思想 / 討論題目
你對本文所定義的「恩典」觀念有何看法？ 在你自己的工作經驗中，是否可想到有一次雖然你知道自己可能要面對嚴重的後果，但你卻得到恩典？若有，那是怎樣的情況？最後的結果又是什麼？ 無疑的，工作表現和生產力是職場一定會注意的重點。畢竟，一個公司要在這高度競爭的市場存活一定要獲利。但你是否認為恩典可以被實際地應用在每天的企業管理和人事任用上？ 你可否想到今天某人－－一位員工或同事，或甚至家人，可以受惠於你的恩典？註：若你有聖經，請參考有關此議題的其他經文：
EXTENDING GRACE IN THE WORKPLACE
By: Robert J. Tamasy
From time to time we hear people discussing the relative merits of different religions and belief systems, but one of the truly unique aspects of Christianity is the concept of grace, which is defined as “unmerited favor” or “unconditional acceptance.” The idea is that “grace” is not something that can be earned, nor is it something we can receive because it is deserved. In fact, it is receiving what is not deserved.
Grace, as described above, is a concept basically foreign to the workplace. We talk in terms of “earning a living.” Many professionals, especially those in sales, receive compensation on the basis of performance – how much business they generate for their companies, or how well the company performs under their leadership. How often have you heard of an employee being retained even though he or she was “unworthy” or “deserved” to be terminated?
Fortunately, reflecting over my career as a journalist, I can recall several times when I was the beneficiary of grace, occasions when if I had been my own boss, I probably would have fired myself.
In my first year as a newspaper editor, for example, I grew frustrated by a discussion at a city government meeting and stood up to offer some comments of my own. Being very inexperienced, I had not yet realized my job was to report the news, not to create it. As a result, a complaint was expressed to my supervisor. He graciously chose to overlook my journalistic misstep, attributing it to youthful exuberance and naïveté. He did warn me never to repeat this error.
Years later, at another newspaper, I was woefully failing in my first attempt at overseeing production of the morning edition. At the last minute, the managing editor arrived and came to my rescue. Rather than berating me or, even worse, dismissing me, he simply took me aside, affirmed his confidence in me, and offered some suggestions that would be helpful in the future.
Another time was when I was hired to join the staff of CBMC, even though my expertise was lacking in some areas. A psychological profile on me termed me “a diamond in the rough,” and my boss at the time chose to focus on my potential rather than my track record to that point. Once again, I was the recipient of “grace.”
In the Bible we find numerous examples of grace: Jacob, who cheated his brother, Esau, out of his birthright; Joseph, who flaunted being his father”s favorite before his brothers; Moses, who killed an Egyptian labor supervisor; David, the king of Israel, who engaged in adultery and then tried to cover up his sin by murdering the husband of the woman he had seduced. Yet each was used by God is unusual and extraordinary ways.
Jesus frequently extended grace to His own “workers.” In John 15:16, He reminded his rag-tag bunch of followers, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit.” Later, after Simon Peter had betrayed Him three times, Jesus forgave his impetuous disciple and simply instructed him, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17). With those few unadorned words, Peter was restored to service.
Obviously, an employee might be clearly unsuited for a specific job, or unethical or immoral behavior might make termination the only option. But sometimes when a person is not “measuring up,” the extending of grace might make all the difference in whether the individual become a valued, productive member of the team.
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 of more than 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of 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: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress).
What are your thoughts about the concept of “grace,” as defined in this Monday Manna? In your own work experience, can you think of a time when you were extended grace, even though you knew that you probably deserved to face severe consequences? If so, what were the circumstances – and what was the eventual outcome? Performance and productivity, without question, must command attention in the workplace. After all, for a company to survive in the highly competitive marketplace, it must be profitable. But how – if at all – do you think that grace can realistically be applied in the day to day managing and directing of personnel? Can you think of someone – an employee or coworker, or even a member of your family – that might benefit from an act of grace on your behalf today?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Romans 4:4-8; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 1:12-16; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 4:14-16; James 4:6