是否值得工作?

By Robert J. Tamasy

傳統上,美國在九月第一個禮拜一慶祝「勞工節」。世世代代人們的勤奮工作被表彰,他們運用自己的技巧和才幹去提供服務,並製造出有益的產品給眾人。

悲哀的是,數據不斷顯示大多數人不滿意自己的工作。有些研究指出百分之七十,甚至可能更多的工作者,不喜歡或甚至恨惡他們每天必須做的職務。對他們而言,工作只不過是「必要之惡」。

根據聖經,在一開始,那並不是上帝想要的情況。聖經的第一本書創世記在描述創造人類的過程中說:「神說:『我們要照著我們的形像、按著我們的樣式造人,使他們管理海裏的魚、空中的鳥、地上的牲畜…我將遍地上一切結種子的菜蔬和一切樹上所結有核的果子全賜給你們作食物』」(創世記1章26-30節)。

然而,在所謂「人類墮落」之後,上帝所設立的工作變得困難。「…地必為你的緣故受咒詛;你必終身勞苦才能從地裏得吃的。地必給你長出荊棘和蒺藜來…你必汗流滿面才得糊口」(創世記3章17-19節)。

這些經文顯示上帝所設計的工作是有價值、有成就感、且容易做的。因為罪──人類反抗上帝──工作就變得困難、令人沮喪、甚至痛苦。

所以我們要如何克服把工作視為「必要之惡」的感覺,並重拾工作是愉快和有意義的感覺?最佳方法之一是藉著把我們的工作再次獻給上帝,祈求祂賜福我們的努力,並求祂幫助我們按照祂的律令和標準去執行我們的職責。以下是一些你可遵循的基本原則:

為上帝工作。我們的工作常常是為了滿足自己,或為了取悅那些能對我們行使權力的人。雖然這兩者都沒錯,但我們工作的最終目標應該是討上帝的喜悅並尊榮祂。「無論做甚麼,都要從心裏做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,因你們知道從主那裏必得著基業為賞賜;你們所事奉的乃是主基督」(歌羅西書3章23-24節)。

承認你的工作來自上帝。你在哪裡工作,你做哪一種工作,都不是意外事件。上帝為了祂的目的把你放在那裡,做你的工作。「人莫強如吃喝,且在勞碌中享福,我看這也是出於 神的手。論到吃用、享福,誰能勝過我呢?神喜悅誰,就給誰智慧、知識,和喜樂」(傳道書2章24-26節)。

用你的工作當成一個代表上帝的平台。有什麼比透過工作更能顯示上帝的同在與真實?我們在工作中有好的言行才能讓我們為上帝說話有說服力。「有人問你們心中盼望的緣由,就要常作準備,以溫柔、敬畏的心回答各人」(彼得前書3章15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。他也是一個有40年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業:箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」(Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace)。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」(The Heart of Mentoring)。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格 www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com以及www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com 。

省思 / 討論題目
若你要與別人合作,你會選擇與喜愛並享受自己工作的人,或是不喜歡自己的工作,而只是為了賺錢在忍耐的人?請解釋。 聖經說,上帝設立並制定工作給祂所創造的人。你是否相信?為什麼? 首先要為上帝工作,而不是為你自己個人的利益,也不是為你的主管工作。你對這觀念有何看法? 是上帝把你放在現在的工作中,即使這工作不是長久的,而且祂要你在那裡的一個理由是讓你作祂的「大使」,在那些目前不認識或不跟隨祂的人中間代表上帝。若你全然相信這一點,會帶來多大的不同?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:箴言12章24節,16章11節,18章9節,24章30-34節;馬太福音4章19節,5章14-16節;歌羅西書4章5-6節


IS IT WORTH THE WORK?
By Robert J. Tamasy

Traditionally, the first Monday of September in the United States is observed as “Labor Day.” Citizens are asked to recognize the diligent work of men and women through the generations, people who have applied their skills and talents to provide services and produce goods of benefit to many.

Sadly, statistics continue to show the vast majority of people are dissatisfied with their jobs. Some studies indicate 70 percent of all workers, and perhaps even more than that, dislike or even hate the tasks they must perform every day. For them, work is nothing more than “a necessary evil.”

According to the Bible, that is not what God intended, even in the very beginning. The Bible”s first book, Genesis, states that in the process of creating humankind, “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth”…. I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food”” (Genesis 1:26-30).

However, after what is called “the fall of man,” the work God ordained became difficult. “Cursed is the ground because of you, through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you…. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food…” (Genesis 3:17-19).

These passages indicate God designed work to be rewarding, fulfilling, and easy to perform. Because of sin – humankind”s rebellion against God – work became difficult, frustrating, even agonizing.

So how are we to overcome this sense of work as “necessary evil” and regain the sense of work as enjoyable and meaningful? One of the best ways, it would seem, is by rededicating our work to God, asking Him to bless our efforts, and seeking to carry out our job responsibilities according to God”s laws and standards. Here are some basic principles to follow:

Work for God. We tend to pursue our work for our own gratification or to please those who exercise authority over us. While neither is inherently wrong, our ultimate goal should be to please and honor God. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Acknowledge your work is from God. Where you work, and the kind of work you do, is not an accident. God has you where you are, doing what you do, for His purpose. “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness” (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26).

Use your work as a platform to represent God. What better way to demonstrate the presence and reality of God than through our work? How we conduct ourselves at work earns us the right to speak for Him. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (universe); 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 (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
If you were to align yourself either with people that love and truly enjoy their work, or others that dislike and merely endure it so they can earn a paycheck, which group would you choose? Explain your answer. Do you believe the biblical declaration that God established and ordained work for the people He created? Why or why not? What do you think of the concept of working for God first and foremost, rather than for your own personal gain or for the people to whom you report every day? How much difference would it make if you fully believed the idea that God has placed you in the job you have today, even if not permanently, and one reason He has you there is to serve as His “ambassador,” representing Him to people who do not presently know or follow Him?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 12:24, 16:11, 18:9, 24:30-34; Matthew 4:19, 5:14-16, Colossians 4:5-6

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