在職場展現恩典

有時我們聽到人們討論不同宗教的優點,但基督教的一個獨特之處在於「恩典」的觀念。恩典的定義是「無功而得的恩惠」或「無條件的接受」。恩典是無法賺取的,也不是我們配得的。事實上,恩典是我們不配得的。

如上所描述,恩典基本上不是職場上所熟悉的觀念。我們只談「賺錢過活」。許多專業人士,尤其是在銷售部門的人,是根據工作表現拿到薪水--他們為公司做了多少生意,或者在他們的領導下,公司表現得有多好。你何時聽過一個員工即使表現不佳,不值得被續聘,卻仍然被留任?

當我回顧我擔任記者的職業生涯,我記得許多次我都是恩典的受惠者。在那些我犯錯的情況中,若我是老板,我可能會把我炒魷魚。

例如,在我擔任報社編輯的第一年,我對一次市政會議感到不耐煩,就站起來表達我的評論。那時我非常沒有經驗,不了解我們的工作是報導新聞,而不是創造新聞。結果有人就向我的主管報怨我的行徑。我的主管很有恩典地選擇寬容我的過失,認為我是出於年輕人的活力和天真,但他也警告我絕不要再犯這個錯。

幾年後,在另一家報社,我負責第一次日報出刊時嚴重地失誤。在最後一刻,經理編輯來解救我。他沒有痛罵我一頓,甚至沒把我解僱。他只把我帶到一邊,表示對我有信心,並提供一些對我將來工作有幫助的建議。

另一次是當我被僱用成為CBMC的同工,雖然我在某些方面缺乏專業,但一份對我的心理評估說我是「石堆中的鑽石」。而且我當時的老闆選擇看我的潛力,而不是看我過去的成績。再一次,我成為「恩典」的受惠者。

在聖經中,我們也發現許多恩典的例子:雅各欺騙哥哥以掃,奪得長子的名份;約瑟在兄長面前炫耀父親的寵愛;摩西殺了一個埃及監工;以色列王大衛犯了姦淫,且謀殺他所誘姦女子的丈夫以遮掩自己的罪。然而上帝還是以特別的方式使用他們。

耶穌常常賜恩典給祂自己的「工人」。在約翰福音15章16節,祂提醒那些低下階層的跟隨者:「不是你們揀選了我,是我揀選了你們,並且分派你們去結果子」。後來西門彼得三次否認主,耶穌也饒恕這個衝動的門徒並吩咐他:「你餵養我的羊」(約翰福音21章17節)。就藉著這樸實無華的簡單話語,彼得又恢復服事。

有時一個員工可能顯然不適任某個職位,或者有不當的行為,使得解僱成為僱主的唯一選擇。然而有時當一個人不符合資格,但恩典可能帶來改變,使這個人成為團隊中一個有價值、有生產力的一份子。

思想 / 討論題目
你對本文所定義的「恩典」觀念有何看法? 在你自己的工作經驗中,是否可想到有一次雖然你知道自己可能要面對嚴重的後果,但你卻得到恩典?若有,那是怎樣的情況?最後的結果又是什麼? 無疑的,工作表現和生產力是職場一定會注意的重點。畢竟,一個公司要在這高度競爭的市場存活一定要獲利。但你是否認為恩典可以被實際地應用在每天的企業管理和人事任用上? 你可否想到今天某人--一位員工或同事,或甚至家人,可以受惠於你的恩典?註:若你有聖經,請參考有關此議題的其他經文:
羅馬書4章4-8節;以弗所書2章8-9節;提摩太前書1章12-16節;提多書3章5節;希伯來書4章14-16節;雅各書4章6節

EXTENDING GRACE IN THE WORKPLACE
By: Robert J. Tamasy

From time to time we hear people discussing the relative merits of different religions and belief systems, but one of the truly unique aspects of Christianity is the concept of grace, which is defined as “unmerited favor” or “unconditional acceptance.” The idea is that “grace” is not something that can be earned, nor is it something we can receive because it is deserved. In fact, it is receiving what is not deserved.

Grace, as described above, is a concept basically foreign to the workplace. We talk in terms of “earning a living.” Many professionals, especially those in sales, receive compensation on the basis of performance – how much business they generate for their companies, or how well the company performs under their leadership. How often have you heard of an employee being retained even though he or she was “unworthy” or “deserved” to be terminated?

Fortunately, reflecting over my career as a journalist, I can recall several times when I was the beneficiary of grace, occasions when if I had been my own boss, I probably would have fired myself.

In my first year as a newspaper editor, for example, I grew frustrated by a discussion at a city government meeting and stood up to offer some comments of my own. Being very inexperienced, I had not yet realized my job was to report the news, not to create it. As a result, a complaint was expressed to my supervisor. He graciously chose to overlook my journalistic misstep, attributing it to youthful exuberance and naïveté. He did warn me never to repeat this error.

Years later, at another newspaper, I was woefully failing in my first attempt at overseeing production of the morning edition. At the last minute, the managing editor arrived and came to my rescue. Rather than berating me or, even worse, dismissing me, he simply took me aside, affirmed his confidence in me, and offered some suggestions that would be helpful in the future.

Another time was when I was hired to join the staff of CBMC, even though my expertise was lacking in some areas. A psychological profile on me termed me “a diamond in the rough,” and my boss at the time chose to focus on my potential rather than my track record to that point. Once again, I was the recipient of “grace.”

In the Bible we find numerous examples of grace: Jacob, who cheated his brother, Esau, out of his birthright; Joseph, who flaunted being his father”s favorite before his brothers; Moses, who killed an Egyptian labor supervisor; David, the king of Israel, who engaged in adultery and then tried to cover up his sin by murdering the husband of the woman he had seduced. Yet each was used by God is unusual and extraordinary ways.

Jesus frequently extended grace to His own “workers.” In John 15:16, He reminded his rag-tag bunch of followers, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit.” Later, after Simon Peter had betrayed Him three times, Jesus forgave his impetuous disciple and simply instructed him, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17). With those few unadorned words, Peter was restored to service.

Obviously, an employee might be clearly unsuited for a specific job, or unethical or immoral behavior might make termination the only option. But sometimes when a person is not “measuring up,” the extending of grace might make all the difference in whether the individual become a valued, productive member of the team.

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 of more than 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of 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: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress).

Reflection/Discussion Questions
What are your thoughts about the concept of “grace,” as defined in this Monday Manna? In your own work experience, can you think of a time when you were extended grace, even though you knew that you probably deserved to face severe consequences? If so, what were the circumstances – and what was the eventual outcome? Performance and productivity, without question, must command attention in the workplace. After all, for a company to survive in the highly competitive marketplace, it must be profitable. But how – if at all – do you think that grace can realistically be applied in the day to day managing and directing of personnel? Can you think of someone – an employee or coworker, or even a member of your family – that might benefit from an act of grace on your behalf today?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Romans 4:4-8; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 1:12-16; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 4:14-16; James 4:6

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