破碎教我們的功課──THE BUSINESS OF BROKENNESS

cbmc_20190829

你通常如何處理壞掉的東西,例如智慧型手機、手錶、筆,甚至是汽車?你會試著把它修好?丟掉?還是找一個合適的替代品?這些都是很常見的處理方法,但最近我讀到一種修復珍貴財產更好的方法,可以使東西更有價值。

你聽過「Kintsugi」嗎?或者有人稱為Kintsukuroi,它的意思是「金繕修復」。這是一個有數百年歷史的日本技藝,用摻雜或混合貴金屬(如金、銀或鉑)的特殊漆料修補破損陶器。這個過程根源於一種哲學:把破損和修復視為物體歷史重要的一部分,而不是被隱瞞或是被遺忘。實際上,這等於欣然接受破碎。

這促使我深思我們在這段被稱為「生命」的旅途中,經歷的種種破碎事件。無論我們多麼努力避免,在職涯中失敗和成功的事件都令人記憶深刻:沒有面試上一個理想的工作;滿心期待的升職落空;妥善規劃的商業投資沒有成功;銷售契約最後沒有簽訂;當冒險失敗時,企業家有時必須要申請破產一次以上。

如果我們嘗試不去忽略或隱瞞這些失敗、破碎的時刻,而是運用金繕修復術,視負面經驗為成長的機會,努力不懈直到我們獲得成功呢?

破碎在我們的個人生活中也是很有價值的。事實上,聖經教導我們說:「上帝用它來塑造我們成為應有的樣式。」詩篇51篇17節說:「神所要的祭就是憂傷的靈;神啊,憂傷痛悔的心,你必不輕看。」原因是什麼?讓我們看一些其他經文來尋找答案:

破碎培養必要的謙卑。成功很可能會使我們自我膨脹,充滿驕傲,看自己過於所應當的。「因為那至高至上、永遠長存(原文是住在永遠)名為聖者的如此說:我住在至高至聖的所在,也與心靈痛悔謙卑的人同居;要使謙卑人的靈甦醒,也使痛悔人的心甦醒。」(以賽亞書57章15節)

破碎讓我們的心回到正確的路上。有時我們的外在行為似乎是正確的,但在內心深處,我們知道這些事情是基於錯誤的動機。破碎會敦促我們不只重新審視自己的所為,也反省自己為什麼要這樣做。「耶和華喜悅燔祭和平安祭,豈如喜悅人聽從他的話呢?聽命勝於獻祭;順從勝於公羊的脂油。」(撒母耳記上15章22節)

破碎可以使我們的目光回轉向上帝。當事情進展順利時,無論是專業或個人領域,我們都很可能被引誘忘記自己對上帝的依賴。「你們要撕裂心腸,不撕裂衣服。歸向耶和華─你們的 神;因為他有恩典,有憐憫,不輕易發怒,有豐盛的慈愛。」(約珥書2章13節)

破碎幫助我們學習倚靠。商場和職場常常高舉「我可以獨自完成這一切」的態度。經歷破碎可以使我們停止相信自給自足。耶穌說:「我是葡萄樹,你們是枝子……因為離了我,你們就不能做甚麼。」(約翰福音15章5節)

© 2019. 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, 他的雙週部落格為: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com

反省與問題討論

  1. 你通常如何處裡壞掉的東西?是嘗試修理、拋棄或是找替代品?請舉一個最近的例子。
  2. 你聽過「金繕修復術」(Kintsugi)這個修繕珍貴破損陶器的工藝嗎?你如何看待讓破碎暴露在外,並將其視為物件歷史一部分的做法?你的生命和職涯中有沒有願意使用金繕修復術處理的地方?或是那些你希望不為人知的部分?
  3. 你如何看待上帝使用類似於金繕修復術的方法,在屬靈的層面上對我們的生命做必要的修復?(請閱讀哥林多後書5:17和加拉太書2:20,這些經文告訴我們上帝如何處理破碎?)
  4. 詩篇12:6告訴我們:「耶和華的言語是純淨的言語,如同銀子在泥爐中煉過七次。」這如何連結到我們對克服生命中破碎的渴慕?

備註:如果你手上有聖經,希望閱讀更多和這個主題相關的訊息,請參考下面的經文:

詩篇51篇10-12節
51:10 神啊,求你為我造清潔的心,使我裏面重新有正直(或譯:堅定)的靈。
51:11 不要丟棄我,使我離開你的面;不要從我收回你的聖靈。
51:12 求你使我仍得救恩之樂,賜我樂意的靈扶持我,
箴言15章33節
15:33 敬畏耶和華是智慧的訓誨;尊榮以前,必有謙卑。
箴言16章18節
16:18 驕傲在敗壞以先;狂心在跌倒之前。
箴言17章3節
17:3 鼎為煉銀,爐為煉金;惟有耶和華熬煉人心。
箴言27章21節
27:21 鼎為煉銀,爐為煉金,人的稱讚也試煉人。
以賽亞書40章28-31節
40:28 你豈不曾知道嗎?你豈不曾聽見嗎?永在的 神耶和華,創造地極的主,並不疲乏,也不困倦;他的智慧無法測度。
40:29 疲乏的,他賜能力;軟弱的,他加力量。
40:30 就是少年人也要疲乏困倦;強壯的也必全然跌倒。
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。
腓立比書4章13節
4:13 我靠著那加給我力量的,凡事都能做。
 


THE BUSINESS OF BROKENNESS

By Robert J. Tamasy

What do you typically do with something that gets broken, like a smartphone, a watch, a pen, or even a car? Try getting it repaired? Dispose of it? Or find a suitable replacement? Such responses are common, but recently I was reading about a better way of repairing cherished possessions that can actually make them more valuable.

Have you heard about “Kintsugi”? Also called Kintsukuroi, it means “golden repair.” It’s a centuries-old Japanese art for restoring broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with precious metal, such as gold, silver or platinum. This process is rooted in a philosophy that regards breakage and repair as part of the valued object’s history, rather than something to be disguised or forgotten. In effect, this amounts to a celebration of the brokenness.

This caused me to think about the episodes of brokenness we experience throughout the course of this journey we call life. No matter how much we try to avoid it, failure figures as prominently in our careers as does success: Job interviews for promising jobs don’t work out. Much-anticipated promotions don’t come. Well-conceived business ventures don’t succeed. Sales contracts are not finalized. Entrepreneurs have to file for bankruptcy, sometimes more than once, when risks are not rewarded.

What if, instead of trying to ignore or conceal such failures and broken times, we gave them the Kintsugi treatment, seeing negative experiences as opportunities for growth, to persevere until we achieve success?

Brokenness can serve valuable purposes in our personal lives as well. In fact, the Bible teaches that God uses it to build us into the men and women He desires for us to become. Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Why is this? Let’s look at some other Scripture passages to find an answer:

Brokenness develops necessary humility. Success has the tendency to make us feel puffed up, filled with pride and thinking more highly of ourselves than we should. “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and humble of spirit, to restore the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the contrite’” (Isaiah 57:15).

Brokenness gets our hearts back on the right course. Sometimes our outward actions seem right, but deep down we realize they are based on the wrong motives. Being broken can cause us to reexamine not only what we do, but also why we are doing it. “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, obedience is better than sacrifice, and attentiveness is better than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22).

Brokenness can turn our eyes back to God. When things are going well for us, both professionally and personally, we can become tempted to forget our reliance on God. “So rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to the LORD your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in loving devotion” (Joel 2:13).

Brokenness helps us learn to be dependent. The business and professional world often promotes an attitude of, “I can do this all by myself.” Experiencing brokenness can bring us to the end of our trust in self-sufficiency. Jesus declared, declared, “I am the vine, you are the branches…apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

© 2019. Robert J. Tamasy has written Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Tufting Legacies; coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring, and edited numerous other books, including Advancing Through Adversity by Mike Landry. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. What do you usually do with things once they become broken? Do you opt for trying to repair them, discarding them, or replacing them? Give a recent example.
  2. Had you ever heard of the Kintsugi process for repairing valuable broken pottery? What do you think of letting broken areas remain visible, recognizing them as part of the object’s history? Are there areas of your life and career that you would be willing to have treated with the Kintsugi approach? What about areas you wouldn’t want to be seen?
  3. How do you think God uses a process similar to Kintsugi in making needed repairs in our lives in a spiritual sense? Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 2:20. What do these verses tell us about how the Lord deals with brokenness?
  4. Psalm 12:6 tells us, “the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.” How might this relate to our desire to overcome brokenness in our lives?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about principles it presents, consider the following passages: Psalm 51:10-12; Proverbs 15:33, 16:18, 17:3, 27:21; Isaiah 40:28-31; Philippians 4:13

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