Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Vine Media

葡萄樹傳媒

不要讓人或環境偷走你的喜樂──DON’T LET PEOPLE OR CIRCUMSTANCES STEAL YOUR JOY

For English version, please refer to the latter part of this page

我們有時會聽到人們談論,找到所愛的工作之重要性。雖然這可能有點被高估了,但真正重要的是,要做一些不會破壞你的喜樂、滿足感和有意義的事。或許你整天從事並不是很有趣的勞力工作,但當你疲憊的回到家,知道自己完成了很有用的工作時,這本身就是一種獎勵。

多年來,我嘗試過各種工作,參與不同類型的事業。有些事,後來被證明是喜樂的殺手,我就決定盡快擺脫。我發現最令人愉悅的工作,是任何使我能夠貢獻於他人生命的工作。

目前,我大部分的時間都花在修復舊照片上。這是非常有意義的,尤其是,因為我不僅享受這份工作,還喜歡聽人們講述照片背後的故事。我還經常拍攝人像。我喜歡人,樂於幫助他們呈現出最佳的形象。

我還有一份季節性的工作,是一名稅務專業人士,負責為人們準備所得稅申報。當坐下來與他們交流,認識他們,並在每年申報稅務的任務中提供幫助,是非常有價值的;那是引導人們完成一個可能非常令人困擾的流程。多年來,我也經營了一家在地的咖啡店,不僅讓人們享受他們喜愛的咖啡和無咖啡因飲料,還創造了一個,讓他們可以放鬆,並與他人有意義互動,甚至產生生命改變的環境。

然而,時不時地我也會參與一些,起初聽起來不錯的事,但很快我意識到這是一個錯誤的決定。我可以痛苦地留下,或是儘早決定離開。大多數時候,我選擇了第二種方式。

應該履行某種承諾,或盡快離開當時景況,可能是一個很難做出的選擇。有時候我們可以在短時間「苦笑著忍受」的挺過去。然而,當發現環境會剝奪了我們的喜樂、和平、愛或幽默感的時候,最好的辦法,是盡可能地認清當時景況無法贏得任何進展,而心平氣和地退出。我經常發現聖經中的原則有助於評估此類困難的決定:

上帝創造工作是為了我們好。有些人認為工作是 「必要之惡」,但上帝從一開始就神聖地授予工作來滿足我們的日常所需,並賦予我們意義和成就感。「神就賜福給他們,又對他們說:「要生養眾多,遍滿地面,治理這地,也要管理海裡的魚、空中的鳥,和地上各樣行動的活物。」神說:「看哪,我將遍地上一切結種子的菜蔬和一切樹上所結有核的果子全賜給你們作食物。」(創世記1章28-29節)

人的悖逆使工作變得困難重重。亞當和夏娃不遵守命令,吃了禁樹的果子,就承擔了後果,包括工作更加困難,更具挑戰性。「又對亞當說:你既聽從妻子的話,吃了我所吩咐你不可吃的那樹上的果子,地必為你的緣故受咒詛;你必終身勞苦才能從地裡得吃的。地必給你長出荊棘和蒺藜來;你也要吃田間的菜蔬。」(創世記3章17-18節)

工作出於正確的原因,就會有回報。如果我們意識到我們最終為誰而工作,而上帝賦予了我們特定的能力和天賦,工作就能夠充滿喜樂和回報。「無論做什麼,都要從心裡做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的。」(歌羅西書3章23節)

挑戰思考

如果你發現你的工作 「偷走了你的喜樂」,你可以去找誰討論這個問題,尋求智慧,看看如何利用神賜予你的能力和恩賜,以有意義的方式服事神和他人呢?如果你在工作中找到了很多喜樂,試著禱告,看你如何能夠鼓勵那些,目前並還沒有這種經歷的人。

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考以下的經文(因篇幅有限,請自行參閱未列出的經文:傳道書3:22、歌羅西書3:17-24)

箴言18章9節
18:9 做工懈怠的,與浪費人為弟兄。
傳道書2章24-26節
2:24人莫強如吃喝,且在勞碌中享福,我看這也是出於神的手。
2:25論到吃用、享福,誰能勝過我呢?
2:26神喜悅誰,就給誰智慧、知識,和喜樂;惟有罪人,神使他勞苦,叫他將所收聚的、所堆積的歸給神所喜悅的人。這也是虛空,也是捕風。
傳道書5章18-19節
5:18我所見為善為美的,就是人在神賜他一生的日子吃喝,享受日光之下勞碌得來的好處,因為這是他的分。
5:19神賜人資財豐富,使他能以吃用,能取自己的分,在他勞碌中喜樂,這乃是神的恩賜。
以弗所書 6 章5-7節
6:5你們作僕人的,要懼怕戰兢,用誠實的心聽從你們肉身的主人,好像聽從基督一般。
6:6不要只在眼前事奉,像是討人喜歡的,要像基督的僕人,從心裡遵行神的旨意。
6:7甘心事奉,好像服事主,不像服事人。

反省與問題討論

  1. 無論我們從事何種工作,總是會有一些我們不喜歡的部分。但正如有些人所說,『如果你做自己所愛的事,你這輩子就再也不用 「只是工作」了』。你是否在今天的工作中,找到了喜樂和成就感呢?請解釋你的答案。
  2. 如果你發現你現在的工作或職業,並沒有給你想要的喜樂或滿足感,你會有哪些選擇呢?如果離開你目前的工作不是選項,你可以做些什麼,而使你的工作更有意義呢?
  3. 作者寫道,他認為最喜樂、最有成就感的工作是與他人互動,為他人服事,以有益於他人的方式而工作?我們可以如何以類似的方式,從事我們的工作,專注於我們能為他人提供的服事呢?
  4. 你認為歌羅西書 3章23節 所說的「無論做什麼,都要從心裡做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的。」是什麼意思呢?


DON’T LET PEOPLE OR CIRCUMSTANCES STEAL YOUR JOY

By Jim Mathis

We sometimes hear people talking about the importance of finding work you love. This may be a little overrated, but it is important to do things that do not destroy your joy, your sense of satisfaction and meaning. You may be doing physical labor all day that is not very much fun, but coming home tired, knowing that you accomplished useful work, can be its own reward.

Over the years I have had a variety of jobs and been involved in different kinds of business. The things that turned out to be joy-killers, I determined to get out of as quickly as possible. The work I have found most enjoyable has been anything that enables me to contribute to the lives of other people.

Currently I spend most of my time restoring old photographs. This is very rewarding, especially since I not only enjoy the work but also like to hear people’s stories behind their pictures. I also do a lot of portrait photography. I love people and find delight in helping them look their best.

I also have a seasonal job as a tax professional, preparing people’s income tax returns. Sitting down with them, getting to know and helping them in the annual task of filing their taxes is very worthwhile; guiding people through a process that can be very confusing. For years I managed a local coffee house, not only enabling people to enjoy their favorite caffeinated and decaffeinated beverages, but also creating an environment in which they could relax and interact with others in meaningful, even life-changing ways.

Every now and then, however, I have gotten involved with something that initially might have sounded good, but soon I realized it was a wrong decision. I could have stayed and felt miserable or decided to leave at the earliest opportunity. Most of the time I chose the second option.

The choice of whether to fulfill some sort of commitment or to get out of that situation as soon as possible can be a hard one to make. Sometimes we can “grin and bear it,” toughing it out for a short time. Other times, however, it is best to recognize a no-win situation and bow out as amicably as possible if we find circumstances robbing us of our joy, peace, love, or sense of humor. I have often found principles from the Bible to be helpful in evaluating such difficult decisions:

God created work for our good. Some people regard work as a “necessary evil,” but from the start the Lord ordained work to provide for our daily needs and give us a sense of meaning and fulfillment. “God blessed [Adam and Eve] and said to them, ‘Be fruitful…. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air…. I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food’” (Genesis 1:28-29).

Man’s rebellion made work difficult. Adam and Eve’s disobedience by eating from the forbidden tree carried consequences, including making work harder to perform and more challenging. “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food” (Genesis 3:17-18).

Work is rewarding when done for the right reasons. Work can be joyful and rewarding if we realize who we ultimately work for, and that God has equipped us with certain abilities and gifts. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23).

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. No matter what kind of work we do, there will always be some elements of it that we do not enjoy. But as some have said, “If you do something you love,” you will never have to ‘work’ another day in your life. Are you finding joy and fulfillment in the work you are doing today? Explain your answer.
  2. If you find that your current job or vocation is not giving you the sense of joy or fulfillment that you would like, what options are available to you? If leaving your current job is not one of those options, what are some things you could do to make your work more meaningful?
  3. Mr. Mathis writes that the work he has found most joyful, and fulfilling has involved interactions with other people and serving them, working in ways that benefit them? How can we approach our work in a similar way, focusing on the services we can provide for other people?
  4. What do you think it means to be “working as for the Lord, not for men (people),” as stated in Colossians 3:23?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
      Proverbs 18:9; Ecclesiastes 2:24-26, 3:22 5:18-19; Ephesians 6:5-7; Colossians 3:17,24  

Challenge

If you find that your work is “stealing your joy,” who can you go to and discuss this, seeking wisdom for how you can use your God-given abilities and gifts to serve Him and others in a meaningful way? If you do find much joy in your work, pray about how you could offer encouragement to a specific individual who is not presently having that experience.



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