你為什麼工作?

By Robert J. Tamasy

若你調查100位工商專業人士,問他們為什麼工作,以及他們想要透過工作達成什麼,你可能會得到100種不同的答案。

「賺取生計」可能是最普遍的答案。我們工作以賺取錢財去買食物、房屋與衣服;去支持我們所選擇的生活形態;去獲得我們需要和想要的東西;甚至去捐獻我們所相信的信仰或運動。但對於「你為什麼工作?」這個問題,還有許多其他的答案。

有些工作提供使命感和意義,甚至重要性。還有人努力工作是為了得到對他們技術和才幹的肯定。有人則認為工作決定他們的自我價值,使他們達到成功。而有人認為工作僅僅是打發清醒時刻的一種方式。

那些比較不自私,有博愛傾向的人可能看他們的工作是服務別人的方式,提供必要的協助與鼓勵給有特別需要的個人或族群。

對我們大多數人而言,我們的工作可作為一個測量工具,測量我們有多適應社會,以及我們對周遭的世界有什麼貢獻。每個人的動機可能不同,有些人的動機可能比較自我中心。為了在我們的工作中找到成就感,我們應該對「你為什麼工作?」這個問題有一個清楚的答案。

對於這問題聖經提供了一些有趣的觀點,在某些方面挑戰了有關工作目的和我們為何做我們現在所做之事的盛行觀念:

為不會被拿走的東西工作。設定像得到升遷並獲得更多報酬這樣的專業目標有一個問題,就是雖然那些給我們短暫的滿足,但當新鮮感褪去,我們的態度是「接下來是什麼?」或「現在要做什麼?」耶穌告訴祂的跟隨者,要為那不會褪色或變遷的目標努力:「不要為自己積攢財寶在地上;地上有蟲子咬,能銹壞,也有賊挖窟窿來偷。只要積攢財寶在天上;天上沒有蟲子咬,不能銹壞,也沒有賊挖窟窿來偷」(馬太福音6章19-20節)。

為可以持久的事物工作。下週我們許多人會慶祝感恩節,在這個節日裡我們會吃許多超過我們身體所需的食物。我們都需要營養,但耶穌說我們應該為更好的「食物」努力:「不要為那必壞的食物勞力,要為那存到永生的食物勞力…我就是生命的糧。到我這裏來的,必定不餓;信我的,永遠不渴」(約翰福音6章27、35節)。

為永恆的獎賞工作。我們都已經發現人的肯定和榮耀都是短暫的。某一天我們可能是公司的「明星」;第二天某人取代了我們的角色。因此,我們最好記住最後主給的獎賞是沒人可以拿走的。「無論做甚麼,都要從心裏做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,因你們知道從主那裏必得著基業為賞賜;你們所事奉的乃是主基督」(歌羅西書3章23-24節)。

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,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以及www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com 。

思想 / 討論題目

  1. 這裡有個問題要問你:你為什麼工作?
  2. 你是否同意要從你的工作得到最大的成就、滿足,你應該對上面的問題有一個清楚的答案?為什麼?
  3. 你是否在某個情況中發現你所以為的工作理由並不充足、適當?可能當你達成了你所謂的專業目標後,你心中所能想的是:「就只有這樣嗎?」請解釋。
  4. 你對本文所引述聖經所說的工作動機有什麼看法?你認為那些動機在今天這個以賺錢為導向的職場是否實際?

註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言6章6-8節,11章25節,22章9節,24章30-34節,28章20節;傳道書3章9-14節,4章8-12節


WHAT ARE YOU WORKING FOR?

By Robert J. Tamasy

If you were to survey 100 business and professional people, you might get 100 different explanations about why they work and what they are intending to achieve through their work.

“Earning a living” would probably be the most common response. We work to earn the finances necessary to buy food, housing and clothing; to support our chosen lifestyle; to acquire things that we need and want; and even to help in funding causes we believe in. But there are many other answers to the question, “What are you working for?”

For some work provides a sense of mission and meaning, even significance. Others strive to receive personal recognition for their skills and talents. Work serves some for determining their self-worth – for achieving success, however they define that. Some simply view work as a way to spend waking hours.

Those with more selfless, philanthropic inclinations might view their work as a way to serve others, offering needed assistance and encouragement to individuals or groups of people with specific needs.

For most of us, the work we do can function as a measuring tool, for gauging how we fit in society and what contributions we can make in the world around us. Motivations can vary markedly from person to person, and some motives may be more self-centered than others. Ultimately, to find fulfillment in our work, we should have a clear answer to the question: “What are you working for?”

The Bible offers some interesting perspectives on that question, in some ways challenging prevailing notions about the purpose of work and why we do what we do:

Work for what cannot be taken away. One of the problems with setting professional goals, such as earning promotions and receiving more compensation, is those give brief satisfaction but as newness wears off, we take on the attitude, “What’s next?” or “Now what?” Speaking to His followers, Jesus told them to strive for goals that cannot fade or be removed. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).

Work for things that will last. Next week many of us will observe Thanksgiving Day, a festive day of celebration when many of us will eat much food more than we need. We all need nourishment, but Jesus said there is much better “food” we should strive for: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life…. I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:27,35).

Work for eternal rewards. We all have discovered that human recognition and honors are temporary. One day we can be the “star” of the company; the next day someone has assumed that role. For that reason, it is best to remember the One that ultimately offers rewards no one can take away. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written 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

  1. Here’s the question for you: What are you working for?
  2. Do you agree that to gain the greatest fulfillment from the work you do, you should have a clear answer for the question above? Why or why not?
  3. Have you ever experienced a situation where you realized your presumed reason for working was not adequate? Perhaps a time when you had achieved your stated professional goals and all you could think was, “Is this all there is?” Explain your answer.
  4. How do you respond to the biblical motivations for work cited in this “Monday Manna”? Do you believe they are practical in today’s bottom line-oriented workplace?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 6:6-8, 11:25, 22:9, 24:30-34, 28:20; Ecclesiastes 3:9-14, 4:8-12

Show More