當生命與工作都不公平時

By Ken Korkow

雖然我痛恨承認這事,但我為了一個簡單的理由生上帝的氣:祂不符合我的期待!

我試著去做我認為正確的事。我看到別人也試著去做正確的事。然而,我和他們卻常常被傷害──遭遇窘境和不公平的結果──而其他人過著自私自利的生活,不管「正確或錯誤」,日子卻似乎過得不錯,沒有艱難,只有快樂、無憂無慮的生活。

你也注意到了嗎?多麼不公平!在南達科塔州我們的家庭牧場,我的妻子莉茲漆了一個大告示,上面寫著:「若生命是公平的,有一半的時間馬要騎人。」

我的錯誤是:我以為若我能夠把上帝簡化成一個公式──作正確的「輸入」,然後我就得到正確的「輸出」(例如避免痛苦且能享受輕鬆的生活)。

這樣的想法是錯的。上帝不會被簡化成一個公式。要不然我們可以憑著計算,而不是憑著信心行事。而且我們無法避免痛苦。痛苦是生活的真實面,生活中一定會發生的事,而且上帝常常用我們生活中的痛苦使我們得益處。第三,我們無法了解上帝的作為──若我們了解上帝,祂就是太渺小而沒有價值了。

最近我聽到一位聖經註釋家和心靈導師,亨利.布克比(Henry Blackaby)對提摩太後書3章12節的觀察:「凡立志在在基督耶穌裡敬虔度日的,也都要受逼迫。」以下是布萊克比對這節經文所說的話:

「敬虔度日不會讓你免於艱困。使徒保羅說你的生活愈無可指責,你愈可能被逼迫。根據保羅的說法:『只是作惡的和迷惑人的,必越久越惡』(提摩太後書3章13節)。當世界愈來愈擁抱罪惡,世人就愈來愈不能忍受敬虔。黑暗無法忍受光明;你的生命愈發出基督同在的光,你愈應該期待黑暗的反抗力量。

你那像基督的性情會冒犯那些反抗基督主權的人。你可能最近為自己的罪痛悔,並採取一個新的步驟去順服上帝。可能你期待立刻經歷上帝的賜福,顯示祂嘉許你的順服。然而,你卻遭遇反抗。

「這逼迫可能來自誤解你動機的其他基督徒。可能你順服上帝,但你的行為卻受到批評而非讚揚。若你真心地要順服主的引導,就不要灰心。保羅警告那些想敬虔度日的人會遭受逼迫。當逼迫發生在你身上時,不要驚訝。」

「若世人將上帝的兒子釘死在十字架,世人一定會敵視任何靠聖靈生活的人。逼迫可能是你的生命像基督的最佳證據。耶穌警告我們,世人恨惡救世主,所以世人一定會誤解並惡待祂的門徒(約翰福音15章18節)。」

肯恩.寇克住在美國內布拉斯加州的Omaha市,在那裡他擔任CBMC的區域總幹事。本篇文章改編自他每週寫的「生活傳真」專欄。我們獲得允許轉載。

省思 / 討論問題
當你做你相信對的事,或照吩咐做事,但結果或回報卻遠不及你的期待。你有何感覺?你會生氣,或覺得生命真是不公平嗎?請解釋。 想要──甚至期待──生活是平順、沒有麻煩的旅途。這有什麼錯? 本文作者說上帝常常用痛苦使我們得益處。你認為這是什麼意思?這曾是你的經驗嗎,即使生活中的痛苦或困難令人不愉快,但你發現那些對你的個人成長有用處? 你──或某個你認識的人──曾經因為信仰而經歷逼迫嗎?那是怎樣的經驗?在職場中這樣的逼迫會以什麼形式發生?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言4章18-19節,21章15節,24章19-20節,28章5節,29章16節;羅馬書5章3-5節;雅各書1章2-4節

WHEN LIFE (AND WORK) ARE JUST NOT FAIR

By Ken Korkow

Although I hate to admit it, I get mad at God for a simple reason: He doesn’t meet my expectations!

I try to do what I think is right. I see others trying to do right as well. Yet, I and they often find ourselves getting “dumped on – encountering adversity and unfair results – while people determined to live strictly according to their selfish interests, regardless of “right” and “wrong,” seem to be faring just fine. No hardships, just happy, carefree lives.

Have you noticed that, too? So much for fairness! At my family”s ranch in South Dakota, my wife Liz has painted a big sign that says: "If life were fair – horses would ride half the time."

Here’s my mistake: I reason that if I can just reduce God to a formula – do the right “inputs,” then I will get the right “outputs” (such as avoiding pain and being able to enjoy easy living).

Such thinking is wrong. God will not be reduced to a formula. Otherwise we could walk by calculation, rather than by faith. And we cannot avoid pain. Pain is a reality of life, guaranteed, and God often uses it in our lives to our benefit. Third, we cannot understand what God is doing – if we could understand God, then He would be much too small to be of any value.

Recently I heard some observations made by Henry Blackaby, a Bible commentator and mentor, about 2 Timothy 3:12 – "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." This is what Blackaby said about that passage:

"Living a godly life will not insulate you from hardship. (The apostle) Paul said the more blameless your life, the more likely you will be persecuted. According to Paul, "evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse" (2 Timothy 3:13). As the world increasingly embraces sin, worldly people are becoming more and more intolerant of godliness. Darkness cannot tolerate light; the more your life illuminates the presence of Christ, the more you should expect opposition from the forces of darkness.

"Your Christlike nature will be offensive to those in rebellion against Christ’s lordship. You may have recently repented of your sin and taken a new step of obedience to God. Perhaps you expected to experience God’s blessing immediately as He demonstrated His approval of your obedience. Instead, you were met with opposition.

“The persecution may have come even from other Christians who misunderstood your motives. Perhaps you obeyed God, and still your actions were met with criticism instead of praise. If you are sincerely following the Lord’s direction, do not be discouraged. Paul warned that those who seek to live godly lives will suffer persecution. Do not be surprised when this happens to you.

"If the world crucified the Son of God, surely the world will be hostile to anyone who lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. Persecution may be the best evidence that your life is like that of Christ. Jesus warned that the world hated Him, the Savior, and so it would certainly misunderstand and mistreat His disciples (John 15:18)."

Ken Korkow lives in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., where he serves as an area director for CBMC. This is adapted from the “Fax of Life” column that he writes each week. Used with permission.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
How do you feel when you do exactly what you believe is right, or do as you are told, and yet the results and rewards fall far short of what you had expected? Does it make you angry, or feel that life truly is unfair? Explain your answer. What is wrong with wanting – even expecting – life to be a smooth, trouble-free journey? Mr. Korkow states that God often uses pain to our benefit. What do you think he means? Has this ever been your own experience, that even though pain or difficulties in life were unpleasant, you found them useful for your personal growth? Have you – or someone you know – experienced persecution because of your or their beliefs? What was that experience like for you, or them? In what forms can such persecution take place in the workplace?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 4:18-19, 21:15, 24:19-20, 28:5, 29:16; Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4

Show More