在商場和高爾夫球場,克服恐懼是關鍵

By Jim Langley

1996年年末我到越南以前,是駐紮在美軍基地一個受過訓練的軍官,也是總部三個部隊其中一個的聯合指揮官。工作之餘,我把時間花在練習高爾夫球上。1969年,我從大學畢業之後,對高爾夫球一直很有興趣,我覺得高爾夫球是我做過最有挑戰性的運動。我當時高爾夫球差點是3(差點數目越少表示技術越好)並且在一些地方性的巡迴賽當中贏得比賽。

因為我喜歡比賽, 1970年軍旅生涯結束之後,我一度想要成為專業的高爾夫選手。今天在球場上,我仍然能打得很好,但只是當作休閒活動調劑身心。從個人和屬靈兩方面來說,高爾夫球對我來說,就像是是商場一樣。

要打好高爾夫球最重要的就是要專心。在比賽時,分心是成功最大的致命傷。一個原本平穩的球,球桿打下去之後會有各種不同的情況,進洞之前,也可就停在洞口不遠處。當然,練習在高爾夫球來說很重要,在生活的其他方面也是。但是最重要的是相信你的球桿,並且專注在得到好成績。一方面,懼怕會引起緊張,讓我們的肌肉記憶在練習的時候最佳的狀態。

但是在職場上,懼怕也可能成為成功的絆腳石:害怕失去現有的顧客、害怕要找新的客戶、害怕要冒險、害怕要嘗試新的方法、害怕未來的不確定等等。在長時間的商場生涯裡面,我學到聖經原則是要我們克服恐懼。

在提摩太後書1章7節裡面,保羅建議年輕的提摩太:「因為上帝賜給我們,不是膽怯的心,乃是剛強、仁愛、謹守的心。」這就是我在商場和球場多年一直在用的聖經原則。神希望我們的努力能夠成功並且榮耀祂。祂一直與我們同在,所以當我們遇到生命的挑戰時,我們可以呼求聖靈的幫助。

在高爾夫球場上,遇到一個長射要過水坑,我們會感到害怕;在商場上,我們會害怕在建立和維持公司時,遇到激烈的競爭。在生活當中,我們也會遇到各種的狀況讓我們感到害怕。我們應該照著聖經的教導:「你要專心仰賴耶和華, 不可倚靠自己的聰明, 在你一切所行的事上都要認定他, 他必指引你的路。」 (箴言3章5-6節)

像彼得一樣去注意週遭風浪的大小然後跌入水中,是經常發生的事情(馬太福音14章)。因為風浪太大分心,我們就會沉沒在失望中。這時,我們應該緊抓住神的手,讓祂把我們從困境的深淵中拉上來。

1989年,一種新的服裝系列叫做「無懼」席捲整個市場,特別是受到運動熱愛者的喜歡。這個口號之後出現在T恤和鴨舌帽上。在商場遇到挑戰時,我們也可以用「無懼」當我們的座右銘。耶穌告訴我們,即使面對許多的困難,生命沒有什麼好懼怕的。透過禱告、讀經、明白神的原則,以及來自屬靈同伴聖經的建議,我們可以信任神正以平安引導著我們。

吉姆.朗立自1983年起就擔任紐約人壽的保險經紀人和特許人壽保險承銷商,從1987年起他也是美國加州聖塔巴巴拉CBMC分會的活躍會員。

省思/討論題目

  1. 你可以了解運動場上競爭的恐懼嗎?分享你的經驗。
  2. 最近你是否正在經歷或很快就要面對一些令人害怕的事情?你一直以來都是如何處理恐懼的?
  3. 你相信對神的信心可以讓我們對未來和未知的事情不害怕嗎?分享你的理由。
  4. 你可以回想一下以前的經驗:相信神,請求祂引導你的道路,當時你做了哪些決定和行動?分享你的經驗。備註:如果你手上有聖經,想知道關於這個主題更多的經節,請參考:約書亞記 1章1-9節;詩篇118篇5-9節;箴言29章25節;馬太福音14章25-31節;約翰一書4章18節

IN BUSINESS AND GOLF, OVERCOMING FEAR IS THE KEY

By Jim Langley

Before being deployed to Vietnam in late 1966, I was stationed at a U.S. Army base as a training officer/headquarters company commander for one of the three training battalions. When not working, I spent my spare time improving my golf swing. Golf had become my passion after graduating from college in 1965, proving to be the most challenging game I have ever played. I carried a 3-handicap and had some success in local amateur tournaments.

Because I loved competition, I briefly entertained the idea of a professional golf career after my military commitment ended in 1970. Today I can still play respectably on the course, but now enjoy the game as an outlet to escape the distractions of life we all face. I have come to see golf as an analogy for any ongoing challenges we all face in business, as well as personal and spiritual matters.

One of the keys in golf is to remain focused. Fear is the biggest detriment to the golfer’s success on the course because it hinders our focus. It is amazing what can go wrong as a stationary ball becomes airborne after being hit by a golf club. Even a putt rolling on a green often finds a way to stay out of the hole. Practice is important in golf, as it is in all aspects of life, but I have found the most important factor is to trust your swing and concentrate on getting positive results. Fear causes tension and keeps our muscle memory from repeating what we have done well in practice.

In the workplace, fear also can become an obstacle to success: Fear of losing existing clients, fear of seeking new customers, fear of taking a risk, fear of trying a new approach to what we do, fear of what the uncertain future might hold. During my long career in the business world, I have learned the Bible says a lot about overcoming fear.

In 2 Timothy 1:7, the apostle Paul advises young Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (fear), but a spirit of love, power and discipline.” That is a principle I have used in my business and personal life for years. God wants us to succeed in all our endeavors that are pleasing to Him. He is always there and we can call upon His Spirit as we face the many challenges life brings.

In golf, we may feel fear when faced with a lengthy shot over a water hazard. In business, we may fear stiff competition to building and sustaining our company. And in life, many kinds of adversity can cause us to experience fear. We would be wise to follow the admonition of the Bible: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

It is easy to focus on the size of the waves surrounding us, just as Peter did after he jumped out of the boat to greet Jesus (Matthew 14). Distracted by the waves, we can find ourselves sinking into despair. This is when we must grasp God”s hand and allow Him to lift us up out of the depths of our dilemma.

In 1989, a new clothing line called “No Fear” hit the market, a favorite of extreme sports enthusiasts. This slogan appears on shirts and caps. We can adopt a similar motto when facing workplace challenges. With Jesus guiding us, there is nothing to fear – even in taking calculated risks in life. Through prayer, studying and seeking to understand principles God wants to teach us in the Scriptures, and obtaining sound, Bible-based counsel from good friends, we can trust the Lord to guide us securely and safely.

© 2015, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been an agent and chartered life underwriter (CLU) with New York Life since 1983 and an active member of CBMC Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A. since 1987.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Can you relate to the discussion of experiencing fear in golf or some other competitive sport? What has that been like for you?
  2. What are you currently facing – or expecting to face – that has made you feel fearful? How have you been dealing with these circumstances?
  3. Do you believe that faith in God can relieve us of the need to fear the future and the unknown? Why or why not?
  4. Can you think of a time when you tried to trust in the Lord, and asked Him to direct your path – your decisions and actions that you took? If so, describe that experience?If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following passages:Joshua 1:1-9; Psalm 118:5-9; Proverbs 29:25; Matthew 14:25-31; 1 John 4:18
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