By:Robert J. Tamasy
這個自立和自我滿足的衝動仍然在我們的生命中一直存留著。很多人都渴望經濟獨立，到一個程度不需要再為生活的帳單來工作。其他的人則希望能實現 William Ernest Henley「永不屈服」英雄的夢想。在這首1880年出版的簡單的詩中，中心人物宣告：「我就是靈魂的船長」。
在聖經的舊約中，我們讀到關於做了五十二年猶大王的烏西雅王，他做在 神眼中看為正的事，只要他尋求 神，他凡事順利。在他的一生中，烏西雅王都認定依靠 神為繁盛的碁石。「烏西雅行耶和華眼中看為正的事，效法他父亞瑪謝一切所行的； 通曉 神默示，撒迦利亞在世的時候，烏西雅定意尋求 神；他尋求耶和華， 神就使他亨通。」(歷代志下26章4-5節)
但是，烏西雅王成功之後卻因驕傲受懲罰，即便別人告訴他，他還是拒絕改變。他對 神開始不忠實了！他變得想要自我滿足，他誰都不需要，甚至是 神。「烏西雅的名聲傳到遠方；因為他得了非常的幫助，甚是強盛。」(歷代志下26章15節)「他既強盛，就心高氣傲，以致行事邪僻，干犯耶和華─他的 神…」(歷代志下16章16-21節)
就像烏西雅王。這樣的態度帶來災難，不認清 神是我們在攀爬「成功之梯」時的幫助、持續的成功需要 神持續的幫助，卻抱著『驕傲』這樣錯誤的態度，把我們自己的弱點暴露在反對仇敵和反對者之前。聖經告訴我們如何避免這樣的災難:
認定 神是智慧與成功的來源 :「這律法書不可離開你的口，總要晝夜思想，好使你謹守遵行這書上所寫的一切話。如此，你的道路就可以亨通，凡事順利。」(約書亞記1章8節)
Robert J. Tamasy是亞特蘭大「領袖遺產」 (一個非營利性機構) 通訊部的副總裁。他是一個有39年經驗的資深記者，也是多本著作的作者，包括Tufting Legacies; Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press);也與David A. Stoddard合著The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress)。欲知更多詳情可上www.leaderslegacy.com網站或是他的部落格 www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com。
思想 / 討論題目
你看過小孩子宣稱自己要獨立嗎？那是甚麼樣的情形？ 你是否認同獨立也有缺點？解釋你的理由。 你對於烏西雅王的反應有甚麼看法？讀一讀歷代志下第26章，然後分享你對烏西雅王展現自給自足的方式和他因此得到的下場的看法。 你是否常常想自己獨立？如果是的話，你要如何保持一種健康的依附關係？不過份的自我獨立或是太依賴？包括依靠神、依靠同事、甚至是你的家人？註：若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文，請看：
ISSUING A DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE
By: Robert J. Tamasy
Have you noticed how children cannot wait to achieve independence? Infants, of course, are fully dependent for being fed, bathed, clothed, even being transported from place to place. But after children reach a certain age, usually not older than two years old, they instinctively start asserting their “declaration of independence.”
When you try to help a child putting on her shoes, she dismisses your efforts: “I do it!” the independent little one declares. Perhaps you offer to help the little boy finish the last bite of food off his plate. “No, I do it!” he responds emphatically. Parents want their children to become independent eventually, just not at the ages of two or three.
This impulse toward self-reliance and self-sufficiency remains strong throughout our lives. Many people dream of becoming “financially independent,” reaching a point when a regular paycheck is no longer the compelling motive for working. Others yearn to fill the description offered by the hero of “Invictus,” written by William Ernest Henley. In this brief poem, first published in 1888, the central figure declares, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”
It seems commendable to want to be master of your own fate, to take responsibility for the outcomes of your own actions and decisions. However, complete independence has a downside.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, we read about Uzziah, who for 52 years served as king of Judah. We are told, “He did right in the eyes of the Lord…. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success” (2 Chronicles 26:4-5). For much of his life, Uzziah openly acknowledged dependence on God for his prosperity.
However, a time came late in his royal reign when apparently success went to Uzziah”s head. Even when confronted about his rebellion, he refused accountability and correction. “…His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God…” (2 Chronicles 26:16-21). Uzziah had become self-sufficient; he needed no one, not even God.
This king lived thousands of years ago, but human nature has not changed much since then. Many of us, early in our business or professional careers, realize success is beyond our grasp. We turn to others – even God – for aid in getting established, especially when job responsibilities and pressures seem overwhelming. Once success is attained, however, we can lose that sense of dependence. “I have pulled myself up by my own bootstraps,” we might conclude, basking in self-adulation.
As King Uzziah learned, this attitude usually leads to disaster. Failing to recognize help in climbing the “ladder of success,” as well as support for continued success, foster false pride – and exposes our vulnerabilities to competitors and opposition. The Bible tells how to avoid such calamity:
Recognize God as the source of wisdom and success. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8).
Welcome correction and reproof. “He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored” (Proverbs 13:18).
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 more than 39 years, he is the author of Tufting Legacies; Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace; and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.
How have you seen young children display the natural impulse for independence? Do you agree that there is a negative aspect to asserting our independence? Why or why not? What is your reaction to the brief account of King Uzziah? Read the remainder of the 26th chapter of 2 Chronicles and explain your reaction to how the king demonstrated belief in his self-sufficiency and the consequences he suffered as a result. Would you say that you are in any danger of becoming too self-reliant? If so, what steps might you take to maintain a healthy balance between independence and dependence, whether that means reliance on God, colleagues where you work, or even members of your family?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 1:7, 1:20-33, 6:20-23, 13:10, 13-14; 2 Timothy 3:16-17