是否為會員

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在工作和生活中紀律的力量

THE POWER OF DISCIPLINE AT WORK – AND IN LIFE

(2023/11/27)

當你聽到「有紀律的生活」這個詞時,你會想到什麼?它對你來說有正面還是負面的意涵?「有紀律的生活」這個概念一直很吸引著我,尤其是當我觀察到,那些各領域傑出者,通常都具有高度的紀律。他們努力追求卓越,以達到他們心目中的目標。他們為實現最佳表現而執著不懈。

傑出運動員就是很好的例子。他們有紀律的生活,是發揮真正潛能的必要條件。在聖經中,使徒保羅使用了一個運動比喻。「我是攻克己身,叫身服我,恐怕我傳福音給別人,自己反被棄絕了。」(哥林多前書9章27節) 很多專業都用類似的方式,為各自的領域設立了極高的標準。對許多人而言,只是「做得好」是不夠的。我們要成為最好的,或者至少是在我們選擇的職業中成為最好的之一。

真正的紀律,意味著致力於一種生活方式。這種堅定的承諾,變成是我們持續追求的同義詞,在我多年的基督徒生命,我希望我的信仰與事業能夠一致。我深信這需要將信靠上帝置於首位,甚至是超越其他人和我們自己的需求。我還了解到,這不可能自然而然地發生,因為我們以自我中心的人性,往往會不斷阻礙我們。這需要超自然的力量,需要與基督有那可以改變我們的生命的相遇,才能撼動我們的內心深處。對我來說,這種改變始於多年前,但我的屬靈變化一直持續到今天。

正如在我的職業中追求卓越一樣,基督徒的生活也需要很高的紀律-為了基督的緣故獻上,包括我們的職業追求甚至超越。這適用於公司的執行長、部門經理、銷售代表和維修人員-無論我們做什麼,如果我們為耶穌獻上,它就會影響我們如何看待我們的生活和工作。

這甚至適用於君王。在詩篇86篇1-4節中,以色列的大衛王禱告說 (大衛的祈禱):「耶和華啊,求你側耳應允我,因我是困苦窮乏的。求你保存我的性命,因我是虔誠人。我的神啊,求你拯救這倚靠你的僕人!主啊,求你憐憫我,因我終日求告你。主啊,求你使僕人心裡歡喜,因為我的心仰望你。」你是否能感受到大衛王全心全意的獻上呢?

身為企業或專業人士,你是否渴望透過自己的工作取悅上帝呢?如果是,請考慮過一種有紀律的生活來取悅上帝。在大多數情況下,祂並不期望我們住在修道院或放棄世上所有的財產。祂要求的是我們把他放在第一位,並將他人的需要放在自己的需要之前。

無論我們多麼有紀律,我們也會失足,偶爾會屈服於誘惑。幸運的是,成為基督徒的我們,被承諾允許我們回到上帝希望我們走的道路上。哥林多前書 10章13節告訴我們 :「你們所遇見的試探,無非是人所能受的。神是信實的,必不叫你們受試探過於所能受的;在受試探的時候,總要給你們開一條出路,叫你們能忍受得住。」保羅在接下來的兩節經文中繼續說道:「我所親愛的弟兄啊,你們要逃避拜偶像的事。我好像對明白人說的,你們要審察我的話。」你可以想像,這需要紀律和獻上。


Jim Langley擔任人壽和健康保險經紀人期間已有30多年,他的寫作經歷也是。近年來,他的熱情轉向寫下他與神的個人關係。他的目標是鼓勵其他人來親近神。他是CBMC的長期會員,在2014年開始撰寫「比賽最後四分之一場戰略」。

挑戰思考
你如何評價自己在紀律方面的生活?如果你認為自己還沒有達到理想的狀態,那麼今天你可以做些什麼來開始培養一種在專業上、個人上、還是屬靈上更加有紀律的生活?你認識的人中有誰可以幫助你加強紀律性?如果你認為自己相當有紀律,那麼是否有人可以從你的經驗中受益?

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考下面的經文:
申命記5章28-29節
5:28「你們對我說的話,耶和華都聽見了。耶和華對我說:『這百姓的話,我聽見了;他們所說的都是。
5:29惟願他們存這樣的心敬畏我,常遵守我的一切誡命,使他們和他們的子孫永遠得福。
箴言21章5節
21:5殷勤籌劃的,足致豐裕;行事急躁的,都必缺乏。
馬太福音22章34-40節
22:34法利賽人聽見耶穌堵住了撒都該人的口,他們就聚集。
22:35內中有一個人是律法師,要試探耶穌,就問他說:
22:36「夫子,律法上的誡命,那一條是最大的呢?」
22:37耶穌對他說:「你要盡心、盡性、盡意愛主你的神。
22:38這是誡命中的第一,且是最大的。
22:39其次也相仿,就是要愛人如己。
22:40這兩條誡命是律法和先知一切道理的總綱。」
約翰福音21章18-19節
21:18我實實在在的告訴你,你年少的時候,自己束上帶子,隨意往來;但年老的時候,你要伸出手來,別人要把你束上,帶你到不願意去的地方。」
21:19 (耶穌說這話是指著彼得要怎樣死,榮耀神。)說了這話,就對他說:「你跟從我吧!」
提摩太後書3章16-17節
3:16聖經都是神所默示的(或作:凡神所默示的聖經),於教訓、督責、使人歸正、教導人學義都是有益的,
3:17叫屬神的人得以完全,預備行各樣的善事。

反省與問題討論
第一、你如何定義「紀律」一詞?當你聽到這個詞時,你是從正面的意義理解它,還是帶有負面的含義?請解釋你的答案。
第二、你認為有紀律的生活是什麼樣子?你認為你現在的生活有紀律嗎?為什麼?你能想到認識的人或你聽說過的人中有誰過著(或已經過著)真正有紀律的生活嗎?如果有,他的哪些方面讓你印象深刻呢?
第三、你認為有紀律的屬靈生活如何應用在有紀律的工作生活?你認為它們之間是否應該有關聯?請解釋你的答案。
第四、如果有人認為他們在生活中的任何或大多數方面,都沒有特別遵守紀律,你認為他們可以採取哪些步驟來培養紀律?

 
 

 

MONDAY MANNA
November 27, 2023

THE POWER OF DISCIPLINE AT WORK – AND IN LIFE
By Jim Langley

What comes to mind when you hear the term, “the disciplined life”? Does it carry positive or negative connotations for you? The idea of a disciplined life has always intrigued me, especially since I have observed champions of important causes usually are highly disciplined. They strive for excellence in reaching their perceived goals. They become obsessed with achieving their very best.

Stellar athletes are good examples. Their disciplined lives are necessary for achieving their true potential. In the Bible, the apostle Paul used a sports analogy. He wrote, I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27). Many professions have followed a similar approach, establishing exceptionally high standards for their respective disciplines. Being good is not ‘good enough’ for many of us. We want to become the best, or at least among the best in our chosen vocation.

To be truly disciplined means becoming devoted to a way of life. This deep commitment becomes synonymous with the cause we are pursuing. During the many years I have followed Jesus Christ with a desire to align my faith with my business practices, I have become convinced this requires a life focused on placing trust in God first, even above the needs of others and ourselves. I have also learned this cannot happen naturally, because our self-oriented human nature tends to keep getting in the way. It requires supernatural power, a life-changing encounter with Christ that strikes to our very core. This change began for me many years ago, but my spiritual metamorphosis has continued to this day.

As with attaining excellence in my profession, the Christian life also requires great discipline – becoming devoted to the cause of Christ which includes but also transcends our vocational pursuits. This applies to the CEO of a company, department managers, sales representatives, and maintenance people – no matter what we do, if we are devoted to Jesus, it should affect how we approach our lives and work.

It applies even to royalty. In Psalm 86:1-4, King David of Israel prays, “Hear O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in You. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to You all day long. Bring joy to Your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” Can you sense King David’s dedication and devotion?

As a business or professional person, do you have a desire to please God through your work? If so, consider living a disciplined life that will result in pleasing Him. In most instances, He does not expect us to live in monasteries or give up all our worldly possessions. What He does require is for us to place Him first and others before our own needs.

No matter how disciplined we may be, we all slip and occasionally give into temptations from time to time. Fortunately, those of us who follow Christ are promised a way that allows us to get back on the path our Lord wants us to follow. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we are told, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Paul continues in the next two verses: “Therefore my dear friends flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.” This, as you can imagine, requires discipline and devotion.

© 2023, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his relationship with God. His goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. A long-time member of CBMC, he started writing “Fourth Quarter Strategies” in 2014.

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Reflection/Discussion Questions

 
1.How would you define the word “discipline”? When you hear it, do you understand it in a positive sense, or does it carry negative meaning for you? Explain your answer.


2.What do you think a disciplined life looks like? Do you think you are living a disciplined life right now? Why or why not? Can you think of someone you know – or someone you have heard about – who lives (or has lived) a truly disciplined life? If so, what has stood out about that person?



3.How do you think a disciplined spiritual life can be applied to a disciplined work life? Do you think they should even be related at all? Why or why not?



4.If someone determines they have not been particularly disciplined in any or most of the areas of their life, what initial steps do you think they could take to develop such discipline?




For more about what the Bible says about this topic, consider the following passages:

Deuteronomy 5:28-29; Proverbs 21:5; Matthew 22:34-40; John 21:18-19; 2 Timothy 3:16-17


 

Challenge


How would you evaluate your own life in terms of discipline? If you do not think you are where you would like to be, what could you do today to start cultivating a more disciplined life professionally, personally and spiritually? Who do you know who could help you in developing greater discipline? If you consider yourself to be fairly disciplined, then is there someone who might benefit from your experience?