面對饒恕的挑戰

By Robert J. Tamasy

你最後一次饒恕傷害你的人是甚麼時候?最後一次到人面前要求饒恕是甚麼時候?

對在工商業界或是職場工作的我們來說,饒恕別人和請求別人饒恕是所有我們被要求的事情當中最具有挑戰性的。因為很困難,所以很多人就直接整個放棄。就算知道自己做錯了,我們還是忽視它,抓住怨恨滋養傷口,不願意饒恕修復關係,希望過一段時間就會忘記。

二十世紀偉大的思想家魯益師(C.S. Lewis)總結自己所觀察到的,說出下面的名言:「每個人都說饒恕是一個很棒的主意,直到輪到自己的時候,則不然。」我想,他也許也會說:「談到饒恕,受比施更有福。」

退伍軍人諮商師以及教練知道他們的案主常常必須面對饒恕這個課題。不饒恕會破壞合夥關係、傷害領導團隊甚至是整個機構。饒恕的內容可能小至很簡單的事情,例如不友善的言語、發怒時令人後悔的不理智行為,大到大型商業契約的失敗。

「饒恕然後忘記」,說得簡單,要做到卻很困難。饒恕經常被認為是讓加害者和他所做的錯事脫罪,不需要做任何補償。也因此,很多人決定要永遠記住別人對他們做過的錯事。結果,自己變成「不情願饒恕」的受害者。別人或許不會發現我們所受的苦、或者他們一點也不在乎,我們或許也和他們斷絕往來,沒有留下任何修補的機會。

關於饒恕,我們需要做些甚麼?聖經提供我們一些建議:

更多的饒恕,不僅僅是因為「必須」饒恕 。耶穌告訴祂的門徒,放棄以眼還眼的報復方式。相反的,他鼓勵我們在衝突之中成為心胸更寬闊的人,「你們聽見有話說:『以眼還眼,以牙還牙。』只是我告訴你們,不要與惡人作對。有人打你的右臉,連左臉也轉過來由他打;有人想要告你,要拿你的裏衣,連外衣也由他拿去;(馬太福音538-40)

想一想神如何饒恕我們。耶穌在主禱文當中,特別強調饒恕的重要。「免我們的債, 如同我們免了人的債。 不叫我們遇見試探; 救我們脫離凶惡 ( – 或譯:脫離惡者) 因為國度、權柄、榮耀,全是你的, 直到永遠。阿們 ( – 有古卷沒有因為阿們等字) 「你們饒恕人的過犯,你們的天父也必饒恕你們 的過犯; 你們不饒恕人的過犯,你們的 天父也必不饒恕你們的過犯。」(馬太福音612-15)

不饒恕種下苦毒的根。有情緒是人之常情,但是饒恕能幫助我們遠離情緒的癌症。「一切苦毒、惱恨、忿怒、嚷鬧、毀謗,並一切的惡毒( – 或譯:陰毒),都當從你們中間除掉;並要以恩慈相待,存憐憫的心,彼此饒恕,正如上帝在基督裏饒恕了你們一樣。 (以弗所書431-32)

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他的雙週部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com

省思/問題討論

文章一開始提到「你最後一次原諒饒恕傷害你的人是甚麼時候?」分享自己的狀況和經驗。 最後一次你到人面前請求饒恕是甚麼時候?你得到甚麼樣的回應?要請求別人或是一個團體的饒恕是一件很簡單的事情嗎? 你最近是否在饒恕與不饒恕當中掙扎?你是否覺得自己不面對不行了?請分享自己的經驗。 知道神饒恕我們對祂做的錯事和我們的罪,是否有幫助我們能饒恕其他人或是請求別人饒恕我們?

註:如果你手上有聖經,希望知道與這個主題相關更多的經文,請參考:創世紀50章15-21章;列王記上8章47-52節;馬太福音18章23-35節;馬可福音11章25節;哥林多後書2章10節

FACING THE FORGIVENESS CHALLENGE

By Robert J. Tamasy

When was the last time you forgave someone for a wrong they had done to you? When was the last time you went to someone else and asked for their forgiveness?

These can be challenging questions, because among the many things we are asked to do in today”s business and professional world, forgiving and being forgiven are often among the most difficult. So difficult, in fact, many people choose to avoid them entirely. We hang onto grudges and nurse hurts rather than attempting to reconcile relationships. Instead of requesting forgiveness, even if we realize we have said or done something wrong, we ignore it, hoping the offending party will forget over time.

C.S. Lewis, one of the great thinkers of the 20th century, summed it up well when he observed, “Everyone thinks that forgiveness is a lovely idea, until he has something to forgive.” He might well have been saying that when it comes to forgiveness, it is more blessed to receive than to give.

Veteran consultants and executive coaches know a recurring issue their clients must confront involves forgiveness. Failure to forgive can destroy partnerships, leadership teams, even entire organizations. It might range from something simple, such as unkind words, to doing something in anger that we later regret, to total failure to fulfill a major business commitment.

It can be easy to say, “forgive and forget,” but extremely hard to do. Often, to forgive feels like letting someone off the hook for wrongdoing without making amends. Instead, we decide never to forget the harm they have done to us. The problem is, we can become victims of our own unwillingness to forgive. Offending parties may not be aware of the pain we harbor, they may not care, or we may have lost contact with them, leaving no opportunity for reconciliation or restitution.

What then should we do about forgiveness? The Bible offers sound advice on this matter:

Be willing to forgive even more than necessary. Talking to His followers, Jesus dismissed the “eye for an eye” vengeance approach for correcting wrongs. Instead, He urged being the “bigger person” in the conflict. “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well…” (Matthew 5:38-40).

Consider how much God has forgiven us. In offering His model prayer as a guide, Jesus put special emphasis on forgiving others. “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:12-15).

Failure to forgive can plant seeds of bitterness. Even if feelings are justified, being able to forgive can free us from a form of “emotional cancer.” “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

© 2017. Robert J. Tamasy has written Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace; Tufting Legacies; and coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring. His biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

Reviewing the opening questions, when was the last time you forgave someone for a wrong they had done to you? What were the circumstances, and how did you go about forgiving that person? When was the last time you went to someone else and asked for their forgiveness? What kind of response did you receive? How easy was it for you to ask that individual – or group – to forgive? Are you presently struggling with circumstances in which forgiveness is needed? Have you reached a point where you believe that you should take steps to seek resolution, in one way or another? Explain your answer. How should an awareness of how much God has forgiven us about our own wrongdoings toward Him – our sins – affect our thinking about forgiving someone else, or seeking their forgiveness?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Genesis 50:15-21; 1 Kings 8:47-52; Matthew 18:23-35; Mark 11:25; 2 Corinthians 2:10

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