians 4:26 teaches, Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” Thinking about his exhortation, it occurred to me that the sun had literally gone down on my anger hundreds of times, and the festering bitterness I had continued to feel was giving the devil ample opportunity to undermine what God was trying to do in me and through me.

Then I began pondering Matthew 6:15-16, in which Jesus states, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Those were hard words to read; as I pointed an accusing finger toward my one-time boss, it seemed the other fingers on my hand were pointing back at me. Pondering this, the Lord convicted me that since I had not forgiven my former boss, why should I expect God to forgive me for my many sins? I realized that in addition to forgiving my ex-boss – even if he never asked for it – I also needed to ask God to forgive me for many things, including my unforgiving spirit.

To determine what God wanted me to do next, I read Matthew 5:23-24, in which Jesus says, “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”

More than two years since my anger began, I finally started the process of reconciliation by calling my former boss – and asking his forgiveness. That did not fix what he had done, but at last I was free of the toxic anger and its devastating effects. Anger is an emotional cancer whose cure is forgiveness.

Copyright 2017, 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 new book, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God”s Way.”

Reflection/Discussion Questions

What do you think of the term, “toxic anger”? Have you ever experienced anything like that? If so, explain what prompted it and what impact it had on you. Can such anger ever be justified? Are there ever times when harboring bitterness toward another person for what they have done can have positive value? Why or why not? One passage cited tells us to “not let the sun go down on your anger”? How can we go about putting this admonition into practice? Do you think this is important? Why should we resolve to forgive others for wrongs they have done to us, even if they never seek our forgiveness? Is it realistic to do so? What are the consequences of not forgiving someone else's offenses?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 12:16, 14:29, 15:18, 17:27, 18:19, 29:8,11; Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8

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