By Jim Mathis
第二天早晨，我的教會慶祝成立50週年紀念。我參加了詩班，並且拍照。然後我去心地鋼鐵吉他協會（Heartland Steel Guitar Association）參加即興音樂演奏會，我是這協會的創辦成員之一，也擔任幹部。晚上我與妻子去考夫曼表演藝術中心（Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts）欣賞一場音樂會，我們在那中心擔任義工。
思想 / 討論題目
本文作者認為，若你在某件事上做得夠好，就會有人付錢要你去為他們做那個工作。你是否同意？在這方面你有過什麼經驗？ 你是否享受你現在的工作？為什麼？ 作者建議若你要找更好的工作，必須先學習把你目前做的事做得更好。你對此有何回應？ 本文所引述的聖經經文似乎指出，證明自己在小事上忠心可靠，與被升遷或被指派去承擔更大的責任之間有因果關係。你對此有何看法？註：若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文，請看：
THE IMPACT OF INITIATIVE AND HARD WORK
By Jim Mathis
If as they say, “variety is the spice of life,” you might describe my life as fairly “spicy.” One recent weekend was a good example: Saturday afternoon I photographed members of a law firm. From there I went to the local convention center to photograph exhibits I had helped to design. Upon arriving home, I packed my instruments and equipment and left to play with my band, Sky Blue, at a popular coffee shop.
The next morning, my church was celebrating its 50th year anniversary. I sang in the choir and took photos. Then I went to a musical “jam session” presented by the Heartland Steel Guitar Association, of which I am a founding member and officer. That evening my wife and I went to a concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, where we work as volunteers.
Not long ago a friend asked my advice in finding a better job. Frankly, I did not think I could help him much because I have never looked for a job and would not know how to go about finding one. This is because I have always done what I wanted to do, operating on the principle that if you are good enough at anything, somebody will pay you to do it. If not, you can do it just because you enjoy it.
Currently I earn a living doing photography. As I see it, if I am not making enough money, it is either because my pictures are not good enough or I am not showing them to enough people. That is why I spend much of my time learning to be a better photographer and showing people some my photos.
I also earn money playing music and selling books I have written. In both cases, to do better vocationally, I have to be better. I have to learn to play better, write better songs, and learn to become a better writer.
Luke 16:10-12 gives a basic principle for business: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else”s property, who will give you property of your own?"
In other words, if you do the best with what you have, you will have the opportunity to do more.
I experienced a practical illustration of this principle years ago. I wanted a nice car, but could not afford one, so I bought what I could afford. Instead of treating it poorly, I cared for it as if it were a great car. I washed and waxed it every weekend, bought a book on auto detailing, and did all I could to enhance its appearance. One day a car dealer stopped me, stating he had seen me driving the car around town and wanted to know if he could buy it. I agreed to sell it, and with my profit, bought the kind of “nice car” I had always wanted. Treating my old car well had paid off, enabling me to get a better car.
This principle – being trustworthy with whatever you have, so you can prove yourself trustworthy to take on more responsibility – is true in virtually every area of life.
So my advice to my friend that was looking for a better job was simple: If I wanted a better job, I would do a better job. That is all I know how to do.
Jim Mathis is the owner of a photography studio in Overland Park, Kansas, specializing in executive, commercial and theatrical portraits, and operates a school of photography. Jim is the author of High Performance Cameras for Ordinary People, a book on digital photography. He formerly was a coffee shop manager and executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.
Do you agree with Mr. Mathis”s opinion that if you are good enough at doing something, someone will pay you to do that kind of work for them? What has been your experience in that respect? Do you enjoy the kind of work you are doing now? Why or why not? What is your reaction to the advice that to find a better job, one must first learn to do better at what they are presently doing? The Bible verse cited seems to indicate there is a cause-and-effect relationship between proving oneself faithful and reliable in doing lesser tasks before being promoted, or assigned to take on greater levels of responsibility. What are your thoughts about that?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: Proverbs 12:24, 12:27, 13:4, 13:11, 18:9, 21:5, 22:29, 27:18; Colossians 3:23-24