持守一致的生活態度

By:Jim Langley

我們都必須問自己一個問題:我的生活態度是否一致?有很多人。尤其是男士,很容易在公司是一個樣子,在家裡是另外一個完全不同的樣子。

在職場,為了成功,我們做事和行為是符合職場標準的,我們跟人的關係是遵照這個行業所要求的。但是當我們處理自己家裡的事情時,卻是用完全不同的方式處理。如果我們加入教會,在那裡我們的表現又不一樣。似乎在不同的團體裡,我們會表現出不同的行為。因此我們必須問自己: 哪一個才是真正的我?

當一個耶穌的跟隨者,我們是否用一致的態度過生活?或是像是開關一樣,開關自己的基督徒按鍵?道格.斯巴達和戴夫.史考特 (Doug Spada and Dave Scott) 合著過一本書叫做「週一早晨的無神論者」(Monday Morning Atheist),內容說到離開教會之後,我們很容易回到世俗的生活。作者要我們想像在職場上神會怎麼做,藉著這樣的想像使我們能把平安、能力和目標帶到我們的職場裡。

這是一個很好的建議,但我覺得這只是一個開始。我們必須讓神進入我們生活中的每一個層面,不管是在工作、家庭、團體生活、購物或任何其他的部分,而不僅僅是職場而已。耶穌就是如此生活的,我們也要學習祂。

那時耶穌說:「你們的話,是,就說是;不是,就說不是;若再多說就是出於那惡者 ( – 或譯:就是從惡裏出來的)。」 (馬太福音5章37節)。祂告訴門徒要持守始終一致的生活態度,而不是說一套做一套。

也許你會想,要保持一致的態度很困難。的確如此,但是如果我們真的相信耶穌,也注重這樣的教導我們就會有能力能做到。聖靈會指教我們,單純地讓耶穌掌管我們的生活,不是用自己的力量(因為自己的力量通常很弱)。不過,我也承認說的比做的簡單,而且我們常常會因為太努力而失敗,而沒有讓聖靈來掌管我們的處境。

奧斯伍.章伯斯(Oswald Chambers)在他的書裡竭誠為主(My Utmost for His Highest)經常強調「態度一致」這個主題。這一本著作已經成為我獻身二十五年在傳福音上的主要的核心。每天早上我會讀一篇,提醒自己哪裡是真正力量的來源。耶穌對他的門徒說: 「我是葡萄樹,你們是枝子。常在我裏面的,我也常在他裏面,這人就多結果子;因為離了我,你們就不能做甚麼。」(約翰福音15章5節)。之後保羅也將這個想法發揚光大:「我靠皀那加給我力量的,凡事都能做。」(腓立比書4章13節)

聖經的話幫助我在生活的每一個層面,更能持守一致的態度,而非不小心就踏出我的信仰之外。無論是在家庭生活、職場生意或社交生活等生命的各層面,神希望我們持守一致的生活態度,在神為我們準備的禾場成為光和鹽。而唯有靠著聖靈才有辦法成功地持守一致的生活態度。

© 2015版權所有。Jim Langley自1983起就是紐約生活雜誌(CLU)的特約保險員。1987年開始參加美國加州聖塔芭芭拉市CBMC,是一位非常活躍的成員。.

省思/討論題目
你覺得在生活的每一個層面都持守一致的生活態度,是做的到的或是實際的嗎?解釋一下你的理由? 你覺得要持守一致的生活態度最大的困難在哪? 如果檢視自己的職場和個人生活,你覺得自己有活出自己所重視的價值觀嗎? 當耶穌說:「離了我,你們就不能做甚麼。」你覺得耶穌想告訴你甚麼?你相信嗎?解釋一下你的答案。如果你想要查考聖經中跟這個主題相關的經文,請參考:箴言 4章5-6節;詩篇 20章7節;約翰福音16章12-15節;雅各書3章11-18節;約翰一書1章5-9節

LIVING AND WORKING CONSISTENTLY
By Jim Langley

Here is a question I believe we all need to ask ourselves: "Do I live my life consistently?" Many people – especially men – have a tendency to compartmentalize their lives, which leads to different behavior patterns in each facet of their lives, personally and professionally.

For instance, in the workplace we may be very consistent and predictable in following standards of practice and behavior that conform to an accepted business model. Our professional relationships will usually follow a code of ethics for our particular profession. When we deal with family matters, however, we may handle those relational situations quite differently. In our social dealings we might exhibit very different forms of behavior to fit the norms for each group. And if we attend church, our involvement there may take on another look altogether. So another question we need to ask is, "Who are we really?"

As followers of Christ, do we live our lives consistently – or do our actions seem like we use an on-and-off switch? Doug Spada and Dave Scott, co-authors of Monday Morning Atheist, contend we can easily fall into the trap of becoming a totally different person once we leave the sanctuary. This book asks the reader to imagine God at work in all aspects of their business, seeking to bring about peace, power and purpose in our work life.

This is a good suggestion, but in my opinion, it only scratches the surface of a much deeper issue. We need to allow God into every facet of our lives, 24/7, striving to be the same person whether we are at work, in our home, at a community activity, shopping in a store, or wherever we happen to be. This is what Jesus did, and we would be wise to do the same.

When Jesus said, “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes ‘ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil” (Matthew 5:37), one of the things He was telling His followers was to be consistent – do not say one thing and then proceed to do something different.

But you might be thinking, “Being consistent is difficult!” And that is true. But as believers, we have the power to do so – if we are willing to appropriate it. The Holy Spirit is present in us, and all we need to do is simply let Him take control of our lives instead of trying to do it in our own strength, which often is very weak. Again, admittedly this is much easier said than done. We have a tendency to become so consumed in whatever tasks we are doing that we often fail to look beyond them to allow God through His Spirit to get involved in our circumstances.

Oswald Chambers addresses this subject frequently in his devotional, My Utmost for His Highest. This literary work has become a mainstay of my devotional life for the past 25 years. The daily reading each morning reminds me where the true source of power lies. As Jesus declared to His followers, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Later the apostle Paul expanded on this idea, stating, “I can do everything through Jesus Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

These truths help me to remain more consistent in all facets of my life, rather than to slip in and out of my Christianity. In leading our families, our business endeavors and in society, God wants us to stay on track and become "salt and light" to those God places in our path. Being consistent in our lives – through the power of Jesus – will make this possible.

© 2015, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been an agent and chartered life underwriter (CLU) with New York Life since 1983 and an active member of CBMC of Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A. since 1987.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Do you think being consistent in every aspect of our lives is possible – or even realistic? Why or why not? What do you think are some of the greatest obstacles to achieving a consistent life? If you were to evaluate your life, both professionally and personally, how consistent do you think you are in living out the values that are important to you? When Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing,” what do you think He is saying? Do you believe this? Explain your answer.If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages: Proverbs 4:5-6; Psalm 20:7; John 16:12-15; James 3:11-18; 1 John 1:5-9

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