By Rudolfs Danis Smits
路德說過一段令人振奮的話：「一個在掃廚房地板的女僕也是在做神的工作，跟那些禱告的修道士一樣。不是因為她唱聖歌，而是因為神也喜歡乾淨的地板。一個相信基督的鞋匠把鞋做好，就是做神的工了，因為神也喜歡好手藝。他並不需要小十字架放在鞋子上面。」我們被呼召要把工作做好，如同以弗所書二章10節告訴我們的: 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。
明白我們個人的職業上的呼召能帶來自我實現、快樂以及繁榮的社會 。「這話是可信的。我也願你把這些事切切實實地講明，使那些已信 神的人留心做正經事業（或譯：留心行善）。這都是美事，並且與人有益。」 (提多書3章8節)
明白職業上的呼召能幫助我們在工作上追求卓越，更靠近神的真理和祂所做的工 。歐斯．金氏(Os Guinness)(作家、社會學家、三一論壇創辦者)告訴我們：「呼召是神叫我們果斷地靠近祂，明白自己是誰、所做的事、用我們所擁有的，活出祂的教導和對祂的服事」。
[email protected]版權所有 魯道夫．丹尼斯．史密特 前企業主，目前是席爾國際企業的設計師和科技部經理。席爾國際為規劃和建築風險管理顧問公司。他也是CBMC拉脫維亞的創始會員以及理事會成員、波羅地海改革宗神學院創始成員以及前歐洲CBMC理事會成員。
我們需要忠誠、勤勞以及技能來服事我們的客戶以及神。你同意這三個條件會幫助我們做好工作和服務社會嗎？分享因為運用這些原則而對社會有正面影響的例子。 APPLE創辦人史提芬‧賈伯斯是一個劃時代的創新者，他一直沒有放棄自己的理想。他說: 「要把工作做好唯一的道路就是熱愛你的工作。」你喜歡自己的工作嗎？或者你經常看著時鐘，巴不得下班時間快點到？你期待使用自己的天賦、能力、技能把工作做到最好嗎？你覺得工作如何定義你是甚麼樣的人、反應你的信念呢？ 史提芬‧賈伯斯說: 「強烈希望能改變世界的人是那些動手執行的人」。馬丁．路德也透過挺身而出戰勝那些反對的聲浪，為整個歐洲帶來改變。為什麼一個明白自己呼召的人能夠勝過困難和試煉？為什麼明白自己的呼召對社會、企業和商業非常重要？請分享你的答案。 有呼召的人能把手中的工作做到最好，也帶來自信。提多書二章7節告訴我們:你自己凡事要顯出善行的榜樣；在教訓上要正直、端莊。卓越的工作來自誰？把工作做好的最好方法是甚麼？
備註: 如果你手上有聖經，希望知道更多關於這個主題的經文，請參考：馬太福音 5:16, 歌羅西書 3:23-24, 提摩太前書 6:18, 提多書 3:14, 希伯來書 10:24, 雅各書 2:14, 3:13
THE BUSINESS OF CALLING (Part 2)
By Rudolfs Dainis Smits
This year Christian history celebrates 500 years since the Reformation in Europe began. The Reformation changed the Church, impacting Western civilization and its teachings on calling. This view of work revitalized the marketplace. It is worth considering how the Reformation revolutionized the way we can approach work.
Martin Luther, a professor of moral theology and one of the Reformation”s principal leaders, challenged established religious authority on many matters of faith, vocation and work. He taught that every man and woman is called by God, regardless of vocation or position. Because of that, we are to work faithfully, with diligence and dignity. These principles might seem self-evident in today”s society, but they were not so evident then. Our work, profession, business or mission – whatever our hands find to do – when guided by personal passion and a love to serve, will prosper society and honor God.
A provocative quote attributed to Luther explains: “The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk whom prays – not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” We have been called to do good works, as Ephesians 2:10 tells us: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Luther taught vocation is the means and a platform by which we serve society and God. Through work, business or ministry we provide products, services and leadership, and bring a multitude of benefits to individuals and society. Through the combined the talent, ability and skill of various individuals, our work, professions and businesses provide goods and services for others and secure our own livelihoods. It is not by pursuing personal gain or profit, but excellence in service that truly benefits and impacts community. Any honorable calling or worthy goal can be traced along a path of just and faithful decision-making and service. Fulfilling our vocations with discipline, skill and excellence leads to growth necessary to sustain a business, bless society and glorify God.
Understanding our personal vocation will bring personal fulfillment, joy and prosper society. “The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people” (Titus 3:8).
Understanding vocation helps us to see work done in excellence draws us to God”s truth and service. “Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to his summons and service.” – Os Guinness, author, sociologist, co-founder Trinity Forum.
Understanding calling does not prescribe success or ensure status, but strengthens us to overcome difficulties and trials. Calling may bring you directly into trials and failure, because obedience to God is not necessarily a matter of success. Martin Luther risked imprisonment when he posted his 95-point thesis on the door of the Wittenberg Castle. He was ready to suffer death by teaching and defending biblical doctrine that opposed established church authority. His passion for understanding and teaching what the Bible taught, a clear conscience and obedience to God, allowed him to remain faithful to God”s work in him. “…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Luther”s dedication liberated the church and revolutionized understanding of vocation and established today”s work ethic essential to any business.
© 2017. Rudolfs Dainis Smits, MATS BArch Dipl. Arch – architect & business owner; currently Design & Technical manager for Hill International – Project and Construction Risk management; former chairmen and board member of CBMC Latvia; founding member of Reformed Baltic Theological Seminary, Riga, Latvia and former Europartners board member.
Vocation requires faithfulness, diligence, and skillfully executed work to serve our clients and honors God. Do you agree that these principles promote good work and serve society? What are examples of when you have seen these principles at work and make positive impact? The late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, was a revolutionary, creative innovator who did not give up on his ideas. He stated, “The only way to great work is to love what you do.” Do you love what you do, or are you just watching the clock tick until the workday is over? What motivates you to use your talents, abilities and skills to perform at your best? In what ways should work define who you are (or who you are not)? How should work reflect what you believe (or do not)? “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones that do” – Steve Jobs. Martin Luther overcame great opposition to bring change that impacted all of Europe. Why does understanding personal vocation help us overcome obstacles and trials, and why is this so important for society, business and trade? Vocation fosters excellence and gives dignity to what we do. Titus 2:7 says, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity.” With whom does quality work begin, and what is the best way to facilitate good work?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Matthew 5:16, Colossians 3:23-24, 1 Timothy 6:18, Titus 3:14, Hebrews 10:24, James 2:14, 3:13