思想 / 討論題目
若有一個你想更了解的人給你一本關於他的書，認為你可藉由那本書更認識他，你會如何回應？ 你認為在職場中建立友情會有什麼益處和挑戰？ 列出你生命中最重要的人際關係，包括家人、朋友和同事；並想想你用什麼方法去維持那些關係。你是盡你所能地那麼做，或者覺得你應該那麼做？ 你是否覺得你與上帝有獨特、成長的關係，那關係不僅止於參加崇拜或花幾分鐘讀聖經？請解釋。若你想看看或討論聖經中有關此議題的其他經文，請翻閱以下經節：
THE POWER OF GETTING TO KNOW OTHERS
By: Jim Mathis
A friend of mine, Dave, told another friend, Edward, that he would like to get better acquainted and become better friends. Several days later, Dave received an autographed copy of Edward”s autobiography in the mail. The book was accompanied by a note suggesting it would tell Dave whatever he wanted to know. If he had any questions, Edward wrote, he should feel free to call. Dave felt understandably rejected. He wanted a relationship, not facts.
I have authored a short autobiographical book and have written extensively on various subjects. However, even though I presume many of my friends have read at least some of what I have written, I would never confuse that kind of activity with friendship or a meaningful relationship.
Shared time and experiences. Relationships are built around shared experiences and time together, not just information. There is a parallel, I believe, in what we find in the Bible. God has written what amounts to an autobiography. In the New Testament, the Bible declares, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). As with most autobiographies, the 66 books of the Bible contain history, some teaching, poetry, and insight into what the Author is all about. Reading about God and all He has done, however, should not be confused with having a genuine relationship with Him. We should not worship His book more than we worship Him or desire to spend time with Him.
My mother has written her memoirs and I have enjoyed the book, but my love for her is far greater than my love for her book. Having read, I have been gotten to know her better, as well as understand more clearly some of the things she has experienced in her life. But what I have learned from her book does not define our relationship.
Relationships take effort. In the workplace, we can exchange voice mails and read e-mails from one another, but those are hardly an acceptable substitute for developing productive and enjoyable working relationships. These require investments of time, energy, and legitimate interest and concern for one another. You certainly would not go into a job interview or meet with a prospective client and declare, “Let”s not bother taking the time to get to know one another. Just read my book – that”s all you need to know about me.”
It is the same with God. I would have a very hard time understanding who He is without reading and studying the Bible. But a relationship with God is different. I must spend quality time with Him and share my life with Him in a significant way. In fact, Jesus instructed, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you” (John 15:4), promising in doing so we will live fruitful lives that please Him.
Demonstrating what we know. It puzzles me why some of the most devout people I know do not seem to know much about the Scriptures, while some of the people most knowledgeable about the Bible display very little love or compassion for others, qualities that greatly shape God”s relationship with His people.
For this reason, as a businessman, husband, son, artist and musician, I have tried to maintain a balance, learning about God through the process of studying the Bible, but not becoming so caught up in study that I miss out on a growing relationship with God or fail to become a willing participant in His purposes.
Jim Mathis is the owner of a photography studio in Overland Park, Kansas, specializing in executive, commercial and theatrical portraits, and recently has opened a school of photography. He formerly was a coffee shop manager and executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.
How would you react if someone you wanted to get to know more personally were to give you a book about himself or herself instead, suggesting that you become better acquainted in that way? What in your view are the benefits – and challenges – of developing worthwhile relationships in the workplace? List the most important relationships in your life – including family, friends, and coworkers – and think about the methods you utilize for sustaining them. Are you doing all that you can – or all that you should be doing? Why or why not? Do you feel that you have a genuine, growing relationship with God, one that extends far beyond attending a worship service or spending a few minutes reading the Bible? Explain your answer. If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages:
Proverbs 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 3:9; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 John 3:11-18