委身的類型與程度

By: Jim Mathis

承諾有不同的程度和類型。我最喜歡的比喻就是有培根和蛋的早餐。在準備早餐的過程中,有人說供應蛋的雞也貢獻一己之力,而提供培根的豬則是全然委身了。

有一些人似乎從不委身於任何事,有些人則太快委身。有些人不那麼快委身,但是一但做了決定,他們就盡全力去做。我發現自己就屬於後者。

幾年前,我太太和我參加一個一週一次的讀經團體。我們每週四晚上見面,持續了七年。那時我們只有一次或是兩次因為旅行沒有去聚會。在那個團體裡,有六對夫婦,但是我們十二個人很少會全部都到。對我來說,這是一個想令我想不懂的事:為何人們無法堅持承諾?

最後我想出於原因來了:人們用不同的方式委身。有些人對其他的人委身,有些人則是對一件事委身。對我們來說,那個讀經團體很重要,尤其是團體中人與人之間的關係。我們對人委身,而非對參加讀經團體這件事委身。對我們來說不參加很簡單,但是我們覺得不能讓我們的朋友失望,即使多數的時候,他們表現出一付我們對他們並非十分的重要的樣子。

同樣的原則也被應用在商業的場合之中。我太太和我也許會委身於一件事情,但是常常我們發現自己是委身於參與這件事的人們。這就是為什麼當一件事的過程被放在人的關係之前時,我們常常發現有摩擦。通常我們會找自己喜歡的人做生意。最棒的公司也了解這個原則,因此他們雇用了有這樣人格特質的人然後訓練他們技術,而非反其道而行。

人格特質的類型中,也包含了這個人不只委身於事情而已。這裡有一個小小的測驗:假設你和你的朋友正計畫一起做一件事情。例如一起去看電影,但是那個人因故必須要取消原訂的計畫。你會按照原訂計畫找別人或是自己去看電影,或者你會更改你的計畫找你朋友可以一起去的時間再一起去?解決的方法有很多,但是我們每一個人都有委身於事或是委身於人的傾向。

幾年前,我在一個非營利性質的機構,我們做了一個有意識的決定:要停止以事情為導向並開始以人導向。我不確定我們是否達到了甚麼?但是我們發現我們自己快樂很多,並且很感恩在當中所發展的人際關係。

特別是在危難時,我們必須要了解跟你一起工作的人們的委身程度。如同聖經上說:「濫交朋友的,自取敗壞;但有一朋友比弟兄更親密。」(箴言18章24節)

在大部分的狀況之下,有一個委身程度如同之前所提的下蛋的雞就足夠了,但有時你也會需要一位朋友,如同之前所提全然委身的「豬」。

思想 / 討論題目
對於委身的類型:有些人看重事情大於人,有些人則相反,你對此有甚麼看法? 哪一種委身對你來說是最典型的? 你會不會發現自己在面對一些不喜歡委身的人時感到很困擾?當有些人不遵守自己的承諾如你原先所期待時,你會不會感到失望?解釋你的答案。 你對箴言裡面所說:「濫交朋友的,自取敗壞;但有一朋友比弟兄更親密。」有甚麼看法?
註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:撒母耳記上19章1-7節;20章16-17節;箴言18章19節;約翰福音2章23-25節;使徒行傳4章32-35節


TYPES AND LEVELS OF COMMITMENT
By: Jim Mathis

There are different kinds and varying levels of commitment. My favorite analogy to describe the differences is the bacon and eggs breakfast. In the preparation of this breakfast, it could be said the chicken the supplied the eggs was involved, but the hog that provided the bacon was fully committed.

Some people seem never to be able commit to anything, while some are quick to commit and just as quickly, to un-commit. Others are slow in committing, but once a decision is made they go all out, with enthusiasm. I find myself in the last group.

A number of years ago my wife and I were involved with a weekly Bible study group. We met every Thursday night for about seven years. We only missed once or twice during that time, and then solely because we were away on vacation. There were six couples in this group, but it was rare when all 12 of us were in attendance. This was always a mystery to me – why people could not hold to their commitments.

I eventually figured out that people commit differently – some to other people and some to the event. For us, the Bible study was only somewhat important; the relationships, however, were extremely important. We were committed to the people, not the event itself. It would have been easy for us to choose against attending the study, but we felt we could not let our friends down, even though most of them consistently demonstrated through their actions that we were not as important to them.

The same principle has applied to involvement in business settings. My wife and I might try to commit to an event, product or service, but more often than not, we find ourselves committed primarily to the people that are involved. This is why, when a procedure or program is put ahead of relationships, we often find friction. For this reason we seek to do business with people we like. The best companies understand this – they hire for personal qualities they desire and then train for skill, not the other way around.

Some personality types, however, are inclined to commit more to events. Here is a little test: Assume you and a friend are planning to do something together, perhaps to a movie, and that person has to cancel plans. Do you choose to go anyway, finding someone else to accompany you or going by yourself, or do you reschedule for a time when your friend can go? Situations will vary, but each of us has a tendency either to be committed to an event or schedule, or to people.

A few years ago I was on the board of not-for profit organization and we made a conscious decision to stop being event-driven and start being people-driven. I do not know for certain whether we accomplished much more, but we found ourselves a lot happier and appreciated the relationships we developed all the more.

Especially in crisis, you need to understand the commitment level of people that are with you. As it says in the Bible, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

In most instances, having friends with commitment levels comparable to the chicken offering eggs for breakfast is sufficient, but sometimes what you need is the person willing to make a “whole hog” commitment.

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.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

What is your reaction to the contrast of commitment styles, some being more committed to people than to events or programs, and others that put events and programs ahead of people? Which style of commitment is most typical for you? Does it bother you when you find yourself dealing with people who have low levels of commitment? Have you ever been disappointed by individuals that were not as committed to you – or a cause – as you had anticipated? Explain your answers. What you think is the meaning of the verse from Proverbs cited, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”?
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:1 Samuel 19:1-7, 20:16-17; Proverbs 18:19, 27:10; John 2:23-25; Acts 4:32-35


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