行為、後果與饒恕──ACTIONS, CONSEQUENCES AND FORGIVENESS

身為工商和專業人士、高階主管和創業者,我們每天都要和員工打交道。我們僱用員工,賦予他們工作內容和職責,支付薪資以酬謝他們付出的時間和才華。但我們真實的認識他們當中幾個呢?

履歷表可以告訴我們他們所受的教育和工作經驗,也能從介紹人取得參考信息。僱用他們後,更能夠觀察他們的行為:如何執行任務、如何與同事和客戶互動以及在他們的工作中是否勤奮。

但就算如此,我們仍然不確定自己是否真正了解他們。平時看似忠誠的人,在危機來臨、承受壓力或面對強烈誘惑時,才會顯出自己的本性來。當看上去很可靠的員工,卻背叛了我們的信任,而撒謊、散佈假消息或利用他人來竊取甚至舞弊時,我們該怎麼辦?可悲的是,這些不法的行為的的確確會發生。

當然,每個人都必須遵守公司規定。對於非法、有違倫理或不道德的行為,有相關的法律來制裁,但有一個更大的問題,就是我們要如何在內裡和關係上來面對涉嫌犯罪的人。

我們最初的反應也許是震驚、失望,然後是憤怒。我們感到被人背叛了、被人欺騙覺得受害了。但如果我們是耶穌基督的追隨者,我們應該問一個眾所週知的問題:「耶穌會怎麼做?」在福音書中讀到耶穌在世上服事的時候,我們知道祂經常做出和一般人標準期望相反的反應。當我們感到滿腔怒火時,我們需要思考聖經所警告的:「生氣卻不要犯罪;不可含怒到日落,」(以弗所書4:26)。或另一種翻譯說:「在你發怒時不要犯罪。」

某個人明顯違反規定或法律時,的確要處分或懲罰。但是,更重要的是我們要問是否有補救的機會?我們是否要主動饒恕對方?我們看到耶穌在馬太福音18:21-22教導著我們:「那時,彼得進前來,對耶穌說:「主啊,我弟兄得罪我,我當饒恕他幾次呢?到七次可以嗎?」耶穌說:「我對你說,不是到七次,乃是到七十個七次。」

我們可能會回答:「對,這可以適用於人際關係。但我們是在討論職場耶!就必須要遵守和執行規範、標準和法律。如果我原諒犯錯的人,什麼事也不處理,他/她可能會繼續傷害其他人或企業!」

的確,錯誤的行為必須承擔後果,無論是專業上、關係上、身體上甚至是精神上的。在大多數情況下,犯罪必須有相對應的處罰,我們不能也不該保護犯錯者,使其免除掉犯罪所得的後果。但是,作為基督徒,我們經常得到別人的饒恕,尤其是天父的饒恕,所以祂也要我們饒恕別人。在上一段經文之前耶穌就說:「倘若你的弟兄得罪你,你就去,趁著只有他和你在一處的時候,指出他的錯來。他若聽你,你便得了你的弟兄;」(馬太福音18:15)

偷竊或毀壞的人需要歸還盜取之物並受到適當的懲罰,但從屬靈上來講,他們的過犯仍然可以被原諒。我們可以懷恨在心,也可以原諒;我選擇原諒,這是更健康的作法。它讓我們擺脫了壓力和苦毒,並且有可能贏回我們的弟兄。

Luis Cervino是一位口腔頷面外科醫生,他在1997成為CBMC墨西哥的成員,他和妻子以及兩個兒子住在科阿韋拉州城市的托雷翁(Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico)。自從1999年起他一直將週一嗎哪從英文翻譯成西班牙語。他的翻譯在拉丁美洲的所有西班牙語讀者中都能找到。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你是否因為有人在公司偷竊或犯下其他過錯而解僱人?如果有,對你來說那是什麼樣的經驗?
  2. 如果你的個人財產被偷竊或損壞了,怎麼辦?你最初的反應如何?如果你知道是誰做了那件錯事,你會如何回應那個人?
  3. 情況反轉過來,有的時候是你在需要被饒恕的那一方,那是什麼樣的情況,你得到了什麼樣的反應?當時你經歷了什麼?你的感受是甚麼?
  4. 本週的週一嗎哪談了很多關於饒恕的事情。從屬靈的行動上,我們如何在後果和犯錯的處分間仍能相和?饒恕是否意味著我們要忘記這個人的錯誤?請解釋你的答案。

備註:如果你手上有聖經,並且想閱讀更多相關的經文,請參考:(因經文篇幅較長,請參閱未列出的經文出埃及記22:1-15、馬太福音18:15-35

馬太福音6章9-15節
6:9 所以,你們禱告要這樣說:我們在天上的父:願人都尊你的名為聖。
6:10 願你的國降臨;願你的旨意行在地上,如同行在天上。
6:11 我們日用的飲食,今日賜給我們。
6:12 免我們的債,如同我們免了人的債。
6:13 不叫我們遇見試探;救我們脫離兇惡(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)!
6:14 「你們饒恕人的過犯,你們的天父也必饒恕你們的過犯;
6:15 你們不饒恕人的過犯,你們的天父也必不饒恕你們的過犯。」
以弗所書4章31-32節
4:31 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;
4:32 並要以恩慈相待,存憐憫的心,彼此饒恕,正如 神在基督裏饒恕了你們一樣。
歌羅西書3章12-14節
3:12 所以,你們既是 神的選民,聖潔蒙愛的人,就要存(原文是穿;下同)憐憫、恩慈、謙虛、溫柔、忍耐的心。
3:13 倘若這人與那人有嫌隙,總要彼此包容,彼此饒恕;主怎樣饒恕了你們,你們也要怎樣饒恕人。
3:14 在這一切之外,要存著愛心,愛心就是聯絡全德的。


ACTIONS, CONSEQUENCES AND FORGIVENESS

By Luis Cervino

As business and professional people, executives and entrepreneurs, every day we deal with employees. We hire them, give them job descriptions and responsibilities, and compensate them for their time and talents. But how many of them do we truly know?

We have resumes to tell us about educational and employment backgrounds. We can consult their personal references. And once they are hired, we can observe their behavior – how they handle their assignments, how they interact with coworkers and customers, and how diligently they pursue their work.  

However, even then we cannot be certain that we truly know them. They might seem loyal people, but only in a crisis, under stress, or faced with strong temptations does their true character comes out. What do we do when the employee who seemed so reliable betrays our trust by lying, spreading false rumors, taking advantage of others, stealing or even committing fraud? Sadly, those forms of wrongdoing do occur.

Granted, there are company or corporate rules to which everyone must abide. And in the case of illegal, unethical or immoral activity, pertinent laws must be enforced. But there is an even greater question of how we should respond internally, as well as relationally with the individual suspected of committing an offense.

Maybe our initial reaction is shock, disappointment – and then anger. We feel betrayed, victimized by the person’s deceptions. If we are followers of Jesus Christ, we should ask the proverbial question: “What would Jesus do?” Because as we read the story of His earthly ministry in the gospels, we know Jesus often responded to situations in ways contrary to standard expectations. When we feel ourselves being filled with anger, we need to consider the biblical admonition: “Do not sin by letting anger control you” (Ephesians 4:26). Or as another translation states, “In your anger do not sin.”

When someone has clearly broken rules or laws, steps for discipline or punishment are necessary. But it is also important to ask whether redemption is possible – whether we should take the initiative to extend forgiveness. We see Jesus teaching about this in Matthew 18:21-22, when His follower Peter asked, “Lord, how many times do I have to forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus responded, “I don’t tell you that up to seven times, but up to seventy-seven times.”

We might respond, “Well, that applies to personal relationships. But we are talking about business. There are rules, standards, and laws that must be upheld and enforced. If I forgive the offending person, nothing will have happened, and he or she may continue to harm people or businesses!”

That is true. Wrong actions have consequences, whether they are professional, social, physical or even spiritual. In most cases, the punishment must fit the crime. We cannot and should not shield wrongdoers from the consequences of their actions. However, as Christians who have received forgiveness from others and most importantly, from our Father in heaven, we are called for forgive others. Earlier in the passage cited above, Jesus said, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over” (Matthew 18:15).

The one who has stolen or destroyed must make restitution and face appropriate penalties, but from a spiritual perspective, their wrongs can still be forgiven. We can harbor a grudge, or we can forgive. I choose to forgive; it is healthier. It frees us from stress and bitterness, and we might win our brother over.

Luis Cervino is a maxillofacial surgeon in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico, where he resides with his wife, Rocio, and their two sons. He has been a CBMC member in Mexico since 1997, and has been translating Monday Manna from English into Spanish since 1999. His translations reach readers in Spanish all over Latin America.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever had to fire someone for stealing from your business, or for committing some other form of wrongdoing? If so, what was that experience like for you?
  2. What about having some of your personal property stolen or damaged? How did you react initially? If you knew who carried out the wrongdoing, how did you respond to that person?
  3. Turning things around, has there ever been a time when you needed to ask for forgiveness? What was the circumstance, and what kind of response did you receive? What kinds of feelings did you experience at that time?
  4. Much has been said in this Monday Manna about forgiveness. How can we reconcile that step, which is largely a spiritual act, from the consequences and necessary penalties of someone’s wrongdoing? Does forgiving mean we also must attempt to forget the wrong that was done? Why or why not?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Exodus 22:1-15; Matthew 6:9-15, 18:15-35; Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:12-14


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