你站在誰的那一邊?──WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

無論在政治、體育或商業領域,一些有屬靈想法的人傾向於得出這樣的結論­-上帝會與他們同在,站在他們這一邊,對他們有利,又或者會在另一邊反對他們。這樣的想法還蠻常出現的,例如,在競爭激烈的選舉中,上帝是否偏愛我們所選擇的候選人?當我們最喜歡的球隊對上宿敵對手時,上帝是否也會像我們一樣支持他們獲勝?

我們把這種觀點延伸到職場時,當我們正在努力談定一筆大買賣、簽訂一份重要合約或獲得一個非常渴望的晉升時,我們可能會假設上帝希望我們成功。畢竟,我們是祂的孩子,不是嗎?然而,這種思路有其問題。如果我們沒有完成那個重要的銷售,又或者如果客戶沒有選擇我們或我們的公司來簽訂合約,我們就會認為哪裡出了問題。是上帝生我們的氣了嗎?或是我們失去恩寵了呢?

在舊約聖經中我們發現了一個耐人尋味的觀點,當時接替摩西成為以色列民領袖的約書亞看到一個人手裡拿著一把拔出的刀,他意識到這個人實際上是上帝的使者。約書亞靠近耶利哥的時候,舉目觀看,不料,有一個人手裏有拔出來的刀,對面站立。約書亞到他那裏,問他說:「你是幫助我們呢,是幫助我們敵人呢?他回答說:「不是的,我來是要作耶和華軍隊的元帥。」約書亞就俯伏在地下拜,說:「我主有甚麼話吩咐僕人。」耶和華軍隊的元帥對約書亞說:「把你腳上的鞋脫下來,因為你所站的地方是聖的。」約書亞就照著行了。」(約書亞記 513-14。我們可以很公平的說,根本的問題不是上帝是否站在我們這一邊,而是我們是否站在祂的那一邊?我們是否選擇讓生命與祂保持一致?

聖經的大部分內容都呈現了一種可悲的劇情:人們表現得好像是自己的神一樣,拒絕遵循上帝透過祂的話語向我們提出的訓詞和法則。例如,在先知書中的以西結書,我們讀到上帝對以色列民的憤怒。儘管是祂的選民,他們仍選擇違背主和無視祂的命令。

神一再對以色列民的悖逆進行嚴厲的管教,但也總是解釋原因:因此「他們就知道我是耶和華。這句話在以西結書重複了幾十次,有時一章裡重複了好幾次。通讀這卷書會是一個令人清醒的警告。沒有什麼比這個更重要的了:上帝希望我們站在祂的那一邊。

然而,我們也讀到主確實對祂的選民有一種獨特的、優先的愛和憐憫。例如,當我們被告知「我們曉得萬事都互相效力,叫愛神的人得益處,就是按他旨意被召的人」(羅馬書 8章28節)之後,我們也讀到「既是這樣,還有甚麼說的呢? 神若幫助我們,誰能敵擋我們呢? 神既不愛惜自己的兒子,為我們眾人捨了,豈不也把萬物和他一同白白地賜給我們嗎?」(羅馬書8章31-32節)

所羅門王為尊榮獨一真神而在耶路撒冷建造聖殿,在獻殿時他的禱告中說道:願耶和華─我們的 神與我們同在,像與我們列祖同在一樣,不撇下我們,不丟棄我們」。然而,下面的經文則是確認我們不只應該期待上帝為我們而做- 而且我們應該為祂而活:使我們的心歸向他,遵行他的道,謹守他吩咐我們列祖的誡命、律例、典章。」(列王紀上857-58

我們都希望上帝為我們而做。但是,無論祂向我們要求什麼,我們都願意為祂而活嗎?

© 2022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:如果你有聖經想閱讀更多內容,請考慮以下經文:

詩篇 56篇9節
56:9 我呼求的日子,我的仇敵都要轉身退後。 神幫助我,這是我所知道的。
詩篇118篇5-7節、14節、25-27節
118:5 我在急難中求告耶和華,他就應允我,把我安置在寬闊之地。
118:6 有耶和華幫助我,我必不懼怕,人能把我怎麼樣呢?
118:7 在那幫助我的人中,有耶和華幫助我,所以我要看見那恨我的人遭報。
118:14 耶和華是我的力量,是我的詩歌;他也成了我的拯救。
118:25 耶和華啊,求你拯救!耶和華啊,求你使我們亨通!
118:26 奉耶和華名來的是應當稱頌的!我們從耶和華的殿中為你們祝福!
118:27 耶和華是 神;他光照了我們。理當用繩索把祭牲拴住,牽到壇角那裏。
以賽亞書 8章10節、13節、17節
8:10 任憑你們同謀,終歸無有;任憑你們言定,終不成立;因為 神與我們同在。
8:13 但要尊萬軍之耶和華為聖,以他為你們所當怕的,所當畏懼的。
8:17 我要等候那掩面不顧雅各家的耶和華;我也要仰望他。
以賽亞書 41章10節
41:10 你不要害怕,因為我與你同在;不要驚惶,因為我是你的 神。我必堅固你,我必幫助你;我必用我公義的右手扶持你。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你有沒有想過如本文作者在開場白所描述的:上帝是站在對你有利的這一邊,無論是工作上重要的事、選舉的結果,甚至是一場你所喜愛的運動隊伍比賽的輸贏?請解釋你的答案。
  2. 在你看來,上帝為你而做,按照你的最大利益行事,會是什麼樣子?你能舉例說明為什麼你會這樣想?
  3. 上帝是否有可能真的為你而做 – 按照你的最大利益行事 – 但卻讓結果和你所想與所禱告的不同呢?請解釋你的答案?
  4. 為神行事,尋求站在祂的那一邊而不是擔心祂是否站在我們的這一邊,尤其是在工作環境中,這意味著什麼呢?把祂放在我們的思想和行動的最高位置會如何影響我們做出的決定?


WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

By Rick Boxx

Whether it is in politics, sports, or business, many spiritually minded people tend to conclude that God is either with them – on their side, working in their favor – or He is against them. It is not uncommon to think this way, for instance, in hotly contested elections, is God in favor of the candidates of our choice? When our favorite team is competing against its hated rival, is God rooting for our team to win, just as we are?

And we extend this perspective to marketplace situations. When we are working to finalize a big sale, land a major contract, or earn a much-desired promotion, we may assume God wants us to succeed. After all, we are His children, right? This line of thinking, however, leads to problems. If we do not close that important sale, or if a customer fails to choose us or our company for the contract, we wonder what went wrong. Is God mad at us? Have we fallen out of His favor?

We find an intriguing perspective on this in the Bible’s Old Testament when Joshua, who succeeded Moses as the leader of the people of Israel, saw a man with a drawn sword in his hand and realized it was actually a messenger from God. “Are you for us or for our enemies?” Joshua inquired. “‘Neither’” was the angel’s response, adding, “‘but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come’ Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’” (Joshua 5:13-14). It would be fair to conclude that the foundational issue is not whether God is on our side, but whether we are on His side. Are we choosing to align our lives with Him?

Much of the Bible presents a sad scenario: People acting as if they are their own gods, refusing to follow the precepts and principles God has presented to us through His Word. For instance, in the prophetic book of Ezekiel, we read about God’s anger toward the people of Israel. Despite being His chosen people, they choose to defy the Lord and disregard His commands.

Repeatedly God promises very stern discipline for the Israelites’ rebellion, but always explains why: So that they “shall know that I am the Lord.”  This phrase is repeated dozens of times in Ezekiel, sometimes several times in a single chapter. Reading through this book is a sobering warning. More than anything, God wants us to be on His side.

However, we also read that the Lord does have a unique, preferential love and compassion for His chosen people. For instance, after being told about how He “works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…” (Romans 8:28), we then read, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:31-32).

King Solomon, during his consecration of the temple built in Jerusalem to honor the one true God. At one point in his dedicatory prayer, Solomon asks, “May the Lord be with us as he was with our fathers; may he never leave us nor forsake us. The following verse, however, affirms that we should not only want God to be for us – but also that we should always be for Him: “May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep the commands, decrees and regulations he gave our fathers” (1 Kings 8:57-58).

We all want God to be for us. But are we willing to be for Him, in whatever He asks of us?

Copyright 2022, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments”, a commentary on faith at work issues. Visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever wondered, as Mr. Boxx describes in the opening, whether God is acting in your favor, whether it concerns an important matter at work, the outcome of an election, or even who wins or loses an athletic contest involving one of your favorite teams? Explain your answer.
  2. What in your opinion would it be like for God to be for you, to be acting in accordance with your best interests? Can you give an example of why you think that way?
  3. Could it be possible for God to actually be for you – to be acting according to your best interests – and still allow for a different outcome other than one you desire and have praying for? Why or why not?
  4. What does it mean to be acting for God, seeking to be on His side rather than worrying about whether He is on our side, especially in a workplace setting? How could putting Him foremost in our thoughts and actions make a difference in decisions we make?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Numbers 13:8-9; Psalm 56:9, 118:5-7,14,25-27; Isaiah 8:10,13,17, 41:10


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