Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

透過負責任獲得力量──STRENGTH THROUGH ACCOUNTABILITY

很多時候,我們經常聽到令人難過,有時甚至是涉及傑出領導者,因道德或操守出錯,而被判有罪的醜聞故事。有人曾建立強大的聲譽,在其專業領域贏得了尊重和讚賞,然而當不良行為被曝光時,這一切突然都毀於一旦。

我們不禁想問,這是怎麼發生的呢?我們搖頭不解感到困惑,或許會想起,當時以色列後來成為君王的大衛,當他得知掃羅王和他的兒子約拿單在戰場上喪生,傷心所說的「大英雄何竟死亡」(撒母耳記下1章19節­) 當我們聽到一位領導者的慘敗時,心中可能會浮現其他的問題:這是否能夠避免?是否有任何早期的徵兆顯示,這個人的職業生涯正走向災難性的轉變?

聖經中有許多警告,這樣的事情是可能發生的。例如 : 哥林多前書10章12節提醒我們:所以,自己以為站得穩的,須要謹慎,免得跌倒。」箴言4章23節也警告說你要保守你心,勝過保守一切(或作:你要切切保守你心),因為一生的果效是由心發出。」

聖經有許多篇章,記載著很多起初與上帝同行的人,但在某個時刻卻陷入罪惡的境地,帶來可怕的後果。諷刺的是,他們其中的一個就是大衛王,在撒母耳記下第11章所述,他不僅犯了姦淫的罪,還指使殺害忠心的軍官烏利亞以掩蓋他的錯誤行為。既然我們所有人都是不完美的,這是否意味著這樣的失敗是不可避免的呢?

有一個可行的預防措施,是與一個或多個你所信任,並且會對你誠實的人建立一種負責任的關係(accountability relationship)。為要使其有效運作,你需要願意告訴他們,「你可以問我任何問題 – 關於我生命的任何領域。」這樣做的目的不是讓他們抓住你的失敗,而是讓你能夠在你想做的事情上取得成功,並在他們感覺到,你正走向錯誤方向時提醒你。以下是一些來自聖經的有益原則:

我們可以彼此保持敏銳。在關懷負責任的關係中,我們從「建設性摩擦」中相互磨合,為尋求最好的結果而彼此受益。「鐵磨鐵,磨出刃來;朋友相感(原文作磨朋友的臉)也是如此。」(箴言27章17節)

我們可以從多數人中找到力量。在孤立的環境中,我們可能會對自己進行合理化,或甚至欺騙自己去做我們知道是錯誤或不明智的事情。「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。再者,二人同睡就都暖和,一人獨睡怎能暖和呢?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)

我們都需要鼓勵。在挫折沮喪的時候,我們往往最容易受到誘惑的影響。給予我們鼓勵的人,可以提醒我們在主裡所擁有的希望。「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)

當我們失敗時,可以向信任的人傾訴。與其隱藏罪惡,讓罪惡感吞噬,我們可以向值得信任的負責任的夥伴傾訴,他們可提供寶貴的建議,指引我們如何重新走上正軌。「所以你們要彼此認罪,互相代求,使你們可以得醫治。義人祈禱所發的力量是大有功效的。」(雅各書5章16節)

© 2023. 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

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考下面的經文(因篇幅有限,請自行查閱未列出的經文:箴言18:4、24;19:8、16)

箴言12章15節
12:15愚妄人所行的,在自己眼中看為正直;惟智慧人肯聽人的勸教。
箴言18章2、12節
18:2   愚昧人不喜愛明哲,只喜愛顯露心意。
18:12  敗壞之先,人心驕傲;尊榮以前,必有謙卑。
箴言19章3、20、27節
19:3    人的愚昧傾敗他的道;他的心也抱怨耶和華。
19:20  你要聽勸教,受訓誨,使你終久有智慧。
19:27  我兒,不可聽了教訓而又偏離知識的言語。
雅各書3章13-18節
3-13   你們中間誰是有智慧有見識的呢?他就當在智慧的溫柔上顯出他的善行來。
3:14   你們心裡若懷著苦毒的嫉妒和分爭,就不可自誇,也不可說謊話抵擋真道。
3:15   這樣的智慧不是從上頭來的,乃是屬地的,屬情慾的,屬鬼魔的。
3:16    在何處有嫉妒、分爭,就在何處有擾亂和各樣的壞事。
3:17    惟獨從上頭來的智慧,先是清潔,後是和平,溫良柔順,滿有憐憫,多結善果,沒有偏見,沒有假冒。
3:18    並且使人和平的,是用和平所栽種的義果。

反省與問題討論

  1. 當你得知一位曾經受人敬佩、傑出的知名人物陷入道德或操守上的錯誤行為時,你會如何反應?你是否會想知道為什麼或如何會發生這樣的事情?請解釋你的答案。
  2. 到「負責任(accountability)」這個詞時,你的反應是什麼?是正面的還是負面的?在閱讀這篇週一嗎哪的訊息之前,你對「負責任(accountability)」的定義是什麼?
  3. 為什麼對有些人來說,很難認同建立負責任的關係呢?
  4. 你是否和任何人建立了負責任的關係?如果有的話,對你來說經驗如何?它為你提供了哪些好處?你能想到對於向一個或多個人負責任會有哪些不利的部分嗎?


STRENGTH THROUGH ACCOUNTABILITY

By Robert J. Tamasy

More often than we would like, we hear sad, sometimes scandalous stories of prominent leaders found guilty of moral or ethical wrongdoing. Someone who built a strong reputation and earned the respect and admiration within their profession seeing it all suddenly destroyed when misdeeds came to light.

How could this happen? We wonder and shake our heads, perhaps thinking about the mournful words of Israel’s future king David, “How the mighty have fallen” (2 Samuel 1:19), upon learning of King Saul and his son, Jonathan, dying on the field of battle. Other questions might arise in our minds when we hear about a leader’s epic fail: Could it have been avoided? Were there any early signs that this individual’s career was taking a devastating turn?

The Scriptures give many warnings that such things can happen. For instance, 1 Corinthians 10:12 cautions, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” Proverbs 4:23 warns, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Pages of the Bible cite many people who started well walking with God but somewhere along the way got caught up in areas of sin, with terrible consequences. Ironically, one of them was King David, whom 2 Samuel 11 tells us not only committed adultery but also directed that a loyal officer, Uriah, be killed to cover up his wrongdoing. Since all of us are imperfect, does that mean such failures are inevitable?

One preventative measure would be to establish an accountability relationship with one or more people you trust and know would be honest with you. For it to work effectively you need to be willing to tell them, ‘You can ask me any question – about any area of my life.’ The purpose of this is not for them to catch you in failure, but to enable you to succeed in doing the things you want to do and warn you if they sense you are heading in a wrong direction. Here are some helpful principles from the Bible:

We can keep one another sharp. We benefit from “constructive friction” in rubbing up against one another in the process of caring accountability relationships, seeking the best for each other. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

We can find strength in numbers. In isolation we can rationalize or even deceive ourselves into doing things we know are wrong or unwise. “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down, his friend can help him up…” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

We all need encouragement. It is in times of discouragement that we can become most vulnerable to temptation. People who encourage us can remind us of the hope we have in the Lord. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as is the habit of some, but let us encourage one another…” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

We can confide in trusted people when we fail. Rather than concealing sin, letting guilt consume us, we confide in trusted accountability partners who can offer invaluable counsel on how to get back on course. “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

© 2023. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart, coauthored with Ken Johnson; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How do you respond when you learn of a once-highly admired, prominent individual who becomes ensnared in moral or ethical wrongdoing? Do you ever wonder why or how such a thing could have occurred? Explain your answer.
  2. When you hear the word ‘accountability,’ what is your reaction? Positive or negative? Before reading this Monday Manna, how would you have defined accountability?
  3. Why do you think it is difficult for some people to agree to enter into accountability relationships?
  4. Do you have an accountability relationship with anyone? If so, what has that experience been for you – what benefits has it provided for you? Can you think of any downsides to being accountable to one or more other people? 

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:    Proverbs 12:15, 18:2,4,12,24, 19:3,8,16,20,27; James 3:13-18



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