嫉妒的破壞力──THE DESTRUCTIVE POWER OF JEALOUSY

妒忌。這個字在字典裡的定義是:因為看到某個人的較勁、成功或優勢,而對這個人感到怨恨,甚至對這個人的成功或優勢本身產生抗拒,因而產生嫉妒的感覺、傾向、心理狀態或情緒反應。這是你曾經歷過的嗎?

而羨慕是嫉妒的近親,定義是:當一個人缺乏另外一個人的優秀品質、成就或所擁有的東西時,他就渴望得到或希望那個人也沒有它們,所產生的一種情緒。你能看出羨慕或嫉妒別人有什麼好處嗎?我們真的很難找到任何一點的好處。但是,這些感覺和態度卻在職場上很常見。

多年前,我掙扎於嫉妒中。當我看著同儕的部門蓬勃發展時,我發現自己很羨慕他的迅速成功。雖然我試圖忽略它們,但還是會有例如「為什麼他的部門做得比我的好?」或者他有甚麼我沒有的?之類的問題會出現在腦海中。

我意識到,這樣的想法是沒有建設性的,如果任其發展,可能會變得有破壞性。所以,經過深層思考和禱告後,我請求上帝赦免我。部分的原因是因為,無論有意與否,我對主沒有給我同樣份量的成功和成就感到怨恨。我的悔改禱告也促使我向我的同伴尋求諒解。

結果呢?我覺得自己好像卸下了巨大的重擔,可以自由地享受我自己的成功層次,而無需與我的同儕或任何其他人比較。它使我能夠專注於傳道書 9章10節 的訓誡:凡你手所當做的事要盡力去做…而非轉頭去看其他人在做什麼。

我們可以看到聖經通常很率直的紀載了許多嫉妒的例子,人們似乎對比他們更有價值或更受祝福的兄弟、朋友或對手感到怨恨。例如,在創世記中,我們讀到約瑟的兄弟們嫉妒自己父親對小弟的偏愛,所以把他賣為奴隸。

以色列民族更因此爭鬧得很厲害,在民數記 11 章,我們讀到了摩西的幫手約書亞,聽到並抱怨其他領袖突然說預言,就像以前只有摩西能做的那樣。民數記 11章29節 中,摩西對他說:「你為我的緣故嫉妒人嗎?惟願耶和華的百姓都受感說話!願耶和華把他的靈降在他們身上!」

使徒保羅透過把事情導向正確的觀點,而迅速化解了當時哥林多教會的嫉妒和爭吵問題:「……有的說:「我是跟隨保羅的」,有的說:「我是跟隨亞波羅的」…… .我們不過是上帝的僕人,各人照著主所賜的才幹引導你們信靠上帝。我栽種,亞波羅灌溉,但使之生長的是上帝。…… 因為我們是上帝的同工,你們是上帝的園地和建築。」(哥林多前書 3章4-9節)。(聖經當代譯本)

摩西和保羅都知道嫉妒是沒有用的。決定每個人應該獲得哪些才能和機會是上帝的工作。我們的工作是專注於如何運用我們所被賜予的。如果我們能忠心於這一點,而不是和人比較誰比較成功,我們就會在日常工作的職分裡,獲得主希望我們經歷的平安與喜樂。

© 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。」

備註: 如果你手上有聖經,想要閱讀更多內容,請參考以下經文:
出埃及記 20章17節
20:17 「不可貪戀人的房屋;也不可貪戀人的妻子、僕婢、牛驢,並他一切所有的。」
箴言 14章30節
14:30 心中安靜是肉體的生命;嫉妒是骨中的朽爛。
箴言15章17節
15:17 吃素菜,彼此相愛,強如吃肥牛,彼此相恨。
箴言17章1節
17:1 設筵滿屋,大家相爭,不如有塊乾餅,大家相安。
加拉太書 5章19-21節
5:19情慾的事都是顯而易見的,就如姦淫、污穢、邪蕩、
5:20拜偶像、邪術、仇恨、爭競、忌恨、惱怒、結黨、紛爭、異端、
5:21嫉妒(有古卷在此有:凶殺二字)、醉酒、荒宴等類。我從前告訴你們,現在又告訴你們,行這樣事的人必不能承受神的國。
哥林多後書 12章20節
12:20 我怕我再來的時候,見你們不合我所想望的,你們見我也不合你們所想望的;又怕有紛爭、嫉妒、惱怒、結黨、毀謗、讒言、狂傲、混亂的事。

反省與問題討論

  1. 當你聽到「嫉妒」這個詞時,在你腦海中,你會立刻出現什麼景象?你是否同意羨慕或嫉妒在現今的工作職場中很常見?請解釋你的答案。
  2. 對別人的成就或所擁有的而感到怨恨或羨慕,這種嫉妒對你來說會是一個多大的挑戰呢?
  3. 當你感到嫉妒時,你是如何處理的?你會給別人甚麼樣的建議來克服它呢?
  4. 在你看來,承認「我們是共同服事上帝的同工」,或者用另一種翻譯,是「上帝的同工」,幫助我們正確處理對他人,無論是另一個人,或競爭企業的嫉妒情緒,會產生什麼樣的不同呢?


THE DESTRUCTIVE POWER OF JEALOUSY

By Rick Boxx

Jealousy. One dictionary definition of this term is, “feeling resentment against someone because of that person’s rivalry, success, or advantage, or against another’s success or advantage itself…a jealous feeling, disposition, state, or mood.” Is this something you have experienced?

Envy is a close cousin to jealousy, defined as “an emotion which occurs when a person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it.” Can you see any benefit from being jealous or envious of another person? We would be hard-pressed to find one, but these feelings and attitudes are common in the marketplace.

Years ago, I struggled with jealousy. As I watched a peer’s organization flourish, I found myself envious of his rapid success. Even though I tried to ignore them, questions like, “Why is his organization doing better than mine?” or, “What does he have to offer that I don’t?” would arise in my mind.

Such thinking is unproductive, I realized, and if left unchecked can become destructive. So, after some soul searching and prayer, I asked God to forgive me. This was partly because, intended or not, I was feeling resentful toward the Lord for not giving me the same measures of success and achievement. My prayers of repentance also prompted me to ask my peer for his forgiveness.

The result? I felt as if a tremendous weight had been lifted from me, and was freed to enjoy my own level of success without comparing it to my peer, or anyone else. It enabled me to focus on the admonition of Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…,” without looking over my shoulder to see how anyone else was doing.

In its typical candor, we find many examples of jealousy in the Bible, individuals becoming resentful toward a brother, friend or rival that seemed to be valued or blessed more than they were. In Genesis, for example, we read about Joseph’s brothers becoming jealous of their father’s favoritism toward him, so they sold him into slavery.

The Israelites wrestled with this in a major way. In Numbers 11 we read about Joshua, Moses’ aide, hearing and complaining about other leaders suddenly prophesying as only Moses had done previously. We find the Israelite leader’s response in Numbers 11:29, “But Moses replied, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!’”  

The apostle Paul quickly defused an issue of jealousy and quarreling in the ancient church in Corinth by putting things in the right perspective: “…one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos’…. [We are] only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow…. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:4-9).

Both Moses and Paul knew jealousy was fruitless. It is God’s job alone to determine which talents and opportunities each person should receive. Our job is to focus on how we use what we have been given. If we are faithful to that, rather than comparing our success to others, we will have the peace and joy the Lord intends for us to experience in our everyday work responsibilities.

Copyright 2021, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments”, a commentary on faith at work issues. Visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org to sign up for UBN Integrity Moments emails. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1.  When you hear the word “jealousy,” what immediately comes to your mind? Do you agree that jealousy – or envy – is common in today’s workplace? Explain your answer.
  2.  How big a challenge is jealousy for you, feeling resentment or envy toward others for what they have accomplished or what they have?
  3.  When you have felt jealousy, how have you dealt with it? What would you advise to someone else on how to overcome it?
  4. What difference does it make, in your opinion, to recognize that “we are co-workers in God’s service,” or as another translation states it, “God’s fellow workers,” for being able to properly handle feelings of jealousy toward others, whether it is another person or a rival business?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Exodus 20:17; Proverbs 14:30, 15:17, 17:1; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Corinthians 12:20


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