宣告職場得自由

By:Robert J. Tamasy

七月四日是週一嗎哪正式開始的日期。在世界上許多地方,七月四日只是一個普通的日子。 但是七月四日在美國是一年一度的國慶日,用來紀念美國在1776年宣布脫離英國嚴苛的統治獨立。

「自由」對你的意義是甚麼? 有人說「自由」是指可以做自己想做的事;其他人則說,「自由」是脫離壓迫或是不合理的控制。字典達康將「自由」定義為「被釋放的狀態」沒有在身體上受到限制或是免於外在的控制、干擾和規定;或是有不受限制做決定的權力。

在商業和專業的領域裡,創業者特別注重自由。他們做自己喜歡的工作,在自己想要的時間和地點用自己想要的方式工作。當然,要能這樣工作,必須有能支持這樣工作型態的資源。

當我想到「自由」,第一個想到的就是人在工作上的選擇和信心。在講究務實的商業環境理,信心似乎沒有存在的空間。然而,實際上,我卻相信聖經給我們清楚的指引,讓我們成為我們想要成為的工商人士。以下就是聖經的原則:

我們有成為神造我們樣式的自由。為什麼我們不會去比較福斯汽車和一級方程式賽車? 因為兩種車子被造的目的不同,如果你想要一輛舒適的、經濟的休旅車,你不會選擇一級方程式賽車。 同樣的,我們每個人被造都是獨特的。每個人都有神給的個性、興趣、技能和能力,使我們與其他人不同。知道我們被造都是獨特的,讓我們找到適合自己的職業。『我們原是他的工作,在基督耶穌裏造成的,為要叫我們行善,就是 神所預備叫我們行的。』(以弗所書2章10節)

我們有自由去做對的事情。在要求高、競爭激烈的二十一世紀商場,為了要成功,有許多誘惑會要我們犧牲自己的原則、妥協自己的信仰。然而要信靠神而非外在的環境,讓我們能持守住誠實和純全。『基督釋放了我們,叫我們得以自由。所以要站立得穩,不要再被奴僕的軛挾制。』『弟兄們,你們蒙召是要得自由,只是不可將你們的自由當作放縱情慾的機會,總要用愛心互相服事。』(加拉太書5章1,13節)

我們有免於恐懼的自由。無疑的,我們住在一個充滿恐懼和不確定的年代。經濟、政治、全球性的不確定都讓我們充滿焦慮。但是我們要相信神掌權並且祂顧念我們每一個人。這樣的信念可以給我們在其他地方找不到的信心和平安。『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)『你不要害怕,因為我與你同在;不要驚惶,因為我是你的 神。我必堅固你,我必幫助你;我必用我公義的右手扶持你。』 (以賽亞書41章10節)

我們有感謝神所賜資源的自由。如果你要開始做新的生意,一個富有的贊助人是很有幫助的。聖經說,神是萬事萬物最終的擁有者。祂很慷慨的提供祂的資源給我們使用。如果我們順服祂來做事,祂應許供應我們的需要。『我的 神必照他榮耀的豐富,在基督耶穌裏,使你們一切所需用的都充足』。(腓立比書4章19節)

Robert J. Tamasy是亞特蘭大「領袖遺產」 (一個非營利性機構) 通訊部的副總裁。他是一個有39年經驗的資深記者,也是多本著作的作者,包括Tufting Legacies; Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press);也與David A. Stoddard合著The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress)。欲知更多詳情可上www.leaderslegacy.com網站或是他的部落格 www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com。

思想 / 討論題目
你對「自由」的定義是甚麼?在你所處的工作環境或是人際關係中,甚麼樣的情況讓你感到「自由」? 在文章中提到,信心並不會與務實、現實的商場相牴觸。對此你的看法為何?你同意不同意? 在你的經驗裡,信念或是個人的屬靈信念,如何影響你在工作職場裡的行為? 你認為真實的、成長中的信心如何能在詭譎多變、不確定的大環境中給工商人士自由?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
約書亞記1章6-9節, 詩篇37篇4-5節, 139篇14節, 箴言10章9節, 11章3節, 13章9節, 傳道書5章19節, 耶利米書29章11節

DECLARATION OF FREEDOM – FOR THE WORKPLACE

By Robert J. Tamasy

The official date for this “Monday Manna” is July 4. In many parts of the world, this is just another day. However, as you might know, the Fourth of July in the United States is the annual celebration of “Independence Day.” It commemorates the date in 1776 when the “colonies” declared freedom from Great Britain”s sovereign rule.

What does the word “freedom” mean to you? Some might say it means being able to do whatever you wish. To others it means being free of oppression or unreasonable control. Dictionary.com defines it as: “the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint; exemption from external control, interference, regulation; the power to determine action without restraint.”

Freedom is something cherished in the business and professional world, especially by those with entrepreneurial bents. They enjoy being able to do the kind of work they like, where and when they want to do it, how they prefer to do it. Of course, one important element is having the resources necessary to pursue our vocational desires.

When I think of freedom, one thought that comes to mind is the intersection of one”s work (or career) and faith. There are those who would contend the pragmatic, bottom line-oriented business environment has no room for faith. But I would disagree. In fact, I believe the Bible gives us clear guidelines for becoming the business and professional people we would like to be. Consider the following:

Freedom to become what we are designed to be. The reason we never see Volkswagens competing in a Formula One event is because they are not designed for that purpose. At the same time, if you want a comfortable, economical vehicle for traveling, you will not choose a Formula One racer. In a similar sense, we each are uniquely designed, with a mix of God-given personality, interests, skills and abilities that distinguish us from our peers. Recognizing this frees us to find professional fulfillment. “For we are God”s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Freedom to do what is right. In the demanding, competitive marketplace of the 21st century, there are many temptations to sacrifice our principles, to compromise our convictions, to achieve success. But trust in God – rather than in external circumstances – frees us to hold fast to those values that breed honesty and integrity, that foster trust. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…. You, my brothers, were called to be free…. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:1,13).

Freedom from fear. Without question, we live in fearful, unpredictable times. Economic, political and global uncertainties can fill us with anxiety. But trusting God is in control – and that He cares for us personally – can give us confidence and assurance we can find nowhere else. “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). “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

Freedom to appropriate God”s resources. If you were starting a new business, it would be helpful to have the help of a wealthy benefactor. The Bible says God ultimately is the owner of everything, and He generously offers His resources for our use. If we are doing what He wants, He promises to provide for our needs. “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

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 journalist for 40 years, he is the author of 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
What is your own definition for “freedom”? Would you say that in your given situation – your work or personal circumstances – you feel “free”? Explain your answer. The statement is made that pragmatic, bottom line-oriented marketplace practices need not be considered to be in conflict with matters of faith. Do you agree? Why or why not? In your experience, how has faith – your spiritual beliefs – influenced how you conduct yourself in the workplace? How do you think a genuine, growing faith could offer a sense of freedom to people in the business and professional world, despite its constant changes and ever-present uncertainties?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Joshua 1:6-9; Psalm 37:4-5, 139:14; Proverbs 10:9, 11:3, 13:6; Ecclesiastes 5:19; Jeremiah 29:11

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