在工作和生活中逆勢反轉 II── BOUNCING BACK IN BUSINESS AND IN LIFE

MONDAY MANNA

我從十九歲開始打高爾夫球,到現在還會想起第一次和幾個大學朋友在沒有任何指導下,打了我的第一個九洞。即使第一次嘗試的結果很糟,但我還是被迷住了,在那年夏天認真的練球。

高爾夫球最主要的挑戰之一是如何從前一個洞高於標準桿 (over par) 時有「反轉」能力 (bounce back)。 這個能力對於在整個回合中能打出標準桿甚至低於標準桿相當重要。 不過這些日子以來,我的反轉能力減低了,常是在連續幾個bogey(高於標準桿一桿)之後才反轉獲得標準桿。隨著年紀的增長,我的高爾夫球技已經不如先前了。但是我還是喜歡高爾夫球,所以反轉時我還是很興奮。

當然,反轉能力的重要性不僅限於高爾夫球場,在工作中或生活的其他領域也是如此。過去三十多年,我面臨了許多在逆境中必須反轉的經歷。我總是發現-有時候是後來才明白-這些難忘的危機時刻非常能夠幫助我學習如何堅持不懈。

我們身處的困境通常並非咎由自取。在高爾夫球賽中,有時高爾夫球會不幸地掉入水坑、沙坑等障礙物中,在職場也是如此。我們可能做了所有應該做的事情,但還是沒有完成最重要的那一筆交易;期待已久的升遷成為別人的;或者我們花了很多時間準備的提案沒有得到所期待的熱烈迴響。我們該如何應對?我們可以退出、沉迷於自憐,或者,我們可以選擇逆勢反轉,下定決心不讓挫折勝過我們。

耶穌的門徒經歷了許多考驗,其中大多數殉道了,但他們仍然堅持不懈地為基督做工直到最後一口氣,因為他們知道如何從逆境中反轉。事實上,耶穌曾向他們表示這世上有苦難。就在祂被釘十字架前不久,祂告訴跟隨祂的人:「世人若恨你們,你們知道(或譯:該知道),恨你們以先已經恨我了。你們若屬世界,世界必愛屬自己的;只因你們不屬世界,乃是我從世界中揀選了你們,所以世界就恨你們。他們若逼迫了我,也要逼迫你們。」(約翰福音15章18-20節)

聖經中的兩段經文關注我們在面對考驗和逆境時應當如何因應。使徒保羅在羅馬書5章3-5節中寫道:「不但如此,就是在患難中也是歡歡喜喜的;因為知道患難生忍耐,忍耐生老練,老練生盼望;盼望不至於羞恥,因為所賜給我們的聖靈將 神的愛澆灌在我們心裏他其實就是說,「當困難時期到來時,你要準備好逆勢反轉。」

另一位使徒雅各也提出了類似的告誡:「我的弟兄們,你們落在百般試煉中,都要以為大喜樂;因為知道你們的信心經過試驗,就生忍耐。但忍耐也當成功,使你們成全、完備,毫無缺欠。」(雅各書1章2-4節)

聖經中的兩段經文關注我們在面對考驗和逆境時應當如何因應。使徒保羅在羅馬書5章3-5節中寫道:「不但如此,就是在患難中也是歡歡喜喜的;因為知道患難生忍耐,忍耐生老練,老練生盼望;盼望不至於羞恥,因為所賜給我們的聖靈將 神的愛澆灌在我們心裏他其實就是說,「當困難時期到來時,你要準備好逆勢反轉。」

上帝要找的忠實門徒不一定要犧牲生命,但要願意把神和其他人放在自己的需要之前。祂希望我們能從靈界的仇敵給我們的任何打擊中逆勢反轉,並堅持忠實到最後。祂希望我們在面對這個世界的逆境時得到真正的勝利。無論是在職場上或是在高爾夫球場上逆勢反轉,都會是我們最大的喜樂之一!

Jim Langley從事人壽健康保險業已經超過30年了。最近幾年,他熱心於將自己與神的關係書 寫出來,目的是要鼓勵其他人更加親近神。他也是CBMC的長期會員,在2014年時,他開始寫作「比賽第四節策略」(Fourth Quarter Strategies)。  

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想要閱讀更多相關的經文,請參考:

約翰福音16章12-13節
16:12 「我還有好些事要告訴你們,但你們現在擔當不了(或譯:不能領會)。
16:13 只等真理的聖靈來了,他要引導你們明白(原文是進入)一切的真理;因為他不是憑自己說的,乃是把他所聽見的都說出來,並要把將來的事告訴你們。

哥林多前書4章10-13節
4:10 我們為基督的緣故算是愚拙的,你們在基督裏倒是聰明的;我們軟弱,你們倒強壯;你們有榮耀,我們倒被藐視。
4:11 直到如今,我們還是又飢又渴,又赤身露體,又挨打,又沒有一定的住處,
4:12 並且勞苦,親手做工。被人咒罵,我們就祝福;被人逼迫,我們就忍受;
4:13 被人毀謗,我們就善勸。直到如今,人還把我們看作世界上的污穢,萬物中的渣滓。

哥林多後書4章7-12節
4:7 我們有這寶貝放在瓦器裏,要顯明這莫大的能力是出於 神,不是出於我們。
4:8 我們四面受敵,卻不被困住;心裏作難,卻不至失望;
4:9 遭逼迫,卻不被丟棄;打倒了,卻不至死亡。
4:10 身上常帶著耶穌的死,使耶穌的生也顯明在我們身上。
4:11 因為我們這活著的人是常為耶穌被交於死地,使耶穌的生在我們這必死的身上顯明出來。
4:12 這樣看來,死是在我們身上發動,生卻在你們身上發動。

羅馬書8章35-39節
8:35 誰能使我們與基督的愛隔絕呢?難道是患難嗎?是困苦嗎?是逼迫嗎?是飢餓嗎?是赤身露體嗎?是危險嗎?是刀劍嗎?
8:36 如經上所記:我們為你的緣故終日被殺;人看我們如將宰的羊。
8:37 然而,靠著愛我們的主,在這一切的事上已經得勝有餘了。
8:38 因為我深信無論是死,是生,是天使,是掌權的,是有能的,是現在的事,是將來的事,
8:39 是高處的,是低處的,是別的受造之物,都不能叫我們與 神的愛隔絕;這愛是在我們的主基督耶穌裏的。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你能將「逆勢反轉」這個想法和高爾夫球聯想在一起嗎?即使你不打高爾夫球,或許你仍能夠因為其他種類的比賽,或是專業上遇到的挫折,理解作者的說法。你從困難中逆勢反轉的感受如何?
  2. 在不可避免的艱難困苦中,哪些因素會干擾我們逆勢反轉的能力?
  3. 您是否認為那些跟隨耶穌基督的人特別應該預期:自己會在工作和個人生活中遇到許多挑戰而需要從中逆勢反轉嗎?請解釋你的原因。
  4. 儘管保羅沒有用「逆勢反轉」這個詞,但是在本篇週一嗎哪中引用的一處聖經說:「你們落在百般試煉中,都要以為大喜樂。」這聽起來是否很奇怪?當我們遭遇和處理這些困難時,如何能找到「單純的大喜樂」?

BOUNCING BACK IN BUSINESS AND IN LIFE

By Jim Langley

I have been playing golf since I was 19, and can still recall joining some college friends in playing my first nine holes without any prior golf instruction. Even though my first attempt was a poor one, I was hooked and took up the game seriously that summer.

One of the major challenges in golf is being able to “bounce back” from exceeding par on the previous hole. This is critical for shooting par or even under par over an entire round. These days, bounce-backs for me come more along the lines of managing a par after several bogeys in a row, since my golf skills have diminished as I have gotten older. But I still love the game, and bouncing back remains exhilarating.

Of course, the importance of bouncing back is not limited to the golf course. We have all discovered this in the workplace, as well as other areas of our lives. Over the past 30-plus years I have faced my share of personal experiences that required me to bounce back from adversity. I have always found, sometimes by way of hindsight, that these memorable occasions can prove significant for learning how to persevere.

Often we have done nothing to deserve the adverse circumstances in which we find ourselves. In golf, sometimes the golf ball just takes an unfortunate bounce into a water hazard, a sand trap or some other difficult lie. The same holds true for the workplace. We may have done everything we thought we should, and yet we fail to close a much-needed deal. A long-anticipated promotion goes to someone else. Or the proposal we devoted many hours to preparing is not received with the enthusiasm we had expected. So how do we respond? We can quit. We can wallow in self-pity. Or, we can choose to bounce back, determined not to let the setback overcome us.

Jesus’ disciples went through many trials and most of them died as martyrs, yet they persevered for Christ until their last breath. They knew how to bounce back from adversity. In fact, Jesus assured them this would be so. A short time before His crucifixion, He told His followers, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:18-20).

This is one reason two Scripture passages focus on how we should handle the trials and adversities that come our way. In Romans 5:3-5, the apostle Paul wrote, “,,we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us….” He might well have said, “When difficult times come, be prepared to bounce back.”

Another apostle, James, offered a similar admonition: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

God is not necessarily looking for martyrs, but is seeking devoted followers who will place Him and others before their own needs. He wants us to bounce back from whatever our spiritual enemy throws at us and remain faithful to the very end. He wants us to have true victory as we deal with adversity in this world. Bouncing back, whether in the marketplace or the golf course, can be one of our greatest joys!

© 2020, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his relationship with God. His goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. A long-time member of CBMC, he started writing “Fourth Quarter Strategies” in 2014.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Can you relate to the idea of “bouncing back” on the golf course? Even if you do not play golf, perhaps you can understand because of another form of competition, or even in terms of some professional setbacks you have faced. What has it been like for you to bounce back from difficult circumstances?
  2. What are some factors that might interfere with our ability or capacity to bounce back when trials and adversities inevitably come our way?
  3. Do you think that those who are followers of Jesus Christ in particular should expect challenging circumstances, both at work and in their personal lives, from which they will need to bounce back? Why or why not?
  4. Even though he did not use the term “bounce back,” one of the biblical writers cited in this “Monday Manna” said we should “consider it pure joy…whenever we face trials of many kinds.” Does this seem like strange advice? How can we find “pure joy” as we encounter and deal with such difficulties?

NOTE: For more about what the Bible says consider the following passages:

John 16:32-33; 1 Corinthians 4:10-13; 2 Corinthians 4:7-12; Romans 8:35-39


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