正向信念的力量

By: Robert J. Tamasy

好幾年前,我聽到一個重要的通訊公司的CEO,談論他在商場上邁向成功的朝聖之旅。他對當時的成功哲學-也就是「正向思考」非常著迷。在那一類的思考中,最常見的祈禱文就是:「無論你想出什麼,相信它你就能做到。」

這個CEO買了每一本他可以找得到的激勵性的書籍、有聲訊息,相信只要他可以發展並維持一種對的心智模式,每一種他有的目標和夢想都可達成。他著迷到一種程度,他的小孩其中一個看到爸爸總是帶著耳機,非常專心地在聽正向思考的訊息,就說:「不要去吵爸爸,他在提高動機中。」

有一些關於正向思考的事實要說一下,醫學研究人員已經證實正向的看法對開過重大手術的人來說,是幫助復原很重要的因素。用正向思考過每一天的人,通常比那些負面思想的人較成功,對於挫折更能有效的面對。 甚至是聖經也說:「因為他心怎樣思量,他為人就是怎樣。他雖對你說,請吃,請喝,他的心卻與你相背。」(箴言23章7節)因為我們都傾向於實踐我們自己的期望。

但是正向思考是有限制的:最樂觀的人不會在橫躍太平洋時成功,如果他忽略了它的寬度;一個五英呎高的人不會被選為奧運籃球隊的中鋒選手;一個沒有音樂天份的人和聲音很糟的人,永遠不會成為知名的歌劇的製作人。一個對數學沒有興趣或是能力的人,不應該期待在大企業中成為頂尖的財務長。

關於正向思考還有另一個值得考慮的面向,我稱它為「正向信念」-一個宣告對聖經中的神有信心的人應有的特質。

相信神的能力超越你的能力。你是否曾經在重要的工作上掙扎說:「我做不來!」或是與自己個性上一些似乎永遠克服不了的缺點搏鬥,例如憤怒或是害羞?聖經向我們保證,我們可以呼求神給我們力量,幫助我們去做那些我們做不到的事。「我靠著那(耶穌基督)加給我力量的,凡事都能做。」(腓立比書4章13節)

相信神確切的回應 :沒有一個同工、朋友或是家人不曾讓你失望,我們有時也會令他們失望。但是在聖經裡,神應許我們無論我們何時呼求祂,祂都會回應我們。「你們禱告,無論求甚麼,只要信,就必得著。」(馬太福音22章21節)「又要以耶和華為樂,他就將你心裏所求的賜給你。」(詩篇37篇4節)

相信神的同在、無條件的愛和接納。你不是唯一的一個覺得孤單、不被愛、不被注意和不被保護的人,我們每個人在生命的某些時刻多少都有這些感受。但是當我們讀到聖經時,神已經為我們犧牲了超越我們所能想像地,很喜悅供應我們一切所需。「既是這樣,還有甚麼說的呢? 神若幫助我們,誰能敵擋我們呢?神既不愛惜自己的兒子,為我們眾人捨了,豈不也把萬物和他一同白白地賜給我們嗎?」(羅馬書8章31-32節)

Robert J. Tamasy是領袖遺產通訊的副總裁。這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利性組織 。他也是一個有38年經驗的退休專業新聞工作者。著有:商業藝術: 今日職場中永恆的箴言智慧 ,並和David A. Stoddard,合著良師益友的心:十個培養人們全備潛能的原則。更多資訊詳見www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

思想 / 討論題目

你是否聽過「正向思考的力量」?你會如何形容它?你覺得它的優點和缺點在哪裡?特別是在職場上? 如果箴言23章7節所說為真-「因為他心怎樣思量,他為人就是怎樣。他雖對你說,請吃請喝,他的心卻與你相背。」那我們應當做什麼來克服負面或是沒有創造性的想法? 你會如何回應「正向信念的力量」這樣的想法? 你如何將它和「正向思考」做一個比較? 本篇文章所提到的內容和聖經中的經節對你個人有什麼意義?如果你持續去行出「正向信念」,你覺得你每天的工作會有什麼改變?

註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
以賽亞書41章10節、 耶利米書33章3、6節、以弗所書3章20節、腓立比書1章6節、3章12-14節、4章19節

THE POWER OF POSITIVE BELIEVING

By: Robert J. Tamasy

Years ago I heard the CEO of a major communications company talk about his pilgrimage to success in the business world. He became enraptured by a popular philosophy at the time, the so-called “power of positive thinking.” In that brand of thought, the common mantra was “whatever you can conceive, and believe, you can achieve.”

This CEO bought every motivational book and audio message he could find on the topic, convinced that if only he could develop and maintain the right mindset, every goal and dream he had would be within his reach. It got to the point where one of his children, accustomed to seeing his father wearing a headset to listen to the positive thinking messages without distractions, would simply observe, “Don”t bother Dad. He”s motivating.”

There is something to be said about thinking positively. Medical researchers have determined that a positive outlook is often a significant factor in a patient”s recovery from major surgery. People who approach each new day with optimism are generally more successful, and cope more effectively with setbacks, than those who are prone toward pessimism. Even the Bible says, “As he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7, New King James Version). We tend to live up to – or down to – our own expectations.

Yet there are obvious limitations to positive thinking: The most optimistic person will never succeed at swimming across the Pacific Ocean at its broadest. A man only five feet tall will never be selected as center for an Olympic basketball team. Someone with no musical talent and a raspy voice will never become a world-renowned opera impresario. An individual with little mathematical interest or proficiency should not aspire to be chief financial officer for a major corporation.

There is another perspective on positive thinking that should be considered, however. I call it “positive believing,” a quality everyone professing faith in the God of the Bible should possess:

Belief in God”s power beyond our own. Have you ever struggled with an important job assignment, thinking, “I can”t do this!”? Or struggled with a detrimental character quality that you could not seem to overcome, such as anger – or shyness? The Bible assures us that we can call on God”s strength to accomplish what we cannot do on our own. “I can do everything through him (Jesus Christ) who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Belief in God”s certain response. There is not a coworker, friend or family member that has not failed you at one time or another. We have failed them in similar fashion. But in the Bible, God promises to respond whenever we call on Him. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Matthew 21:22). “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Belief in God”s presence, unconditional love and acceptance. If you have ever felt lonely, unloved, unnoticed or unprotected, you are not alone. We each have had those feelings at one time or another. As we read in the Scriptures, God has already made greater sacrifices for us than we can imagine, and is more than pleased to lavish us with everything we need. “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).

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). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or go to his online blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

Have you ever heard of the “power of positive thinking”? How would you describe this – and what do you see as strengths and weaknesses of this philosophy, especially for the workplace? If it is true, as Proverbs 23:7 states, “As he thinks in his heart, so is he,” what should we do to overcome negative or counter-productive thinking? How do you respond to the idea of “the power of positive believing”? How would you contrast it to positive thinking? What do the passages cited, as well as others from the Bible, mean for you personally? If you acted in accord with them on a consistent basis, what difference could they make in how you carry out your job responsibilities each day?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Isaiah 41:10; Jeremiah 33:3,6; Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 1:6, 3:12-14, 4:19

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