Monday, June 17, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

重做一次或一個新的開始?

By:Robert J. Tamasy

對我們每一個人而言,又一年的結束意味著不同的事。有些企業是根據年曆來訂他們的會計年度,所以對他們而言,這是評估這一年是否像當初所計劃的那麼好,並預測即將來臨的這一年。

我們許多人會回顧這一年的勝利與挫敗,喜悅和沮喪。有些人會快樂地省思,想著過去12個月他們所經歷許多積極正面的事。另外有些人則採取「樂得擺脫」的態度,高興地向散亂著失望和沒有實現的希望和夢想的這一年說再見。

還有一些人以後悔的眼光看待過去這一年,對於過去沒有仔細考慮的事,或不適當的話,渴望一個「重新再做」的機會。而還有人把一年的結束和另一年的開始視為一個全新開始的機會,一個訂立新目標和新決定的機會。

當你準備著開始新的一年,數著今年最後的幾天,你的想法是什麼?很滿意過去的這一年,且帶著極大的期待盼望著新的一年?對這一年終於要結束而感到鬆了一口氣,希望新的一年會更好?在過去這一年所建立的基礎上,期盼能在來年看到更大且更好的成果?

不論你是持什麼觀點,當我們準備(不論準備好或未準備好)要從這一年進入明年,聖經提供了一些有幫助的原則:

在過去的基礎上建立一個更好的未來。這似乎很奇怪,但我們常常是透過掙扎與失敗才學到最多。這幫助我們比較容易認清哪裡出錯,然後在繼續向前行時,我們可以立志不重覆同樣的錯誤。「我的弟兄們,你們落在百般試煉中,都要以為大喜樂;因為知道你們的信心經過試驗,就生忍耐。但忍耐也當成功,使你們成全、完備,毫無缺欠」(雅各書1章2-4節)。

不要停留在過去。我們可以從過去學到功課,但停留在過去可能導致情緒的麻痺癱瘓。使徒保羅非常了解,過去的錯誤無法改變。所以他決定繼續向前看,專注在上帝賜給他的使命。「弟兄們,我不是以為自己已經得著了;我只有一件事,就是忘記背後,努力面前的,向著標竿直跑,要得神在基督耶穌裡從上面召我來得的獎賞」(腓立比書3章13-14節)。

在繼續進行前先仔細預備。我們可以設立計劃並定出目標,但那些是正確的計劃和目標嗎?聖經力勸我們向上帝求智慧,知道如何進行以及何時進行。「你們中間若有缺少智慧的,應當求那厚賜與眾人、也不斥責人的神,主就必賜給他」(雅各書1章5)。

帶著信心前進。我們常常禱告求上帝賜下智慧與指引,然後立刻又開始懷疑祂帶領的道路是否是我們應該走的路。信心不僅是求問,也是願意接受祂所顯示的並且去行動。「只要憑著信心求,一點不疑惑;因為那疑惑的人,就像海中的波浪,被風吹動翻騰。這樣的人不要想從主那裡得什麼。心懷二意的人,在他一切所行的路上都沒有定見」(雅各書1章6-8)。

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。

省思/討論題目
當你看到這一年即將結束,新的一年又要開始,你立刻會有什麼想法、憂慮與希望? 你把來年視為可以「重做一次」的嶄新開始,或是擔憂與焦慮的新來源?請解釋。 你是否發現自己以一種不健康、無生產力的方式停留在過去?或者你認識某人是如此?這樣的停留有什麼結果? 在來年中,在你的生命和工作中,你如何看待上帝的角色?你是否看到祂的角色有重大的意義?為什麼?若你想看或討論聖經對此主題的其他部份,請看以下經文:詩篇37篇4-5節;箴言16章3-4節,16章9節,19章21節,20章24節,21章30節,27章1節;馬太福音6章25-34節;腓立比書3章7-11節

A “DO-OVER” – OR A NEW START?
By Robert J. Tamasy

For each of us, the end of another year can mean different things. Some businesses base their fiscal years on the annual calendar, so for them it is a time for assessing the year just concluded as well as planning and forecasting for the year about to start.

Many of us will look back over the year and recall our triumphs and defeats, our joys and discouragements. Some will reflect happily, thinking of many positive things they experienced over the past 12 months. Others will take an attitude of “good riddance,” glad to say farewell to a year littered with disappointments and unfulfilled hopes and dreams.

There are those who will view the past year with regrets, longing for a “do over,” an opportunity to redo poorly advised things they did or unfortunate words they spoke. And others will regard the end of one year and the birth of another as an opportunity for a new start, a chance to create new goals and pursue new resolutions.

As you prepare to start a new calendar, counting off the final days of this year, what are your thoughts? Pleased with the past year and looking ahead at the new year with great anticipation? Relieved the past year is at its end, hopeful the new year will be better? Expecting to build on foundations you established over the year past, expecting to see bigger and better things over the year to come?

Regardless of which perspective you are holding, the Bible offers some helpful guidelines as we (ready or not), make the transition from one year to the next:

Build on the past for a better future. Strange as it seems, we often learn best through struggle and failure. It can be easier to identify what went wrong, so moving forward we resolve not to repeat the same mistakes. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

Do not dwell on the past. We can learn from the past, but dwelling on it can result in emotional paralysis. Wrongs in the past cannot be undone, as the apostle Paul knew so well. So he determined to keep looking forward, focused on the mission God had given him. “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Prepare carefully before proceeding. We can devise plans and set goals, but are they the right ones? The Scriptures urge us to turn to God for wisdom on how to proceed – and when. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).

Proceed in faith. Often we pray, asking God for wisdom and direction, then immediately begin to question whether the way He seems to be leading us is the way we should go. Faith is not just a matter of asking; it is being willing to accept and act on whatever He reveals. “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (James 1:6).

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
As you look ahead to the end of the current year and the start of a new one, what are your immediate thoughts, concerns and hopes? Do you see the coming year as a “do over,” a fresh start, or as a new source of worry and anxiety? Explain your answer. Have you ever found yourself dwelling on the past in an unhealthy, counterproductive way? Or have you known someone else that has? What has been the outcome of such a fixation? How do you see God”s role in your life – and your work – in the coming year? Do you see Him having any significant role in it at all? Why or why not?If you would like to look at or discuss other portions from the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages: Psalm 37:4-5; Proverbs 16:3-4, 16:9, 19:21, 20:24, 21:30, 27:1; Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 3:7-11

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