黑暗職場中的明光

By:Robert J. Tamasy

每年到了耶誕季,我們在工作的地方大概都會有一些節慶的佈置。閃亮的燈光在節慶是很常見的代表裝飾:包括掛在聖誕樹上的彩燈、在家裡、商店和做生意的地方裝設的白燈,以及在窗戶、桌上放的蠟燭。對某些人說,這個時節的最重要的就是節慶的燈了。

但是對其他人來說,燈飾只是一個令人賞心悅目的傳統。在冬季北半球黑夜越來越長、越來越黑時,光照亮了黑夜,否則冬季是既漫長且令人感到憂鬱的季節。對跟隨耶穌的人來說,光跟第一個聖誕夜很有關,特別是東方三博士所跟隨的星星,因為這星領他們到小耶穌基督所在的地方。(馬太福音2章1-12節)

對相信耶穌的人,光不只代表著領路的星星,更是代表耶穌。在新約的馬太福音4章16節裡和舊約以賽亞書9章2節都記載著:「那坐在黑暗裏的百姓看見了大光;坐在死蔭之地的人有光發現照著他們。」這些經節都指出耶穌是「光」。在耶穌三年半的傳道生涯中,他也說:「我是世界的光。跟從我的,就不在黑暗裏走,必要得著生命的光。」(約翰福音8章12節)

但是對在二十一世紀追求事業的我們來說,光有什麼意義呢?以下是聖經的看法:

基督的光保證帶來生命:許多人選擇從商或專門的行業,以滿足他們的物質和欲望。但是他們經常被困在你爭我奪當中,無止境地的重複,並沒有讓他們提升到更好的境界。相對於職業只能糊口求溫飽,耶穌給跟隨他的人工作的意義和目的,同時又能滿足他們每天日常的需要。生命在他裏頭,這生命就是人的光。(約翰福音1章4節) 耶穌說:「我就是道路、真理、生命;若不藉著我,沒有人能到父那裏去。」(約翰福音14章6節)

基督的光從黑暗中釋放自由:今天的職場似乎越來越黑暗。徘徊不去的經濟災難讓我們希望落空,期限和要求不斷挑戰我們的價值觀,我們一度景仰的領袖們露出他們的黑暗面。但耶穌應許我們,他會用光帶領我們通過這段加深的黑暗期。「光照在黑暗裏,黑暗卻不接受光。」(約翰福音1章5節)「那光是真光,照亮一切生在世上的人。」(約翰福音1章9節)

基督的光指引我們方向:我該怎麼做?我該怎麼走?我要怎麼撐下去?這許多的問題耗損我們的精神。我們都需要方向和引導。耶穌應許當他的跟隨著定睛在他身上,他會指示一條道路和所需要的智慧。「你的話是我腳前的燈,是我路上的光。」(詩篇119篇105節)

在慶祝聖誕節之際,你是否已經下定決心要 「在光明中行,如同 神在光明中」?(約翰壹書1章7節)

Robert J. Tamasy是亞特蘭大「領袖遺產」 (一個非營利性機構) 通訊部的副總裁。他是一個有39年經驗的資深記者,也是多本著作的作者,包括Tufting Legacies; Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press);也與David A. Stoddard合著The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress)。欲知更多詳情可上 www.leaderslegacy.com網站或是他的部落格 www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com。

思想與問題討論
當你看到節慶時擺設的燈光時,你會聯想到什麼? 耶穌說:「我就是世界的光」對你有什麼意義? 在你過去的經驗裡,工作對你而言是什麼?你是能照自己的所想的工作?還是勉強討生活?解釋你的答案。 你發現跟耶穌的關係能給你的工作帶來指引和方向嗎?或幫助你做重要的決定呢?有的話,是用什麼方法呢?備註:如果你手上有聖經,想要知道更多與這個主題相關的經節,請參考下面的經節:
詩篇36篇9節;119篇130節;以賽亞書58篇6-10節;彌迦書7章8-9節;馬太福音5章16節;路加福音11章33-36節;約翰福音3章19-21節

LIGHT FOR THE OFTEN-DARKENED WORKPLACE

By Robert J. Tamasy

At this time of year your workplace probably has some festive lights on display. Sparkling lights are a common symbol during the holiday season: Colorful lights on Christmas trees; white lights adorning homes, retail stores and businesses; candles displayed in windows and atop tables. For some people a highlight of the season is a “festival of lights.”

For some, these lights are merely a pleasant tradition. At a time of year when nights are longer and darker in the Northern Hemisphere, the lights serve to brighten otherwise cold and gloomy days. For followers of Jesus Christ, the lights relate to elements of the story of the first Christmas, especially “the star in the east” that the wise men known as the Magi followed so they could worship the Christ child (Matthew 2:1-12).

For all who profess to believe in Jesus, light represents more than the Nativity star. Matthew 4:16 in the New Testament repeats the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah 9:2: “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” These passages refer to Jesus as “the light.” And during his three-year earthly ministry, Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

But what is the significance of this “light” as we pursue our careers every day in the 21st century workplace? Here are some principles from the Bible:

Christ”s light promises life. Many people choose vocations in the business and professional world to satisfy their material needs and desires, and find a measure of fulfillment in the process. But too often they get caught up in “the rat race,” a relentless treadmill that takes them at a frenetic pace to nowhere. Instead of “making a living,” they must focus on merely surviving. Jesus promised to give his followers purpose and meaning, as well as to meet their daily needs. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4). “Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”” (John 14:6).

Christ”s light offers freedom from darkness. Today”s workplace seems increasingly dark. Lingering economic woes have dimmed our hopes. Deadlines and demands challenge our convictions and values. Leaders we once admired have revealed the dark sides of their character. Jesus promised to give light to lead us through the deepening shadows. “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it…. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world” (John 1:5,9).

Christ”s light provides direction. “What should I do?” “Where should I go?” “How can I get through this?” These and many other questions consume us. We all need direction and guidance. Jesus assures his followers that when they look to him, he will show the way and provide the wisdom they need. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).

In celebrating Christmas, are you resolved to “walk in the light, as he is in the light” (1 John 1:7)?

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 journalist for 40 years, he is the author of Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); 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
When you see the lights displayed during the holiday season, what thoughts come to your mind? For you, what is the significance or meaning of Jesus Christ”s declaration that he is “the light of the world”? What has been your primary experience at work – are you “living” as you expected you would, or are you finding yourself merely “surviving,” hanging on through the stresses and struggles of every day? Explain your answer. Have you discovered that a relationship with Jesus has brought light for finding much-needed guidance and direction in your career, or in making critical decisions? If so, in what ways?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Psalm 36:9, 119:130; Isaiah 58:6-10; Micah 7:8-9; Matthew 5:16; Luke 11:33-36; John 3:19-21

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