為這一時刻做好準備──BEING PREPARED FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

幾年前,在一趟飛往南非的航班上,我遇到一位名叫艾瑪的年輕女士。當時她是一名活動企劃師,儘管不確定這個職業最後會走向何方,她依然熱情地談論著它。我喜歡遇到對自己的工作和呼召感到興奮的人。

最近我在LinkedIn社群網站上注意到她的名字。根據她的簡介,她現在是一家很大的國際企業在中國區的行銷副總裁。當我透過發送信息祝賀她時,艾瑪回覆我說,五年前,她有感動只要她好好信靠神,神會使用她的職業「來服事君王」。

我猜想她指的是聖經中的一句經文: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22章29節很顯然的,神已經讓這些話成真了。艾瑪現在身處在一個國家,擔任具有關鍵性,有影響力的角色,在那裡有數以百萬計的人迫切需要耶穌基督所帶來的盼望。

神將如何在那個位置上使用艾瑪,仍有待觀察,但祂顯然已經為她打開了機會的門,讓她不僅做好自己的本份工作,並且能成為祂的代表來服事。正如哥林多後書5章20節所說:所以,我們作基督的使者,就好像神藉我們勸你們一般。我們替基督求你們與神和好。」

無論是開始一份新的工作,還是留在現在的工作崗位上,我們都傾向於把工作當成支付我們財務上的責任,和獲得想要的東西的一種途徑。但是神是從更寬廣的角度看待我們的職業,甚至我們的事業。工作是我們 「呼召 」中的一個重要部分 – 就是神希望我們在世上所做的事,能夠參與在祂神聖的旨意中。

我們在舊約的以斯帖記中找到了一個很好的例子。以斯帖也被稱為哈大沙,是一位年輕漂亮的猶太女子,經過一連串的事件,她被帶入波斯和米底亞王國 – 亞哈隨魯王的後宮,成為王所寵愛的,以及未來的皇后人選。

她的堂哥末底改得知亞哈隨魯王的一個臣子,有陰謀意圖消滅該地區的所有猶太人。以斯帖已經成為國王宮廷中的「內部人士」,末底改懇求她為她的猶太同胞說情。他知道以她的地位,她可以對亞哈隨魯王產生獨特的影響,用某種方式扭轉王那可怕的諭旨。

一開始,以斯帖很猶豫,因為她知道在沒有被邀約的情況下,擅自去見亞哈隨魯王,會讓她的生命受到威脅。但末底改用這個問題向她挑戰:「…焉知你得了王后的位分不是為現今的機會嗎?」(以斯帖記414這個故事接著說,國王確實聽從了以斯帖的話,並且找到了阻止謀殺計劃的方法。

值得慶幸的是,我們大多數人不需要擔心在工作中,因為接近有權力的人而被判處死刑。然而,神常常將祂的子民置於這樣的環境中,就像艾瑪 – 他們可以代表祂,以救贖的方式帶來改變。永遠不要低估神的能力。祂甚至可以把卑微的開始,變成不可思議的機會。因此,禱告並順服神,相信祂有最好的結果。

版權所有 @2022,非常規商業網絡。經“UBN Integrity Moments”許可改編,這是一篇關於工作中信仰問題的評論。 UBN 是一個為國際小企業社區服務的信仰事工。

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考下面的經文

申命記30章8-9節
30:8你必歸回,聽從耶和華的話,遵行他的一切誡命,就是我今日所吩咐你的。
30:9你若聽從耶和華-你上帝的話,謹守這律法書上所寫的誡命律例,又盡心盡性歸向耶和華-你的上帝,他必使你手裏所辦的一切事,並你身所生的,牲畜所下的,地土所產的,都綽綽有餘;因為耶和華必再喜悅你,降福與你,像從前喜悅你列祖一樣。
約書亞記1章8節
1:8這律法書不可離開你的口,總要晝夜思想,好使你謹守遵行這書上所寫的一切話。如此,你的道路就可以亨通,凡事順利。
箴言21章5節
21:5殷勤籌劃的,足致豐裕;行事急躁的,都必缺乏。
哥林多前書15章58節
15:58所以,我親愛的弟兄們,你們務要堅固,不可搖動,常常竭力多做主工;因為知道,你們的勞苦在主裏面不是徒然的。
歌羅西書3章17、23-24節
3:17無論做甚麼,或說話或行事,都要奉主耶穌的名,藉著他感謝父上帝。
3:23無論做甚麼,都要從心裏做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,
3:24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。

反省與問題討論

  1. 如果有人問你為什麽做現在的工作,你會如何回答呢?
  2. 在閱讀這篇週一嗎哪之前,你是否熟悉聖經中,關於辦事殷勤且忠心工作的人,將「站在君王面前」事奉 的經文?你相信這個應許是真的嗎?為什麽?
  3. 即使在聖經原則被忽視甚至被懷疑的工作環境中,你認為有信仰的人如何能夠發揮正向的影響力?
  4. 以斯帖記中的經文可能隱含著 – 神會積極參與在現今的工作職場,並會特別的關注祂安排在那裏的跟隨者嗎?你對這個想法的反應是什麽呢?


BEING PREPARED FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

By Rick Boxx 

Years ago, while on a flight in South Africa, I met a young lady named Emma. At the time she was an event planner, and spoke enthusiastically about her career, although uncertain about where it eventually would lead. I enjoy meeting with people who are excited about their work and callings.

Recently I noticed her name on the LinkedIn online networking site. According to her profile, she is now vice president of marketing in China for a significant international company. When I sent a message to congratulate her via, Emma responded by telling me that five years ago, she sensed that God would use her career “to serve kings” if she would trust Him.  

I suspect she was referring to the Bible verse that states, “Do you see a man (or woman) skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29). God obviously has made those words become true. Emma now holds a pivotal and influential role in a country with many millions of people desperately needing the hope of Jesus Christ. 

How God will use Emma in that position remains to be seen, but He clearly has opened opportunities for her to not only do her job well, but also to serve as His representative, as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

Whether starting a new job or remaining in one we have had for a while, we are inclined to view it as a way to pay our financial obligations and acquire things we want. But God sees our vocations – even our careers – in a much broader way. They are an important part of our “calling,” what the Lord wants us to do during our time on Earth, participating in His divine purposes.

We find an excellent example of this in the Old Testament book of Esther. Also known as Hadassah, Esther was a beautiful young Jewish woman who, through a series of events, was brought into the harem of King Xerxes of Persia and Media. She became a favorite of Xerxes, in line to become the future queen.

Her cousin, Mordecai, had learned of a plot by one of Xerxes’ subordinates to destroy all the Jews in that region. Since Esther had become an “insider” in the king’s court, Mordecai entreated her to intercede on behalf of her fellow Jews. He understood that in her position, she could exert unique influence on King Xerxes to somehow reverse his fearful decree.

Initially Esther was hesitant, knowing that to approach Xerxes on any matter, without being invited to do so, put her life at risk. But then Mordecai challenged her with this question, “Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). The story goes on to tell the king did listen to Esther, and a way was found to overcome the murderous scheme.

Thankfully, most of us do not need to fear a “death sentence” for approaching people in authority at work. However, often God places His people in circumstances where – like Emma – they can represent Him in redemptive ways. Never underestimate what the Lord can do: He can turn even humble beginnings into incredible opportunities. So, pray and obey, trusting Him for the results. 

Copyright 2022, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments”, a commentary on faith at work issues. Visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. If someone were to ask why you do the work that you do, how would you respond?
  2. Before reading this meditation, were you familiar with the Bible passage that suggests people who are diligent and faithful in their work will “serve before kings”? Do you believe this promise is true? Why or why not?
  3. How do you think people of faith can exert positive influence, even in working environments where biblical principles are ignored or even treated with skepticism?
  4. The passage from the book of Esther would imply that God is actively involved in the modern workplace and takes special, direct interest in His followers whom He has placed there? What is your reaction to this concept?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:    Deuteronomy 30:8-9; Joshua 1:8; Proverbs 21:5; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Colossians 3:17, 23-24


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