在憤怒與喧囂的世界裡選擇冷靜與平和──CHOOSING CALM AND QUIET IN A WORLD OF ANGRY AND LOUD

MONDAY MANNA

一個脫口秀節目請來了三位來賓辯論一個爭議性的議題。其中兩位來賓和主持人之間的討論越來越激烈,甚至開始互相大吼大叫。 (我知道,這已經是最近廣播媒體上幾乎一定會發生的事,但我的重點是接下來發生的事情。)

在持續吼叫了幾分鐘之後,主持人終於停止辯論,轉向第三位始終保持安靜的來賓詢問她的意見。第三位來賓平和而周到的發言突然讓現場的混亂恢復了秩序。不僅如此,她的舉止還讓自己看起來比其他高聲喊叫的人更加可靠。

現今的世界,喧鬧聲由四面八方傳來,有些人認為喊得最大聲的人就是勝利者,如同一句諺語所說:「嘎吱作響的輪子先上油」(意指最突顯的問題會先得到關注)。但實際上,沉著而鎮定的溝通方式是最有效的方法,且在大多數情況下影響最大。

這不是新的洞見。有些人認為聖經是一本有關商業及專業的最偉大書籍。聖經對話語的優點、缺點和陷阱有許多看見。例如,箴言15章1節指出:「回答柔和,使怒消退;言語暴戾,觸動怒氣。」另一段經文說:「智慧人的心教訓他的口,又使他的嘴增長學問。」(箴言16章23節)

這類訓言不限於電視和廣播上的脫口秀節目。幾年前,地方的行政官員聚集在一個大城市,討論主辦夏季奧運會的提案。這個討論後來變得很負面,因為大多數的參與者都把焦點聚集在討論主辦大規模活動可能引起的潛在問題。

討論進行了兩個多小時後,會議負責人轉向小組的最新成員之一。這個人還沒發表任何評論,所以主持人問他說:「泰德,你什麼也沒說。你怎麼看?」當時房間中的其他人都靜靜地坐著期待他的回答,他冷靜而平和地回答說:「家裏無牛,槽頭乾淨。」

房間中的所有人都認真沉思泰德所說的話,過了彷彿數個小時的兩到三分鐘後,突然間一個人激動的說:「沒錯,他是對的!」從那時起,整個會議的走向發生了變化。泰德並沒有說自己的回答是直接引用聖經的箴言14章4節,但他的意思很清楚:牛不排泄消化,就不會產奶。套用在職場的意思就是,要有卓著成就,就必須願意面對不可避免的挑戰。

聖經告訴我們,上帝與祂子民溝通的首選方式是輕柔地說話,而不是大聲喊叫或拋出驚天動地的信息。在列王記上19章中,我們讀到了以利亞的故事。這位先知蒙神使用成就了一系列的神蹟,因而在體力和精神上枯竭。當他得知惡毒的皇后耶洗別要殺他之後,立刻逃之夭夭。在休息並得到恢復後,以利亞一直在等待神的下一個指示。一陣強風颳來,然後是天搖地動。 12節告訴我們說:「地震後有火,耶和華也不在火中;火後有微小的聲音。」 

上帝選擇用微小的聲音和以利亞溝通,只有細心的先知才能聽到。對於在職場上的所有人來說,這很容易應用:要銷售我們的產品或想法時,有時輕聲細語比大喊大叫好。當你為一個重大決定禱告時,也許上帝希望你等待祂的耳語。

© 2020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    用五個關鍵的神的方法來建立企業。」

反省與問題討論

  1. 無論是聽脫口秀節目,還是在商務會議中,當你看到兩個人或更多人大聲的憤怒爭論時,你的反應是甚麼?
  2. 你覺得為什麼有些人會相信他們喊的越大聲,就越有可能說服或影響那些不同意的人?你同意這種想法嗎?請解釋你的答案。
  3. 你曾否遇過有人用非常冷靜平和的方式,有效地傳達觀點?這種方法曾經對你產生效果嗎?
  4. 你經歷過上帝用微小的聲音,甚至是輕聲耳語告訴你重要的事嗎?如果有,那是什麼樣的經歷?你如何回應?

備註:如果你有聖經,想要閱讀更多經文,請參考以下的內容:

箴言16章24節
16:24 良言如同蜂房,使心覺甘甜,使骨得醫治。

箴言17章14、28節
17:14 紛爭的起頭如水放開,所以,在爭鬧之先必當止息爭競。
17:28 愚昧人若靜默不言也可算為智慧;閉口不說也可算為聰明。

箴言18章13、21節
18:13 未曾聽完先回答的,便是他的愚昧和羞辱。
18:21 生死在舌頭的權下,喜愛它的,必吃它所結的果子。

箴言21章23節
21:23 謹守口與舌的,就保守自己免受災難。

箴言22章11、15節
22:11 喜愛清心的人因他嘴上的恩言,王必與他為友。
22:15 愚蒙迷住孩童的心,用管教的杖可以遠遠趕除。

馬太福音5章3-8節
5:3 虛心的人有福了!因為天國是他們的。
5:4 哀慟的人有福了!因為他們必得安慰。
5:5 溫柔的人有福了!因為他們必承受地土。
5:6 飢渴慕義的人有福了!因為他們必得飽足。
5:7 憐恤人的人有福了!因為他們必蒙憐恤。
5:8 清心的人有福了!因為他們必得見 神。

CHOOSING CALM AND QUIET IN A WORLD OF ANGRY AND LOUD

By Rick Boxx

Three guests were invited to debate an emotional topic on a talk show program. The discussion among the two guests and the host became so heated that they began shouting at each other. (I know, this has become almost standard behavior on broadcast media these days, but I wanted to point out what happened next.)

Finally, after the shouting had gone on for several minutes, the host stopped the bickering by asking the third guest, who had been silent, for her opinion. Her quiet and thoughtful words suddenly brought order to the chaos. Not only that, but her demeanor also made her seem more credible than the others with their shrill shouting.

In our world today, with noise coming at us from all directions, some have decided that the one who shouts the loudest wins. It is another take on the adage, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” But in reality, a calm and collected approach to communicating is still the most effective and most of the time, carries the most impact.

This is hardly a new revelation. The Bible, which some have considered as the greatest book on business and professional practices, has much to say about the strengths, weaknesses and pitfalls of the spoken word. For instance, Proverbs 15:1 states, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Another passage says, “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction” (Proverbs 16:23).

Such admonitions are not limited to TV and radio talk show programs. Years ago, civic leaders gathered in a major city to discuss the possibility of making a proposal to host the Summer Olympics. Discussion turned negative, with most participants focusing on the potential problems hosting such a massive event could cause.

After interaction had gone on for more than two hours, the meeting’s leader turned to one of the newest members of the group. This individual had yet to offer any comments, so the moderator pointed asked, “Ted, you have not said anything. What do you think?” With everyone else in the room sitting quietly and expectantly, he calmly and quietly responded, “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean.”

Only two or three minutes passed, but it seemed like hours as everyone else in the room pondered what Ted had just said. Suddenly, someone excited said, “You know, he’s right!” And from that point, the whole course of the meeting changed. Ted did not tell them his reply was a direct quote from the Bible, Proverbs 14:4, but his meaning was clear: No manure, no milk. Or to put it into better workplace terms, to accomplish anything of importance, you have to be willing to confront inevitable challenges.

The Scriptures tell us God’s preferred way of communicating with His people is to do so softly, not by shouting or giving dramatic messages. In 1 Kings 19, we read about Elijah, who had been used by God in a series of miracles. Afterward, physically and emotionally depleted, the prophet had fled upon learning the vicious queen Jezebel sought to kill him. After resting and being refreshed, Elijah had waited for God’s next instructions. There came a powerful wind, then an earthquake. Verse 12 tells us, “After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”

God had chosen to communicate with Elijah through quiet words only the attentive prophet could hear. For all of us in the marketplace, the application is simple: To sell our product or idea, sometimes a gentle whisper is better than a shout. And if you pray about a major decision, maybe God wants to wait for His whisper.

© 2020, Unconventional Business Network Adapted with permission from “Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx,” a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more, visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org. His latest book, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God’s Way.”

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How do you react when you observe two or more people in a loud, angry exchange – whether it is in listening to a talk show, or watching this kind of interaction during a business meeting?
  2. Why do you think some people seem to believe the louder they yell, the more likely they are to persuade or influence those who disagree? Do you agree with this? Explain your answer.
  3. Can you think of a time when you observed someone communicate a point effectively in a very calm, quiet manner? Has this type of approach ever been effective for you?
  4. Has there ever been a time when God has communicated with you about something important in a quiet way, even a whisper? If so, what was that experience like – and how did you respond?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:

Proverbs 16:24, 17:14,28, 18:13,21, 21:23, 22:11, 25:11,15; Matthew 5:3-8


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