By Ken Korkow
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：
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.
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