有時你希望自己與眾不同嗎?──DO YOU SOMETIMES WISH YOU WERE DIFFERENT?

English version at the bottom of this page

比較是一種危險的遊戲,因我們本都是獨特的,有些人擁有我們所想要的能力和特質,當你發現這些人也嫉妒你擁有的能力和特質時,你會因此感到驚訝嗎?我認為希望自己是與眾不同,應該是很正常的 – 我知道自己曾經也是這樣。

例如,我記得曾經有時候自己希望能長得更高或是記憶力更好。有些人可能希望他們有不同的家庭成員或有不同的背景和經歷。你是否希望自己有更好的自制力,這樣就不會不斷重複著相同的限制性或破壞性的行為呢?我已經記不清有多少次,我希望自己可以停止犯同樣的錯誤。

今天早上,我正在讀自己的每日靈修,一本名為「耶穌的叮嚀 Jesus Calling」的書時,看到這節經文:「你這個人哪,你是誰,竟敢向 神強嘴呢?受造之物豈能對造他的說:「你為甚麼這樣造我呢?」窯匠難道沒有權柄從一團泥裏拿一塊做成貴重的器皿,又拿一塊做成卑賤的器皿嗎?」 (羅馬書 9章20-21節

然後,我得到了一個提醒,上帝給了我多少的恩典 – 是祂無限的、無條件的、不求報償的恩典 – 以及我每天都持續需要著多少的恩典呢。我從已故的亨利.布克比 (Henry Blackaby) 那裡讀到以下的想法,他是優秀的聖經研究書籍「每日經歷神Experiencing God」的作者。他引用一段我讀過非常多遍的經文當作開頭:

「因為他預先所知道的人,就預先定下效法他兒子的模樣,使他兒子在許多弟兄中作長子。預先所定下的人又召他們來;所召來的人又稱他們為義;所稱為義的人又叫他們得榮耀。」(羅馬書829-30)

儘管有時我們可能希望自己與眾不同,但我們每個人都是上帝完美、神聖計劃的創造。我們是什麼樣子以及我們是誰絕對不是一個錯誤。

布克比繼續闡述這意味著什麼:「你的生命是上帝宏偉設計的一部分。自有時間開始之前,上帝就知道你,並為你的生命制定了計劃。即使在你出生之前,祂就知道你的一切」。然後他引用了一節始終讓我驚奇的經文,耶利米書 1章5節:我未將你造在腹中,我已曉得你;你未出母胎,我已分別你為聖…」。

上帝預先決定你會變得像祂的兒子。因此,你的生命是有命定的。基督是天父發展你生命的榜樣。你註定要與天父建立一種與耶穌和父之間一樣親密的關係。使他們都合而為一。正如你父在我裏面,我在你裏面,使他們也在我們裏面,叫世人可以信你差了我來。」(約翰福音 17章21節。祂允許進入你生命的每一件事,都是為了讓你更像基督。

「上帝的呼召,會體現在祂邀請你加入祂的過程中,祂的呼召非常個人化,是專為你的回應而設計的。意識到在歷史上的某個特定時刻,全能的神親自對你說話,並邀請你成為祂的孩子,是多麼美好的事啊!」

無論我們的工作是什麼 – 高階管理人、經理、主管、零售銷售員、工匠、教育家、音樂家、工程師、律師、醫生、開發人員、技術人員或其他的各種職業 – 我們都將遠超越我們所作的工作。正如羅馬書 8 章 29 節所宣告的那樣,上帝預定我們「預先定下效法他兒子的模樣」。最重要的是,當人們看到我們時,上帝希望他們能夠看到基督。「與眾不同」其實是祂讓人們透過不同的方式看到祂自己。

Ken Korkow居住在美國內布拉斯加州的奧馬哈市,他擔任該地的CBMC區域總監。本篇文章改編自他的「生活傳真」專欄。經許可使用。

備註:如果你有聖經並想閱讀更多內容,請參考以下經文(因經文篇幅較長,請查閱未列出的經文耶利米書29:11-13)

以賽亞書 29章13-16節
29:13 主說:因為這百姓親近我,用嘴唇尊敬我,心卻遠離我;他們敬畏我,不過是領受人的吩咐。
29:14 所以,我在這百姓中要行奇妙的事,就是奇妙又奇妙的事。他們智慧人的智慧必然消滅,聰明人的聰明必然隱藏。
29:15 禍哉!那些向耶和華深藏謀略的,又在暗中行事,說:誰看見我們呢?誰知道我們呢?
29:16 你們把事顛倒了,豈可看窯匠如泥嗎?被製作的物豈可論製作物的說:他沒有製作我?或是被創造的物論造物的說:他沒有聰明?
以賽亞書64章8節
64:8 耶和華啊,現在你仍是我們的父!我們是泥,你是窯匠;我們都是你手的工作。
耶利米書 33章2-3節
33:2 「成就的是耶和華,造作、為要建立的也是耶和華;耶和華是他的名。他如此說:
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。
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。
以弗所書 2章10節
2:10 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。

反省與問題討論

  1. 重新回到開頭的問題,你是否有時希望自己與眾不同呢?如果你能決定,你希望在哪些方面可以改變呢?
  2. 嫉妒他人,更希望我們在個性、特質、技能或天賦方面像他們一樣,會產生什麼樣的影響?比較自己和別人身上看到的東西會有任何建設性的幫助嗎?請解釋你的答案。
  3. 在引用的第一段經文羅馬書 8:29 說道:「預先定下效法他兒子的模樣」。你認為這是什麼意思?如何在職場上將它應用於我們處理工作和責任呢?
  4. 另一節經文耶利米書 1章5節,引用了上帝的宣告:「我未將你造在腹中,我已曉得你;你未出母胎,我已分別你為聖…」。你如何理解這段經文的意義?當你思考它時,它會讓你有什麼感動嗎?


DO YOU SOMETIMES WISH YOU WERE DIFFERENT?

By Ken Korkow

Comparison is a dangerous game to play. Because we are all unique. Some people have abilities and traits we wish we had. Would it surprise you to discover that those same people are envious of abilities and traits that you have? But I suppose it is normal to wish we were different – I know I have done that.

For instance, I can recall times wishing that I was taller. Or that I had a better memory. Some people might wish they had different family members, or that their background experiences were different. Do you wish your self-control was better, so you would not keep repeating the same limiting and/or destructive behavior? I have lost count of the times I wished I could stop making the same mistakes.

This morning I was reading from one of my daily devotionals, one called JESUS CALLING, and saw this verse: “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Shall what be formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:20-21).

Then, I received a reminder of how much grace I have been given by God – His limitless, unconditional, unmerited favor – and how much grace I continue to need on an everyday basis. I read the following thoughts below from the late Henry Blackaby, author of the excellent Bible study, Experiencing God. He started by quoting a passage I have read many times:
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).

Even though we might sometimes wish we were different, each one of us is a product of God’s perfect, divine plan. How we are – and who we are – is not a mistake.

Blackaby continued to elaborate on what this means: “Your life is a part of God’s grand design. God has known about you and had a plan for your life since before time began. He knew everything about you before you were even born.” He then cited a verse that continues to amaze me, Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart….”  

“God predetermined that you would become like His Son. Your life, therefore, has a destiny. Christ is the model upon which the Father is developing your life. You are meant to have a relationship with the Father that is as intimate as the relationship between Jesus and the Father (John 17:21). Every event He allows into your life is designed to make you more like Christ.

“God’s call came when He invited you to join Him in the process! His call was extremely personal, designed specifically for your response. How wonderful to realize that at a particular moment in history, almighty God spoke personally to you and invited you to become His child!”

No matter what our job might be – as a top executive, manager, supervisor, retail salesperson, craftsman, educator, musician, engineer, attorney, physician, developer, technician, or some other profession – we are much more than the kind of work we do. As Romans 8:29 declares, we are predestined by God “to be conformed into the likeness of His Son,” Jesus Christ. More than anything, when people see us, God wants them to see Christ. And being different is how He enables people to see Him in different ways.

Ken Korkow lives in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., where he serves as an area director for CBMC. This is adapted from his “Fax of Life” column. Used with permission.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. To revisit the opening question, do you sometimes wish that you were different? If it were up to you, in what ways would you like to change?
  2. What can be the effect of being envious of others, wishing that we were like them in terms of their personality, traits, skills, or giftedness? Can it be productive in any way to compare who we are with what we see in other people? Explain your answer.
  3. In the first passage cited, Romans 8:29 says we are “predestined [by God] to be conformed to the image of His Son.” What do you think this means? And how can that be applied to how we approach our jobs and responsibilities in the workplace?
  4. Another verse, Jeremiah 1:5, quotes God making the declaration, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart….”How do you understand what this means, and as you think about it, how does it make you feel?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Isaiah 29:13-16, 64:8; Jeremiah 29:11-13, 33:2-3; 1 Corinthians 3:9; Ephesians 2:10


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