切勿低估朋友的價值──NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE VALUE OF A FRIEND

MONDAY MANNA

如果你看過電視上的野生動物紀錄片,會發現獅子有一種慣用的狩獵手法:牠們找出最遲緩或孱弱的瞪羚,並將牠孤立。一旦獵物脫離群體,狩獵就一定成功。除非成為群體的一員才能確保安全;孤獨,就無援。

這個問題在商場上也同樣的可以顯示出來。雄心勃勃、有進取心的人,選擇單槍匹馬竭盡所能地實踐他的目標與發展事業。他選擇不與其他人合作,也不試圖運用他人的長處與技能,僅以「獨行俠」的角色追逐成果,卻忽略了前方的陷阱。許多明日之星最後嚴重殞落與燃燒殆盡,就是因為沒有處在有效而運作良好的團隊中,得到支持與問責。
 
從專業、個人和靈命的角度來看,我們的敵人就像狡猾的獅子一樣,知道孤獨的人最軟弱,因此企圖孤立我們,使我們在正道上被打敗。如果我們發現自己的處境很危險,卻因為個人的自尊而拒絕打給朋友求助,就很容易被摧毀。

聖經不斷的重覆談到,要參與團隊與他人共同追求一致目標的重要性:

從數字上看出的安全感。有無數的例子證明,無論是做計畫或是尋求解決問題,一起工作比單打獨鬥更有效。兩匹馬或兩頭牛,可以拉動數倍於單匹牛馬的物品。我們在商業和專業領域中也經常碰到這種情況。「兩個人總比一個人好,因為二人勞碌同得美好的果效。若是跌倒,這人可以扶起他的同伴;若是孤身跌倒,沒有別人扶起他來,這人就有禍了……有人攻勝孤身一人,若有二人便能敵擋他;三股合成的繩子不容易折斷。」(傳道書4章9-12節)

值得信賴朋友的價值。有時候,我們需要的只是一個真正的朋友,那位真心在乎我們而願意告訴我們真相,即便他所說的是忠言逆耳。「濫交朋友的,自取敗壞;但有一朋友比弟兄更親密。」(箴言18章24節)

朋友互相砥礪的好處。當我們與他人互動,產生有創意的交流或是接受建設性的批評時,可能會冒出砥礪的「火花」。俗話說的好,「三個臭皮匠,勝過一個諸葛亮」。在工商職場彼此相磨的潛在好處無可估量。「鐵磨鐵,磨出刃來;朋友相感(原文是磨朋友的臉)也是如此。」(箴言27章17節)

互相鼓勵的重要性。有時候生活和工作的挑戰與掙扎,似乎讓人無力招架。有人陪伴、支持我們,提供有用的建議和肯定,會大大改善我們面對困苦和艱難的方式。「又要彼此相顧,激發愛心,勉勵行善。你們不可停止聚會,好像那些停止慣了的人,倒要彼此勸勉,既知道(原文是看見)那日子臨近,就更當如此。」(希伯來書10章24-25節)

當我們有充分的休息、飽足的飲食、平靜和滿足時,我們很容易相信自己不需要別人,可以獨自面對任何障礙。但也是在這樣的時刻,我們最為脆弱、對誘惑和外部的威脅警戒心最低。因此,我們要明智的提防和警覺。當你感到飢餓、生氣、孤獨或疲倦時,不要堅持相信自己能自給自足。向朋友求助。這很可能會使你免於毀滅。

© 2021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「提供實用五個關鍵的神的方法來建立企業。」

反省與問題討論

  1. 請想像一頭獅子正悄悄走向一隻被孤立的動物的畫面。你有什麼想法或感覺?
  2. 你是否曾與所有人分離或孤立,因而覺得自己像文中所述的「獵物」?那是什麼樣的感覺?有甚麼不良的後果嗎?
  3. 你有沒有過最好的例子,是你與他人共同完成工作,而非選擇成為「獨行俠」單打獨鬥?請描述你看到可能結果的差異?
  4. 本週的「週一嗎哪」中列出的哪句聖經經文對你來說最有意義,或最激發你思考?請解釋你的答案。

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的經文,請參考以下的內容(因經文篇幅較長,請參閱未列出的經文,箴言15:22、馬太福音10:6-10):

出埃及記4章14-16節
4:14 耶和華向摩西發怒說:「不是有你的哥哥利未人亞倫嗎?我知道他是能言的;現在他出來迎接你,他一見你,心裏就歡喜。
4:15 你要將當說的話傳給他;我也要賜你和他口才,又要指教你們所當行的事。
4:16 他要替你對百姓說話;你要以他當作口,他要以你當作 神。
箴言11章14節
11:14 無智謀,民就敗落;謀士多,人便安居。
箴言20章18節
20:18 計謀都憑籌算立定;打仗要憑智謀。
馬太福音10章1-5節
10:1 耶穌叫了十二個門徒來,給他們權柄,能趕逐污鬼,並醫治各樣的病症。
10:2 這十二使徒的名:頭一個叫西門(又稱彼得),還有他兄弟安得烈,西庇太的兒子雅各和雅各的兄弟約翰,
10:3 腓力和巴多羅買,多馬和稅吏馬太,亞勒腓的兒子雅各,和達太,
10:4 奮銳黨的西門,還有賣耶穌的加略人猶大。
10:5 耶穌差這十二個人去,吩咐他們說:「外邦人的路,你們不要走;撒馬利亞人的城,你們不要進;
馬可福音6章7節
6:7耶穌叫了十二個門徒來,差遣他們兩個兩個的出去,也賜給他們權柄,制伏污鬼;
希伯來書3章12-14節
3:12 弟兄們,你們要謹慎,免得你們中間或有人存著不信的惡心,把永生 神離棄了。
3:13 總要趁著還有今日,天天彼此相勸,免得你們中間有人被罪迷惑,心裏就剛硬了。
3:14 我們若將起初確實的信心堅持到底,就在基督裏有分了。


NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE VALUE OF A FRIEND

By Rick Boxx

If you have ever watched a TV wildlife documentary that shows a lion hunting its prey, you will recognize the lion’s common practice: Finding the slowest or weakest gazelle and isolating them. Once the prey has been isolated, victory is assured. There is safety in being part of a group; alone, the prey does not have a prayer.

This problem manifests itself in the marketplace as well. Ambitious, driven people willing to do whatever it takes to reach their goals and advance their careers choose to go it alone. Rather than partnering with others, seeking to leverage their respective skills and strengths, the “lone ranger” pursues the prize unaware of pitfalls lying ahead. Many a rising star has stunningly crashed and burned without the support and accountability that come from being a part of an effectively, well-functioning team.

In a professional, personal and spiritual sense, we have an enemy who – like the cunning lion – also desires to isolate us so we can be taken down morally, knowing we are at our weakest when we are alone. If we allow our pride to prevent us from calling a friend when we sense that we are in danger, we are prone to destruction.

Over and over in the Scriptures, we read about the importance of joining forces with others in common pursuits:

The safety found in numbers. We find countless examples of how working together, whether on a project or seeking to solve a problem, is more effective than trying to accomplish things alone. Two horses, or oxen, can haul multiple times what a single animal can pull. We see this all the time in the business and professional world as well. “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man falls and has no one to help him up!… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

The value of a trusted friend. Sometimes all it takes is a single genuine friend, someone who cares enough about us to tell us the truth. Even when what they have to say is hard to hear. “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

The benefits of friendly friction. Sometimes “sparks” fly when we interact with others, whether in creative interactions or in receiving constructive criticism. As the adage tells us, “Not one of us is as smart as all of us together.” The potential benefits of rubbing shoulders with one another in workplace settings are immeasurable. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

The importance of mutual encouragement. Facing the challenges and struggles of life and work can at times seem overwhelming. Having others alongside of us to offer support, helpful advice and affirmation can make a tremendous difference in how we cope with difficulties and hardships. “And let us consider how to spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

When we are well-rested, well-fed, calm and content, we are tempted to believe that we do not need anyone else, that we can handle any and all obstacles alone. But at times like that we can become most vulnerable, letting down our guard against temptations and external threats. So we are wise to beware and be aware. When you are feeling hungry, angry, lonely or tired, do not insist on trusting in your self-sufficiency. Seek out a friend. It may save you from destruction.

© 2021, 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. When you consider the image of a lion stealthily pursuing another animal that has become separated from the group, what thoughts or feelings come to mind?
  2. Has there ever been a time when you felt like the “prey,” when you became separated or isolated from everyone else? What was that like? Did you suffer adverse consequences as a result?
  3. What has been your best example of working together with others, rather than choosing to take a “lone ranger” approach of trying to get the job done all by yourself? Describe the difference you saw in the outcome.
  4. Which of the Bible passages listed in this week’s “Monday Manna” is most meaningful for you – or has given you the most to think about? Explain your answer.

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Exodus 4:14-16; Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, 20:18; Matthew 10:1-10; Mark 6:7; Hebrews 3:12-14


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