更多的感恩

By Ed Thompson

在競爭激烈的工商社會裡,感恩這個美德並不常見。每年大概到了感恩節的時候,我們才會被提醒一次。但是感恩不應該只侷限在每年一次的假日。每天早上醒來,感覺身體健康和能夠去工作,我們就應該存著感恩的心。雖然大部分的時候,我們會遇到大大小小的問題或苦難,但是仍然有許多值得感恩的地方。

前些日子,我聽到大衛耶利米博士(Dr. David Jeremiah)建議我們使用六個字的感謝詞。不久之後,在一個弟兄小組裡面,我們就討論這個主題。在腦力激盪的時候,我問了大家一些簡單的問題,結果得到了一些很棒的想法。我把它們列在下面,希望對你們有幫助:

第一個詞-關係。我問小組的弟兄們:「請告訴我們甚麼樣的關係,會讓你覺得很感恩?」他們的回答裡面有許多關於婚姻、友誼以及愛的動人故事。這些都浮現出上帝賜予的關係。

第二個詞-回想。另一個男士請我們分享:「你記得在你生命中,哪個時刻會令你感到感恩?」

第三個詞-反思。反思這個詞除了回想之外,還有更深一層的涵意是回想之後產生的效應。有一個男士就承認說:「對於把工作放在妻子和家人之上,我深刻地感到後悔。今天,很感謝神,我的妻子和家人仍然愛我,仍願意和我在一起。」

第四個詞-喜樂。這位弟兄也談到從神來的喜樂,保守了他的婚姻和家庭。雖然有些人認為男人哭泣不像男人,但是他的眼淚讓我們也感受到神的良善,讓我們的生命喜樂。因為聽到這些故事,我們心裡感到特別的感謝,也希望其他人的經驗能成為我們的生命故事。

第五個詞:回應。另一個弟兄告訴我們一個很不尋常的故事。他的妻子和小孩因為沒有他的照顧和支持,選擇離開。但是他希望能靠著神的幫助,重新把他們找回來。我們就為他禱告,希望最後他的家庭能夠重新被修復。

第六個詞-走出去。當弟兄們聽到家附近樹林旁有無家可歸的人時,其中一位就決定要開始弱勢的外展事工,如同耶穌所做的。走出去服務他人,能讓我們去感恩,也被感恩。如同耶穌所說:「施比受更有福。」(使徒行傳20章35節)。因為我們能把自己所有的資源與人分享,無論是物質、能力或是時間。我們就能經歷到幫助別人,自己就能經歷到感恩。

這六個詞幫助你每天經歷更多感恩嗎?「凡事感恩,因為這是神在耶穌基督裡面向你們所訂的旨意。」(帖撒羅尼迦前書5章18節)

Ed Thompson住在美國北卡羅萊納州的真姆斯敦,也是單一目標事工的主持人。他的著作是每週e激盪,內容為職場默想材料。他的網址是is www.singlepurposeministries.net.

省思/討論題目

感恩是你經常有的態度或是情緒嗎?或者你覺得要到節日或是特別的時候,你才會想到要感恩?分享你的答案。 你能想起那個時刻是你自然而然就想要感恩、或是覺得自己應該要感恩的嗎? 無論是在職場上、工作中、家庭裡或是個人生活上,你覺得文章中六個字裡面的哪一個字,會讓你最想要感恩? 週一嗎哪中提到,感恩在職場中並非經常被討論的議題。你覺得原因是甚麼?要改變這種狀況要如何做?我們能做些甚麼,讓更多的感恩進入職場嗎?

備註: 如果你手上有聖經,想要閱讀更多關於這個主題的經節,請參考:詩篇 50篇14節、147篇7節;哥林多後書4章15節、9章11節;以弗所書5章20節;歌羅西書2章7節、3章16-17節

SIX WORDS FOR GREATER THANKFULNESS

By Ed Thompson

A virtue we see too rarely in the business and professional world is thankfulness. We are reminded of it once a year in many countries when we observe Thanksgiving Day, but being thankful should not be limited to an annual holiday. The common act of awakening each morning, feeling healthy and able to work should inspire in us a spirit of thankfulness. Most days we encounter problems and adversity to varying degrees, but we can still find many reasons for feeling thankful.

Some time ago I heard a message from Dr. David Jeremiah in which he listed six words he suggested could equip people to live more thankfully. Not long afterward, in a men's group we discussed these six words. To stimulate our thinking, I asked simple questions that resulted in some profound encounters with one another. Perhaps you will find these thoughts helpful as well:

Word #1 – Relationships. I asked the men, "Tell the rest of us about a special relationship you have (or have had) that makes you deeply thankful." In response, we heard some moving stories about marriages, friendships, and acts of love that have emerged out of God-given relationships.

Word #2 – Remembering: Another man asked, "What defining moments do you remember in your life that make you thankful? Tell us about one of them."

Word #3 – Reflecting: This word has the effect of taking remembering to a deeper level. One man confessed, "I can't help but reflect on all the times I chose work over my wife and family. Today, I thank God that despite that, they love me and stuck with me."

Word #4 – Rejoicing: The same man who talked about reflecting began rejoicing about how God had preserved his marriage and family throughout his life. There are some who would say crying is “unmanly,” but his tears stirred the rest of us to also rejoice in God's goodness in our own lives. We encountered special gratitude simply by being exposed to one another's stories, and applying their insights to our own lifetime experiences.

Word #5 – Responding: Another man had a very different story. His wife and children had left him due his lack of provision and support for their needs. This man declared that with God's help, he was going to try to win them back. The rest of us responded to him with support and prayer, hoping for an outcome of restoration for him and his family.

Word #6 – The final term we discussed was actually a phrase: Reaching Out. After hearing a story about visiting homeless people in a wooded area, the men determined to reflect on where they might begin to reach out to the poor and hurting as God leads them. We agreed that serving others gratifies our hearts as much as (or more than) the lives we serve. As Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), in part because as we give from our resources – whether it involves our material possessions, our abilities, or our time – we experience the thankfulness of being able to help others.

Can these six words help you in experiencing more thankfulness daily in your life? Have you learned the blessing of the admonition, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God”s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)?

Ed Thompson lives in Jamestown, N.C. and directs Single Purpose Ministries. He writes “Weekly E-Blast,” a workplace meditation. His website is www.singlepurposeministries.net.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

Is thankfulness an attitude or emotion you experience often, or do you find it necessary to have a designated holiday or special occasion to remind you to be thankful? Explain your answer. What can you think of at this moment – without much effort – that makes you feel thankfulness, or for which you know you should be thankful? Which of the six words prompts you the most to a renewed sense of thankfulness for aspects of your life, whether in your career, your family, or some other aspect of your personal life? As stated from the outset of this “Monday Manna,” thankfulness is not a topic we often hear discussed in the workplace. Why do you think that is? What, if anything, do you think should be done to change that? What could you do to introduce more thankfulness into your own working environment?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Psalm 50:14, 147:7; 2 Corinthians 4:15, 9:11; Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 2:7, 3:16-17

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