著眼於已知的事物,來對抗未知的恐懼 ──COMBATING FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN, FOCUSING ON THE KNOWN

MONDAY MANNA

幾年前,中東戰爭期間在討論做決策時,變數分為「已知的已知」、「已知的未知」和「未知的未知」。我們大多數人永遠不需要在戰爭時承擔做決定的責任。但是商場變數多,就算不在全球疫情中,不確定的變數依然會是極大的比重。

當準備進入2020年時,「已知的已知」是全球經濟許多環節正在蓬勃發展。基於過去的經驗,人們會非常期待整個市場能持續繁榮下去。在許多「已知的未知」中:如果發生任何重大事故,經濟環境就會突然產生變化。這是每個人都知道可能會發生的,只是沒人知道確切會發生甚麼事。而在今年的年初,最大的「未知的未知」就是新冠肺炎COVID-19的出現,這是一種極具侵略性的病毒,從中國傳播並導致全球大流行。

大部分的人傾向讓「未知」的事物淹沒我們(「已知的未知」和「未知的未知」),使我們充滿恐懼和擔憂。但是,還有另一種選擇。我們可以選擇專注於「已知」,就是我們可以信任和依賴的一些東西。問題是,在最近經歷的動盪時期,很少有我們可專注的「已知」事物能帶來信心。

這就是信心-我們對聖經中的神所擁有之確信的依據和真實的倚靠-可以支撐我們的地方,一位荷蘭人彭柯麗(Corrie Ten Boom)在第二次世界大戰期間,和家人一起幫助許多猶太人逃離納粹。她寫了一段話:「永遠不要害怕將「未知」的未來交託給一個「已知」的上帝。」

在神的話語中,我們可以找到成百上千的應許和法則,是作為耶穌基督的跟隨者從神那裡得到的保證。就像生活的每一個領域一樣,這也直接適用於商場。我鼓勵你搜尋更多的聖經經節,以下是列出的部分經文:

我們已知上帝對我們的生命有特定的目的。耶和華說:我知道我向你們所懷的意念是賜平安的意念,不是降災禍的意念,要叫你們末後有指望。」(耶利米書29章11節)。

我們已知上帝使用逆境為我們帶來益處。我們曉得萬事都互相效力,叫愛 神的人得益處,就是按他旨意被召的人。」(羅馬書8章28節)。

我們已知上帝並非遙不可及,祂是平易近人的。「因我們的大祭司並非不能體恤我們的軟弱。他也曾凡事受過試探,與我們一樣,只是他沒有犯罪。所以,我們只管坦然無懼地來到施恩的寶座前,為要得憐恤,蒙恩惠,作隨時的幫助。」(希伯來書4章15-16節)。「我們因信耶穌,就在他裏面放膽無懼,篤信不疑地來到 神面前。」(以弗所書3章12節)。

我們已知上帝聽到並回應了我們的祈禱。我們若照他的旨意求甚麼,他就聽我們,這是我們向他所存坦然無懼的心。既然知道他聽我們一切所求的,就知道我們所求於他的,無不得著。」(約翰一書5章14-15節)。

 © 2020. Robert J. Tamasy 是企業巔峰: 給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧 一書的作者。也與導師之心的作者David A. Stoddard 合著Tufting Legacies。編輯多本著作包括Mike Landry. Bob的書: 透過苦 難成長。Mike Landry. Bob的網站為www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com

反省與問題討論

  1. 在工作和日常生活裡,哪些是你有自信、有把握的「已知的已知」?
  2. 哪些「已知的未知」會讓你憂慮?哪些「未知的未知」會讓你無法入睡呢?
  3. 為什麼生活中的未知數會讓許多人困擾?當我們專注於無法控制的事情時,它們會如何引起壓力(有時這些壓力是不必要的)?
  4. 在逆境中,聖經中的「已知的已知」是否能帶給你平安與安慰?為什麼?如果你確實在聖經中找到了神給你的保證,對你來說最重要的是什麼?

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多,請參考下面的內容:

以賽亞書40章31節
40:31 但那等候耶和華的必重新得力。他們必如鷹展翅上騰;他們奔跑卻不困倦,行走卻不疲乏。

以賽亞書41章10節
41:10 你不要害怕,因為我與你同在;不要驚惶,因為我是你的 神。我必堅固你,我必幫助          你;我必用我公義的右手扶持你。

耶利米書33章3節
33:3 你求告我,我就應允你,並將你所不知道、又大又難的事指示你。

約翰福音3章16節
3:16 「 神愛世人,甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們,叫一切信他的,不致滅亡,反得永生。

哥林多後書5章21節
5:21  神使那無罪(無罪:原文是不知罪)的,替我們成為罪,好叫我們在他裏面成為 神的義。

腓立比書4章6-9節
4:6 應當一無掛慮,只要凡事藉著禱告、祈求,和感謝,將你們所要的告訴 神。
4:7  神所賜、出人意外的平安必在基督耶穌裏保守你們的心懷意念。
4:8 弟兄們,我還有未盡的話:凡是真實的、可敬的、公義的、清潔的、可愛的、有美名的,若有甚麼德行,若有甚麼稱讚,這些事你們都要思念。
4:9 你們在我身上所學習的,所領受的,所聽見的,所看見的,這些事你們都要去行,賜平安的 神就必與你們同在。


COMBATING FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN, FOCUSING ON THE KNOWN

By Robert J. Tamasy

Years ago, discussing the challenges of making decisions during a war in the Middle East, described the variable factors involved as “known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns.” Most of us will never have to handle such wartime responsibilities but given the uncertainties of the marketplace – even when we are not in the middle of a global pandemic, the unknowns can weigh heavily on us.

As we entered 2020, one of the “known knowns” was that the economy in many parts of the world was flourishing. Based on what we had been experiencing, there was great anticipation that prosperous times would continue throughout the marketplace. Among the “known unknowns” was that some major event could arise to cause a sudden shift in the economic climate. Everyone knew that was a possibility, but no one knew for certain what that might be. The greatest “unknown unknown” as we started the new year, of course, was the emergence of COVID-19, an incredibly aggressive virus that would spread from China and bring about a global pandemic.

Our tendency is to let the unknowns – ones we know about, and those we do not – to overwhelm us, filling us with fear and worry. However, there is an alternative. We can choose instead to focus on the “knowns,” those things we can trust in and depend upon. The problem is, in turbulent times such as we have experienced recently, there are few knowns we can concentrate on with confidence.

This where faith – the confident assurance and earnest expectation we have in the God of the Bible – can sustain us. Corrie ten Boom, who with her family in The Netherlands helped many Jews escape the Nazis during World War II, wrote about this. She said, “Never be afraid to commit an unknown future to a known God.”

In the Word of God, we find hundreds of promises and precepts, assurances we have from God as followers of Jesus Christ that apply as directly to the marketplace as they do to any area of life. Here are some of them, and I would encourage you to search the Scriptures for many more:

We can know God has a specific purpose for our lives. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11).

We can know God uses adversities we face for our benefit. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

We can know God is not distant, that He is approachable. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are yet was without sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16). “In [Christ] and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:12).

We can know God hears and responds to our prayers. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked on him” (1 John 5:14-15).

© 2020. Robert J. Tamasy has written numerous books, including Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Tufting Legacies;The Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard; and has edited other books. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. What are some of your “known knowns,” things you believe you can count on every day with confidence and assurance as you pursue your vocation and everyday life?
  2. What are some of the “known unknowns” that cause you concern? What about the “unknown unknowns” that could cause you to have sleepless nights?
  3. Why are the unknowns of life so problematic for many of us? How can they cause stress – at times unnecessary – when we focus on things beyond our control?
  4. Do the “known knowns” that we find the Bible bring you peace and comfort in times of adversity? Why or why not? If you do find sources of reassurance in the Scriptures, what are some that seem most important to you?

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

Isaiah 40:31, 41:10; Jeremiah 33:3; John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 4:6-9

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