在永恆賽局中成為一個參賽者──BECOMING A PLAYER IN THE ETERNAL GAME

暢銷作家賽門.西奈克 (Simon Sinek) 在他的著作《無限賽局》(Infinite Game) 中表示,他深信商業界長期以來一直陷在僅僅追逐他所謂的「有限賽局」之中。他寫道,當商業領袖只是追逐每季或每年的利潤時,他們追求的只是一個有限的解決方案,而不具有長存並永續的意義。

 西奈克主張,企業領導者應該追求的是他所稱「正確的理由」。如果我們意識到什麼是我們經營的更遠大原因或意義,而不單是利潤,它將會改變我們做出經營決策的方式。他的意思是,即使在競爭激烈、不斷變化的市場中,也必須有一種遠高於僅僅增加財務利潤來獎勵股東或投資者的使命感。

這並不是說利潤不重要。毫無疑問的,它對持續我們企業的經營非常重要。然而,對於我們這些跟隨耶穌基督的人來說,「無限賽局」—我們稱之為「永恆賽局」(Eternal Game)—主要的意義應該是:榮耀上帝。如果我們只有追求利潤,就可能會錯過永恆的回報。

聖經對此有很多的教導。以下是幾個我們可以輕鬆地應用於二十一世紀職場的原則:

遵循上帝的設計是很合理的。詩篇 139篇14節 宣稱我們每個人受造都是「奇妙可畏」的,意味著我們所創立和發展的工作也是創造的延伸。也因此,我們要不斷努力尋求並找到上帝對我們自已以及我們工作的目的。「我們原是他的工作,在基督耶穌裏造成的,為要叫我們行善,就是 神所預備叫我們行的。」(以弗所書 2章10節)

參考人生指南是很合理的。當我們購買產品時,我們經常會收到一份使用說明書。當我們被聘用時,我們會收到一份員工手冊。在體育運動中,運動員會收到一本戰術守則。而在聖經中,我們可以找到上帝教導我們關於如何生活和工作的指南。「聖經都是 神所默示的(或譯:凡 神所默示的聖經),於教訓、督責、使人歸正、教導人學義都是有益的,叫屬 神的人得以完全,預備行各樣的善事。」(提摩太後書 3章16-17節)。

尋求最高回報是很合理的。利潤會上會下,有些年度會比其他年度有更多的財務回報。但是,如果你知道在哪裡可以找到最大的獎勵,那麼僅僅追求利潤是否合理呢?「無論做甚麼,都要從心裏做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,因你們知道從主那裏必得著基業為賞賜;你們所事奉的乃是主基督。」(歌羅西書 3章23-24節)。

保持正確的觀點是很合理的。許多人將大部分時間、精力和資源投入追求轉瞬即逝的利潤和回報上,今天也許存在,明天就消失了。然後他們發現自己在問:「這就是全部嗎?」為什麼不專注於我們最無法承受的損失上呢?「人若賺得全世界,卻喪了自己,賠上自己,有甚麼益處呢?」(路加福音 9章25節)。

聖經教導我們追求敬虔、永恆的獎賞,好處可能會隨之而來。因此,追求永恆而不是利潤是很合理的。

© 2021 版權所有非傳統商業網路(前身為純全資源中心)。節錄自和 Rick Boxx 的純全時刻,這本刊 物主要 是從基督徒的角度來探討職場上正直這個主題。如果希望知道更多關於這個事工或是想訂閱每日純全時 刻,請上這個網站: www.unconventionalbusiness.org. Rick Boxx 最新出版的書「提供實用五個關鍵的神 的方法來建立企業。」 

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考慮以下經文(因篇幅有限,請參閱未列出的經文箴言18:9、箴言22:29):
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27章18節
27:18 看守無花果樹的,必吃樹上的果子;敬奉主人的,必得尊榮。
馬太福音 6章19-21節
6:19 「不要為自己積攢財寶在地上;地上有蟲子咬,能銹壞,也有賊挖窟窿來偷。
6:20 只要積攢財寶在天上;天上沒有蟲子咬,不能銹壞,也沒有賊挖窟窿來偷。
6:21 因為你的財寶在哪裏,你的心也在那裏。」
馬太福音6章25-33節
6:25 「所以我告訴你們,不要為生命憂慮吃甚麼,喝甚麼;為身體憂慮穿甚麼。生命不勝於飲食嗎?身體不勝於衣裳嗎?
6:26 你們看那天上的飛鳥,也不種,也不收,也不積蓄在倉裏,你們的天父尚且養活牠。你們不比飛鳥貴重得多嗎?
6:27 你們哪一個能用思慮使壽數多加一刻呢(或譯:使身量多加一肘呢)?
6:28 何必為衣裳憂慮呢?你想野地裏的百合花怎麼長起來;它也不勞苦,也不紡線。
6:29 然而我告訴你們,就是所羅門極榮華的時候,他所穿戴的,還不如這花一朵呢!
6:30 你們這小信的人哪!野地裏的草今天還在,明天就丟在爐裏, 神還給它這樣的妝飾,何況你們呢!
6:31 所以,不要憂慮說,吃甚麼?喝甚麼?穿甚麼?
6:32 這都是外邦人所求的,你們需用的這一切東西,你們的天父是知道的。
6:33 你們要先求他的國和他的義,這些東西都要加給你們了。
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. 你對於商場中大多數人都深陷於無止盡地對「有限賽局」之追求,你的看法為何? 你是否同意任何企業(或專業人士)的最終結果都應比利潤更遠大?請解釋你的答案。
  2. 不使用追求「有限賽局」來設立目標與目的,反而可以對達到「永恆賽局」產生影響,這樣的觀點是什麼意思呢?用這兩種不同觀點開始每一天會有什麼不同嗎?
  3. 本篇週一嗎哪引用了一段經文,說我們是上帝手中的工作。你認為這意味著什麼?它對我們如何工作和如何經營有什麼影響?
  4. 你是否覺得上帝對你和你的工作是非常有興趣的?還是你認為自己的個人生活(包括你的信仰)和你在職場上的日常工作是不相關的呢?請解釋你的答案。

BECOMING A PLAYER IN THE ETERNAL GAME

Author Simon Sinek, in his book, Infinite Game, says he believes the business world for too long has been stuck chasing what he calls a “finite game.” When business leaders simply pursue profits from quarter to quarter, or fiscal year to fiscal year, they are chasing a finite solution, rather than a lasting purpose, he writes.

Sinek contends that what business leaders should be pursuing is what he labels a “just cause.” If we realize what is the greater cause or purpose for our businesses, rather than profits, it will change how we make business decisions. He is saying that even in the highly competitive, ever-changing marketplace, there must be a sense of mission greater than rewarding stakeholders with increasing financial returns.

This is not to say that profits are unimportant. They are vital for sustaining our businesses. There is no question about that. However, for those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ, the ‘infinite game” – our eternal game – should be played primarily with one purpose in mind: to glorify God. If we pursue profits exclusively, we may miss out on the rewards of eternity.

The Bible has much to say about this. Here is a sampling of the principles it teaches that we can easily apply to the 21st century workplace:

It makes sense to follow God’s design. Psalm 139:14 declares that we each are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and by implication, the businesses we build and develop are an extension of that. For this reason, we would do well to seek to discover what are God’s intentions for us – and for our work. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

It makes sense to consult the guidebook. When we buy a product, we often receive a user guide. When we are hired for a job, we often receive an employee handbook. In sports, athletes receive a playbook. And in the Bible, we find God’s guidebook for how to live – and how to work. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3;16-17).

It makes sense to seek the highest returns. Profits come and profits go; some years generate more financial returns than others. But if you knew where to find the greatest rewards, would it not make sense to pursue those? “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” (Colossians 3:23-24).

It makes sense to keep the right perspective. Many people have invested most of their time, energy and resources in the quest for profits and rewards that are fleeting, here today and gone tomorrow. Then they find themselves asking, “Is that all there is?” Why not focus on what we can least afford to lose? “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:25).

What the Scriptures teach us is that by pursuing godly, eternal rewards, profits likely will follow. Therefore, it makes sense to pursue eternity, not profits.

Copyright 2021, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments”, a commentary on faith at work issues. Visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org to sign up for UBN Integrity Moments emails. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1.  What do you think of the idea that most people in the business world are caught up in an endless pursuit of a “finite game”? Do you agree that the bottom line for any business – or for any business or professional person – should amount to more than profits? Why or why not?
  2. How about the concept of pursuing instead an “infinite game,” goals and objectives that will make a difference for eternity: What do you think that means? And what difference would it make to begin each day with that perspective?
  3. This “Monday Manna” cites a Bible passage that says we are “God’s workmanship.’ What do you think this means – and what are its implications for how we approach our work and how we operate our businesses?
  4. Do you have a sense that God has a very personal interest in you and your work, or do you regard your personal life – including your spiritual beliefs – as separate from how you function each day in the marketplace? Explain your answer.

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 12:11, 18:9, 22:29, 27:18; Matthew 6:19-21,25-33; 1 Corinthians 3:9


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