自我膨脹的危險 ──THE PERILS OF OVERBLOWN SELF-IMPORTANCE

MONDAY MANNA

我的女婿布萊恩(Brian)先前遇到一位我們共同的朋友,他以前是一家知名上市貿易公司的CFO。當我問他會面如何時,布萊恩回答說:「他跟我分享了一個會令我終生難忘的想法:『你永遠不如自己想的那麼重要。』」

這位年長、有智慧的商人和布萊恩分享的見解既深刻又有益。此名高階主管非常了解手握大權、身居高位是什麼感覺。但是,他也親身體驗到一個人的影響力和威望是多麼瞬息萬變,可能在你毫無預警時被全數奪去。

那一天,布萊恩明白,無論我們在公司的位階高或低,對於高級主管、棒球經理、足球教練、當選官員、飯店經理和建築工頭來說,每個職位都不穩固且可替換,沒有人是不可或缺的。因此,最重要的是,我們必須慎防自己的驕傲,特別是當我們在生活中有點成就的時候。

這位高管明智地說:「你永遠不如自己想的那麼重要。」在聖經中,也有類似的警告。例如,羅馬書12章3節中的使徒保羅給了這樣的告誡:「我憑著所賜我的恩對你們各人說:不要看自己過於所當看的;要照著 神所分給各人信心的大小,看得合乎中道。」

聖經中許多經文都使用「自高自大」(puffed up)一詞來形容那些陷溺於驕傲和自負的人。歌羅西書2章18節警告人們不要被錯誤的動機和信念欺騙:「不可讓人因著故意謙虛……就奪去你們的獎賞。這等人拘泥在所見過的(有古卷:這等人窺察所沒有見過的),隨著自己的慾心,無故地自高自大(puffed up)。 」

我們如何才能避免這些陷阱:「自高自大」或把自己看得太重要?在這方面,聖經中有一些經文很有幫助:

認清驕傲的陷阱。我們都遇過有些人深信在場沒有人比他們更重要。當這些人失敗時,就常常會遭受污辱,或被人指證他們把自己看得太高了。「驕傲來,羞恥也來,謙遜人卻有智慧。」(箴言11章2節)

有意識地努力表現出對他人的尊重。很多研究都指出,最有效的領導者是那些能夠成功激勵別人,並且表現出謙卑和真正關心他人的人。「凡事不可結黨,不可貪圖虛浮的榮耀;只要存心謙卑,各人看別人比自己強。各人不要單顧自己的事,也要顧別人的事。」(腓立比書2章3-4節)

切記讚美短暫易逝。得到稱讚可能令人很滿足,但是如果我們過於看重那些恭維的話語,開始退步,它們也會成為絆腳石。「鼎為煉銀,爐為煉金,人的稱讚也試煉人。」(箴言27章21節)

版權所有2019  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最新出版的書提供用五個關鍵的神的方法來建立企業。

反省與問題討論

  1. 文章中的CFO說:「你永遠不如自己認為的那麼重要。」你同意嗎?你能想到任何例外嗎?請解釋你的答案。
  2. 你是否能想到某個人就像這篇週一嗎哪所說的「自高自大」?那是個什麼樣的人?你如何回應他或她?
  3. 你是否曾經因為過度看重自己的重要性而掙扎?如果有,那是甚麼狀況?你如何處理?
  4. 你認為,提醒自己我們不像自己認為的那麼重要的最佳方式是什麼?你會用甚麼方式把這個想法傳遞出去?

注意:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多經文,請考慮:

箴言12章9節
12:9 被人輕賤,卻有僕人,強如自尊,缺少食物。

箴言16章5節
16:5 凡心裏驕傲的,為耶和華所憎惡;雖然連手,他必不免受罰。

箴言16章18節
16:18 驕傲在敗壞以先;狂心在跌倒之前。

箴言18章12節
18:12 敗壞之先,人心驕傲;尊榮以前,必有謙卑。

箴言21章4節
21:4 惡人發達(發達:原文是燈),眼高心傲,這乃是罪。

箴言21章 24節
21:24 心驕氣傲的人名叫褻慢;他行事狂妄,都出於驕傲。

箴言26章12節
26:12 你見自以為有智慧的人嗎?愚昧人比他更有指望。

羅馬書2章8節
2:8 惟有結黨、不順從真理、反順從不義的,就以忿怒、惱恨報應他們;

羅馬書12章10節
12:10 愛弟兄,要彼此親熱;恭敬人,要彼此推讓。

以弗所書5章21節
5:21 又當存敬畏基督的心,彼此順服。


THE PERILS OF OVERBLOWN SELF-IMPORTANCE

By Rick Boxx

My son-in-law, Brian, met with a mutual friend who previously had served as CFO for a well-known, publicly traded company. When I asked how his meeting went, Brian replied, “He shared an idea with me that I will never forget: ‘You are never as important as you think.’”

An older, wiser businessman of this man’s stature sharing this insight with Brian was both profound and helpful. The executive knew well what it was like to hold a role of considerable power and prominence. However, he had also learned firsthand how fleeting influence and prestige can be. Without even a moment’s notice, it can all be stripped away.

That day, Brian learned no matter how high or low on the corporate ladder it may be, every position is vulnerable and replaceable. This is true for top executives, baseball managers and football coaches, elected officials, restaurant managers and construction foremen. No one is indispensable. For this reason, it is crucial that we guard our hearts against pride, especially when we have experienced some successes in life.

The executive wisely said, “You are never as important as you think.” In the Scriptures we find similar words of caution. For instance, the apostle Paul in Romans 12:3 offered this admonition: “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

In numerous passages, the Bible uses the term “puffed up” to describe people who have gotten caught up with pride and the delusion of self-importance. Colossians 2:18 warns of becoming deceived of people with wrong motives and beliefs: “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility…disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.”

How can we avoid these pitfalls – becoming “puffed up” or thinking more highly of ourselves than we should? Some other passages are helpful in this respect:

Recognize the pitfalls of pride. We all have encountered people that seemed convinced that no one in the room was as important as they were. Often these same people experience humiliation when they fail, or someone proves their self-assessments were greatly exaggerated. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).

Make a conscious effort to show deference to others. Numerous studies have shown that the most effective leaders, the ones that succeed in motivating and inspire those they lead, are those who exhibit humility and genuine concern for other people. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Remember how fleeting praise can be. It can be gratifying to receive compliments and commendations, but they can also become stumbling blocks if we start taking those good words too seriously and start pounding ourselves on the back. “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives” (Proverbs 27:21).

© 2019, 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. The executive stated, “You are never as important as you think you are.” Do you agree with this? Can you think of any exceptions? Explain your answer.
  2. Who can you think of that at one time or another has exhibited the “puffed up” attitude described in this Monday Manna? What was that individual like – and how did you respond to him or her?
  3. Have you ever struggled personally with an exaggerated sense of self-importance? If so, in what ways – and how have you dealt with it?
  4. What, in your opinion, is the best way to remember we are not as important as we might think we are? How would you communicate this to someone else?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:

Proverbs 12:9, 16:5,18, 18:12, 21:4,24, 26:12; Romans 2:8, 12:10; Ephesians 5:21

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