Saturday, July 13, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

肯定工作的尊嚴──AFFIRMING THE DIGNITY OF WORK

這場全球疫情幾乎影響了我們每個人,即使可怕的警訊已經告一段落,在衛生官員宣布危機已結束的幾個月後,人們仍能感受到它的衝擊。其中之一就是對人力市場的影響。

在疫情高峰期,餐廳和零售等企業被迫停止營業。對於繼續經營的企業,員工經常在家透過電腦工作。在 COVID-19 出現之前,大多數企業能輕易在需要時,填補職位空缺。但在疫情結束後,許多雇主卻苦於找不到員工,來填補現有的工作崗位。

「徵人」的牌子似乎隨處可見。曾經,在一些餐廳,顧客會看到類似的牌子「請耐心等候。我們人手短缺。對於那些願意工作的人,請心存感激。」而幾年後,這個問題仍然存在。造成這種就業差距的原因有很多,我們此時暫不討論。有一件事是確定的:我們發現自己正處於一個不尋常的時期,在某些地方,缺人的遠超過求職者。當有了政府所提供的財務補助(好像提供了安全網),人們會失去回到職場的動力。聖經中箴言16章26節提到 : 「勞力人的胃口使他勞力,因為他的口腹催逼他。」

隨著這種對待工作的新心態持續存在,我們可能需要創造新的方式來激勵人們工作。其中一個就是重申古老的真理 – 找到工作的尊嚴是很重要的。如果我們是雇主、主管或領導者的角色,我們必須努力確保,我們的員工感到和懂得這份尊嚴。以下是一些可供參考的聖經原則:

工作是上帝從起初就有的心意 : 聖經裡創世的敘述中,上帝在創造人類後「我們要照著我們的形像、按著我們的樣式造人,」(創世記1章26節) 祂的第一個指示就是讓人們開始工作。「神就賜福給他們,又對他們說:「要生養眾多,遍滿地面,治理這地,也要管理海裡的魚、空中的鳥,和地上各樣行動的活物。神說:「看哪,我將遍地上一切結種子的菜蔬和一切樹上所結有核的果子全賜給你們作食物。」(創世記1章28-29節)

不順服會讓工作變得困難。一切曾經都很好,直到亞當和夏娃違背了上帝的命令,吃了善惡樹上的果子。他們錯誤的行為所造成的後果,聖經稱之為「罪」,導致了上帝的宣告,「又對亞當說:你既聽從妻子的話,吃了我所吩咐你不可吃的那樹上的果子,地必為你的緣故受咒詛;你必終身勞苦才能從地裡得吃的。地必給你長出荊棘和蒺藜來;你也要吃田間的菜蔬。你必汗流滿面才得糊口,直到你歸了土,因為你是從土而出的。你本是塵土,仍要歸於塵土。」(創世記3章17-19節)

工作可能會很辛苦,但可帶來很大的回報。在工作中找到尊嚴,我們必須回答一些重要的問題。這些包括「我們為什麼工作?」和「我們最終是為誰工作?」這些問題在聖經的多個地方得到了回答,包括歌羅西書3章17節、23-24節說道: 「無論做什麼,或說話或行事,都要奉主耶穌的名,藉著他感謝父神。…無論做什麼,都要從心裡做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,因你們知道從主那裡必得著基業為賞賜;你們所事奉的乃是主基督。」

在工作中,我們服事客户、雇主,最终也服事於上帝。他們都應得到我們最好的付出。

@2023版權所有,經許可改編自 “UBN誠信時刻”,關於職場工作中信仰議題的評論。UBN(非常規企業聯盟)是一個服務小型企業界的國際性職場信仰事工。UBN的官網: www.unconventionalbusiness.org

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考下面的經文 :

箴言12章11節
12:11 耕種自己田地的,必得飽食;追隨虛浮的,卻是無知。
箴言14章23節
14:23諸般勤勞都有益處;嘴上多言乃致窮乏。
箴言18章9節
18:9做工懈怠的,與浪費人為弟兄。
箴言22章29節
22:29你看見辦事殷勤的人嗎?他必站在君王面前,必不站在下賤人面前。
箴言24章30-34節
24:30我經過懶惰人的田地、無知人的葡萄園,
24:31荊棘長滿了地皮,刺草遮蓋了田面,石牆也坍塌了。
24:32我看見就留心思想;我看著就領了訓誨。
24:33再睡片時,打盹片時,抱著手躺臥片時,
24:34你的貧窮就必如強盜速來,你的缺乏彷彿拿兵器的人來到。
傳道書9章7-10節
9:7你只管去歡歡喜喜吃你的飯,心中快樂喝你的酒,因為神已經悅納你的作為。
9:8你的衣服當時常潔白,你頭上也不要缺少膏油。
9:9在你一生虛空的年日,就是神賜你在日光之下虛空的年日,當同你所愛的妻,快活度日,因為那是你生前在日光之下勞碌的事上所得的分。
9:10凡你手所當做的事要盡力去做;因為在你所必去的陰間沒有工作,沒有謀算,沒有知識,也沒有智慧。
哥林多前書3章9節
3:9因為我們是與神同工的;你們是神所耕種的田地,所建造的房屋。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你是否注意到,在疫情之後,一些工作類別持續出現人力的短缺,例如餐廳和零售業,甚至一些重要的行業也是如此?疫情後造成這種現象的原因是什麼呢?請提出你的看法。
  2. 當你讀到「工作中的尊嚴」這個用語時,你會想到什麼?你是否同意這樣的觀點:工作本身確實具有上帝賦予的(天賦)尊嚴(inherent dignity),至少是在工作完成或有正當意義時?請提出你的看法。
  3. 創世記的第一章教導我們,上帝最早創造工作的構思,首先體現在祂自己創造地球,創造整個宇宙,接著將工作的責任賦予了人類。這將如何影響我們對待工作的態度呢?或者我們應該被這影響嗎?
  4. 我們如何能夠在職場上向我們的員工、同事、顧客以及其他我們遇到的人,傳遞和鼓勵工作是具有尊嚴的概念呢?


AFFIRMING THE DIGNITY OF WORK

By Rick Boxx

The global pandemic affected virtually every one of us, and even though the dire warnings have ended, its impact was still being felt many months after health officials declared the health crisis had ended. Among them has been its impact on the employment market.

At the peak of the pandemic, businesses like restaurants and retail stores were forced to shut down. For businesses that continued to operate, workers often performed their jobs at home by computer. Before COVID-19, most businesses had no difficulty in filling job openings whenever needed. However, after the pandemic ended, many employers struggled to find workers to fill their available jobs.

“Help Wanted” signs seemed everywhere. At some restaurants, customers were greeted by signs like: “Please be patient. We are short-staffed. Be grateful for those who are willing to work.” Several years later, this problem persists. There are multiple reasons for this employment gap, but we will not address those now. One thing is certain: We have found ourselves in a strange time when in some areas there are more jobs available than people willing to fill them. When people have a financial safety net because of government subsidies, they have less motivation for going back to work. Proverbs 16:26 in the Bible’s Old Testament wisely observes, “A worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on.”

As this new mindset toward work continues, we might need to devise new ways for motivating people to work. One way is to reaffirm an old truth – that finding dignity in work is important. If we are in the role of being employers, supervisors, or leaders, we must strive make certain our employees are perceiving and appreciating this dignity. Here are a few biblical principles to consider:

Work has been God’s idea from the beginning. In the Bible’s creation account, after the triune God created humankind “in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), His first instructions were for people to go to work. “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number. Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every living thing…. I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food” (Genesis 1:28-29).

Disobedience made work difficult. Everything was going well until Adam and Eve defied God command by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The results of their wrongful actions, which the Bible calls “sin,” was God’s declaration, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food” (Genesis 3:17-19).

Work may be hard, but it can be very rewarding. In finding dignity in our work, we must answer some important questions. These include, ‘Why are we working?’ and ‘Who are we ultimately serving?’ These questions are answered in the Scriptures in several places, including Colossians 3:17,23-24. It says, ‘And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him…. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

In our work, we serve our customers, our employers, and ultimately, God. They all deserve our best.

Copyright 2023, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments.” Visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Have you noticed, following the pandemic, a continuing shortage of workers in some types of work, such as restaurants and retail establishments, even in some vital professions? What are some of the causes of this post-pandemic phenomenon, in your opinion?
  2. What comes to mind when you read the phrase, “dignity in work”? Do you agree with the view that work does carry inherent dignity, at least when it is done well and for the right reasons? Why or why not?
  3. The first chapter of Genesis teaches that God conceived the idea of work, first reflected in His own work to create the earth and then the entire universe, and then giving responsibilities for working to men and women. How does – or should – thinking about that influence our own approach to work?
  4. In what ways can we impart and encourage the concept of work having dignity to our employees, colleagues, customers, and others we encounter in the marketplace?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Proverbs 12:11, 14:23, 18:9, 22:29, 24:30-34; Ecclesiastes 9:7-10; 1 Corinthians 3:9



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