「工作」需要公關上的改造

By Robert J. Tamasy

這一期的「週一嗎哪」會在美國每年慶祝的「勞工節」傳到世界各地的電子信箱。一些其他國家,包括澳洲、加拿大、牙買加、紐西蘭、千里達、托貝哥和敘利亞也都在這一天慶祝「勞工節」。這個節日的設立是要確認有技術之勞工和努力工作對這些國家發展的重要性。(但諷刺的是在勞工節那天許多人卻享受假日不需工作。)

你可以說「工作」受了不好的公關之害。工作常常被認為是比較不炫麗的詞彙,甚至有些人把它定義為「必要之惡」。許多人認為工作是週間勉強忍受的事,不耐地等待週末來到,那時他們就可以留在家中,或做任何他們選擇去做的事,不需受限於最後期限、責任和老闆的期待。

我的一位朋友常說:「我熱愛工作──我可以一整天輕鬆地坐著看別人工作。」這個意思是:工作最好留給別人去做。雖然這想法可被理解,但這種態度實在很不幸,因為它否定工作,以及成為工作者的天生美德與榮耀。

聖經是一本不受時空限制,有關每天實際生活的書,有趣的是,在裡面可找到有些關於工作的最正向層面:
工作提供一個有生產力的方式去用時間和精力。在實際的情況下,若沒有工作,除了吃飯睡覺之外,我們要如何花用我們每天所擁有的24小時?此外,當我們把工作做好,我們還會有滿足感。「人莫強如吃喝,且在勞碌中享福」(傳道書2章24節)。 工作使我們能運用我們所擁有的天生才幹、能力和恩賜。我們每個人都獨特地為不同形式的工作受了裝備,使我們能去做別人無法做的工作。「我要稱謝你,因我受造,奇妙可畏」(詩篇139篇14節)。「就如身子是一個,卻有許多肢體;而且肢體雖多,仍是一個身子」(哥林多前書12章12節)。 工作提供一個方法來提供我們及我們所愛之人的生活所需。社會上似乎愈來愈多人認為一切都是理所當然,但古諺說得好:「世界並沒有欠你什麼而需要養活你。」身為成年人,我們必須肩負起供應自己生活所需的責任。「人若不看顧親屬,就是背了真道,比不信的人還不好,不看顧自己家裡的人,更是如此」(提摩太前書5章8節)。 工作使我們能服事別人。不論我們的工作是賣電腦、治療疾病、教導年輕人、寫書、建造房屋、耕種食物或修理機器,我們所做的事能大大地提高別人的生活。「弟兄們,你們記念我們的辛苦勞碌,晝夜作工,傳神的福音給你們,免得叫你們一人受累」(帖撒羅尼迦前書2章9節)。 工作為上帝帶來榮耀。當我們工作時,我們就會明白上帝是一切的來源--我們的聰明、能力、機會、甚至動力都來自祂。所以在工作中,我們可以尊榮祂。「無論作什麼,或說話或行事,都要奉主耶穌的名…無論作什麼,都要從心裡作,像是給主作的,不是給人作的…你們所事奉的乃是主基督」(歌羅西書3章17、23-24節)。勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的通訊部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有40年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業:箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」(Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace)。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」(The Heart of Mentoring)。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com 。

思想 / 討論題目
你個人對工作的態度是什麼?是積極正向或被動負向?請解釋。 為何「工作」這個詞常常會引起負面的反應?你工作中最有挑戰性和最令你挫折的層面是什麼? 你認為你可以在工作上做什麼改變,使工作變得更有意義且有趣?你認為那是否切合實際?為什麼? 本文列出一些關於工作的聖經原則和經文。當你讀的時候,你有什麼想法?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言10章4-5節,12章11、24節,18章9節,22章29節,27章18節;哥林多前書3章8-9節;哥林多後書6章1節

“WORK” NEEDS A PUBLIC RELATIONS MAKEOVER

By Robert J. Tamasy

This edition of “Monday Manna” is scheduled to arrive in email boxes all around the world on the day observed in the United States each year as “Labor Day.” Similar observances are held in a number of other nations, including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Syria. It was created in part to recognize the importance of skilled labor and hard work in the development of nations such as these. (It does seem ironic that Labor Day is a day when many people enjoy a holiday from work.)

You could say that “work” suffers from bad public relations. Work is often regarded in less than glowing terms, defined by some “a necessary evil.” Many people regard work as something to grudgingly endure during the week, waiting impatiently for weekends when they can stay home or do whatever they choose, freed from deadlines, responsibilities, and expectations of their bosses.

A friend of mine used to say, “I love work – I could sit back and watch people doing it all day.” Translation: Work is best left for someone else to perform. Although understandable, this kind of attitude is unfortunate, since it denies the inherent virtues and glory of work – and of being a worker.

Interestingly, some of the most positive aspects about work can be found in the timeless book about the realities of everyday life, the Bible. Here are some of the insights it offers:
Work provides a productive way to expend time and energy. Realistically, if it were not for work, how would we consume the 24 hours we have each day that we do not spend eating and sleeping? And there is much satisfaction derived in a job that has been done well. “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.” (Ecclesiastes 2:24). Work enables us to utilize innate talents, abilities and gifts that we possess. Each of us is uniquely equipped for different types of work, able to do things that others cannot. “I praise you (God) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts, and though all its parts are many, they form one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12). Work supplies a means to provide for our needs and those of our loved ones. There seems to be a growing sense of entitlement within society, but the adage remains true: “The world does not owe you a living.” As adults, we must shoulder the responsibility of providing for our needs and meeting our financial obligations. “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). Work enables us to serve others. Whether we are working to sell computers, heal diseases, teach young people, write a book, build a house, grow food, or repair a machine, what we do can greatly enhance the lives of others. “Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardships; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you” (1 Thessalonians 2:9). Work brings glory to God. As we work, we recognize God as the source of everything – our intellect, our abilities, our opportunities, even our motivations. So in working, we can honor Him. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:17,23-24).Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist for 40 years, he is the author of Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
What is your personal attitude toward work? Is it positive or negative? Explain your answer. Why do you think that so often the term, “work,” inspires negative reactions? What are some of the most challenging and frustrating aspects of your work? How do you think you could change your approach toward work to make it more meaningful and enjoyable? Do you think that is even realistic? Why or why not? Some biblical principles and statements about work are given in this Monday Manna. What are some of the thoughts you have had as you read them? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 10:4-5, 12:11,24, 18:9, 22:29, 27:18; 1 Corinthians 3:8-9; 2 Corinthians 6:1

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