感恩的時間到了

By: Robert J. Tamasy

「謝謝您!」這三個字寓意豐富而且可以用在很多方面。它可能代表對傑出員工、合夥人、忠實顧客或是及時伸出援手的供應商真誠的感謝。當然,也許可能被用來諷刺不知感恩的人、評論或是態度。

每年的十一月份對美國來說是正式慶祝感恩節的月份,也是我們表達真誠感謝的時候。我們會對什麼事情感恩呢?

要感謝的名單可能很長。從職場的角度來說,我們會為一個新的工作、升遷、加薪、升官、生意擴展或是公司聲譽的提升感恩。然而,如果我們沒有得到想要的工作和加薪,或者我們感到自己的生意停滯不前呢?我們是否還能為這些事感恩呢?

對個人來說,我們在經濟能力變好、付清帳單、存更多的錢以及有更多的投資、買到夢寐以求的東西的時候,能夠感恩。那麼,在經濟衰退、意外花費、存款減少、經濟負擔變大或是想買的東西無法買到的時候,我們也能夠感恩嗎?

在家庭關係、健康方面,甚至是我們工作外的嗜好和興趣也是如此。當事情順利的時候,感恩是很簡單的,但是當諸事不順的時候,掙扎的時候,我們應該怎麼做?聖經建議我們:

把感恩放在第一位 。感恩不是一個象徵性的動作或是事後才想到要做的事情。就算你在追求企業的成長,停下來感恩是很重要的。「匠人立耶和華殿根基的時候,祭司皆穿禮服吹號,…都站著讚美耶和華。他們彼此唱和,讚美稱謝耶和華 說: 他本為善, 他向以色列人永發慈愛。 他們讚美耶和華的時候,眾民大聲呼喊,因耶和華殿的根基已經立定。」(以斯拉記3章10-11節)

無論如何都要感恩 。我們的感覺會隨著發生的事情和遇到的環境改變,感恩也是如此。但是聖經教導我們即使不知道原因或是結果,無論處於哪種狀況都要感恩。「要常常喜樂,不住地禱告,凡事謝恩;因為這是上帝在基督耶穌裏向你們所定的旨意。」(帖撒羅尼加前書5章16-18節)

知道我們應該向誰感恩。我們在事情順利的時候,會傾向把功勞歸給自己。然而,聖經卻提醒我們,我們所有的才能、技能和機會都是從神來的,應當感謝祂。「當稱謝進入他的門; 當讚美進入他的院。 當感謝他,稱頌他的名!」(詩篇100篇4節)

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。

省思/討論題目
你經常感恩或是會在特別的日子會表達感恩?如果是的話,請分享你如何感恩。 假如你現在說:「謝謝」,你會用什麼樣的方式?是正面或是較諷刺的方式? 你覺得感恩的態度是不是很難實踐?即使是在感恩節的時候,也不容易感恩? 在職場或是生活的困難當中要感恩是可能的嗎?備註:如果你手上有聖經,想要閱讀更多關於這個主題的經文,請參考:詩篇 50篇14-15節、69篇30-33節、95篇1-7節、105篇1-4節、106篇1-2節;以弗所書 5篇20節;歌羅西書 1篇3-6節

IS IT A GOOD TIME TO BE THANKFUL?
By Robert J. Tamasy

“Thanks a lot!” These three words carry a tremendous amount of meaning, and can be intended many ways. They can represent a sincere expression of gratitude, extended to an employee for excellent work on a project, a coworker, a valued customer for their business, or a supplier for meeting an urgent need in a timely manner. Or it can be said sarcastically, referring to someone”s work, comments or attitudes that were not appreciated.

But at this time when the calendar year is drawing to a close and people in some parts of the world are preparing for a formal celebration of Thanksgiving Day, it seems a good time to reflect on those things for which we truly do feel thankful. For what are you saying, “Thanks a lot!” in the most positive way?

The list of possibilities is endless. From a work standpoint, we might be thankful for a new job, promotion, pay raise, added authority and responsibilities, increase in business, or strengthening of the company”s brand and impact within your industry. But what if we did not get that job we were hoping to get? Or the much-needed increase in pay? Or if we feel that we, or our business, have stagnated? Can we be thankful for those things?

What about on a personal level: If we have made progress in our finances, paying off bills, setting aside more money for savings and investments, or being able to make special purchases we have planned to make for a long time, we can feel thankful. But what if we have suffered financial setbacks, with unexpected expenses? Or have had to steadily tap into our savings to meet pressing obligations? Or have had to delay desired purchases again? How can we be thankful for that?

The same things could be said about family relationships, our health, even hobbies and interests we pursue during our non-working hours. When things are going well, feeling and being thankful seems easy. But during times of great struggle – not so much. So what are we to do? The Bible offers suggestions:

Make thankfulness a priority. Being thankful should not be a token gesture, or an afterthought. Even in the midst of the pursuit of a great enterprise, it is important to pause and express our gratitude. “When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord…with praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: “He is good; his love to Israel endures forever. And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord” (Ezra 3:10-11).

Be thankful…regardless. Our perceptions of events and circumstances can affect our feelings, including our thankfulness. But we are instructed to express thanksgiving in all situations, partly because we may not immediately recognize their purpose or understand their eventual outcome. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God”s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Recognize the One to whom we should be thankful. There is a tendency when things go well to congratulate ourselves for what we have accomplished. The Bible, however, reminds us that all things – skills, talents, and opportunities – come from God and we should express gratitude to Him. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4).

© 2015. Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Do you have a regular Thanksgiving observance, or a designated time to think about things for which you are thankful? If so, describe what that is like for you. What if you were to say, “Thanks a lot!” right now, would you be stating it in a positive way, or rather as a form of frustration or exasperation? Explain your answer. Why do you think thankfulness can be a difficult attitude to practice, even in a season when expressions of thanksgiving is encouraged? Is it really possible to feel a sense of thankfulness in times of struggle or in the midst of professional or personal setbacks? If so, how?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Psalm 50:14-15, 69:30-33, 95:1-7, 105:1-4, 106:1-2; Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 1:3-6

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