Friday, June 14, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

面對恐懼 -「不懼怕」

By Robert J. Tamasy

人類最常見的情緒之一是恐懼。心理學家對於人們感覺到環境中有威脅時的反應,有一個名詞叫作「打或逃反應」。我們或者會去對抗威脅我們的人、事、物,或者我們會逃跑以躲避可能的災難。

然而,還有第三種反應,這種反應是所謂的心理學專家不可能推薦的。這種反應很簡單,就是「不懼怕」。不久前我聽到一位來自西非獅頭山國的講員說:「不懼怕」這個詞出現在聖經裡365次,似乎是一年裡的每一天都需要一次。

因為獅子山共和國在最近幾年經歷了不少患難,從經濟困境,伊波拉病毒的爆發,到內部不和,所以講員在苦難這個議題上受了很好的訓練。而他表示他決心要遵循「不懼怕」的勸誡。

對照我們所處的工商專業界情況又如何呢?那是動蕩不安、不可預測、而且可能在一夜之間王子變貧民的環境。企業家們知道開創一項事業是有風險的。同樣地,公司裡的主管和經理常常在壓力下工作;若沒達到公司要求,他們就要打包走人,另謀高就。

工作中,當我們面對偉大計劃的最後期限,往往會伴隨著相當大的焦慮,例如:特別感到計劃似乎不切實際或難以達成;另外,當一位重要客戶對我們的產品或服務不滿意,而他的理由是我們無法掌控的,我們會害怕失去他們的生意…。可能的失敗潛伏在每個角落。所以我們如何能「不懼怕」?

從人來看,要「不懼怕」是不可能的,即便可能也是非常困難。但因為這命令來自上帝,所以祂應許在艱困的時候會供應我們的需要。以下就是一些訣竅:

倚賴上帝的同在。當大衛要把以色列的領導權傳給他的兒子所羅門時,他勸誡他說:「你當剛強壯膽去行!不要懼怕,也不要驚惶。因為耶和華神就是我的神,與你同在;他必不撇下你,也不丟棄你,直到…工作都完畢了」(歷代志上28章20節)

依靠上帝的力量。當困難來臨時,我們常想憑藉著自己的才能與力量解決。然而,上帝告訴我們,要依靠祂和祂的資源。「你不要害怕,因為我與你同在;不要驚惶,因為我是你的神。我必堅固你,我必幫助你;我必用我公義的右手扶持你」(以賽亞書41章10節)

信任上帝的目的和計劃。當意料之外的挫折發生時,我們會懷疑上帝是否關心?甚至祂知道這個狀況嗎?不用擔心,祂應許祂確實知道,也確實關心。在患難之時祂絕不會丟棄我們。「我知道我向你們所懷的意念是賜平安的意念,不是降災禍的意念,要叫你們末後有指望」(耶利米書29章11節)。

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/討論問題
你目前正面臨什麼讓你感到害怕或焦慮的事?你如何面對? 若某人看到你的困境並告訴你:「不要害怕」,你會怎麼回應? 「懼怕」為何是這樣普遍的情緒?我們要如何分辨自己的懼怕是否合理?我們又該如何避免被它掌控? 你是否相信對上帝的信心--信靠祂的同在、力量、目的和計劃--應該對我們如何面對生命,以及我們是否持續活在懼怕和焦慮中,有很大的影響?為什麼?註:若你有聖經且想要讀更多有關此主題的經文,請參考以下經節:創世記46章2-4節;約書亞記1章6-9節;馬太福音1章18-21節,10章21-28節;路加福音12章4-7節;希伯來書13章6節


FEARING NOT IN THE FACE OF FEARFUL FACTORS
By Robert J. Tamasy

One of the most common emotions is fear. Psychologists have a term for our reaction to circumstances we perceive as threatening. It is called the “fight or flight” response. We either confront the persons or situations that threaten us in some way, or we flee, seeking to avoid or even escape potential calamity.

There is, however, a third response, one we are not likely to hear recommended by supposed experts on the human psyche. This reaction is simply to “fear not.” Not long ago I heard a speaker from the west African nation of Sierra Leone who noted the words “fear not” appear in the Bible 365 times, seemingly one for every day in the calendar year.

Since people in Sierra Leone have experienced any number of adversities in recent years, ranging from economic struggles to outbreaks of the Ebola virus to civil discord, the speaker was well-schooled in the subject of fear. And yet he repeatedly declared his determination to follow the exhortation to “fear not” – “do not be afraid.”

But what about the environment where we spend much of our time, the business and professional world? It is volatile, unpredictable, and can turn a prince into a pauper virtually overnight. Those possessing an entrepreneurial spirit know starting a business is risky. In the corporate world, executives and managers are constantly under pressure to produce; failure to do so can result in having to pack up their offices and find employment elsewhere.

Ambitious deadlines often cause considerable anxiety; fear arises when those deadlines seem unrealistic or unattainable. When a key client or customer becomes unhappy with our products or services, we fear losing their business, even if their reasons for dissatisfaction are beyond our control. Potential failure lurks at every corner. So how can we “fear not”?

Humanly speaking, this is difficult, if not impossible. But since the command comes from God, it seems accompanied by His promise to provide what we need during difficult times. Here are examples:

Rely on God”s presence. As David was preparing to surrender the leadership of Israel, he exhorted his son Solomon, his successor as king, “…”Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work…is finished”” (1 Chronicles 28:20).

Depend on God”s power. When trouble arrives, we are tempted to deal with it in our ability and strength alone. God tells us, however, to rely on Him and His resources. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

Trust in God”s purpose and plans. When unexpected setbacks occur, we wonder whether God cares – or if He is even aware. He promises He does know, and does care. He is never caught off guard by times of adversity. “”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”” (Jeremiah 29:11).

© 2015. 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
What are you currently facing that is causing you some fear or anxiety? How are you dealing with it? If someone were to look at your difficult circumstances and tell you, “Fear not,” how would you respond? Why do you think fear is such a common emotion? How can we discern whether fear is justified or not – and how can we avoid letting it control us? Do you believe faith and confidence in God – trusting in His presence, power, purpose and plans – should have a significant effect on how we approach life, and whether we live in a state of continual fear and anxiety? Why or why not?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Genesis 46:2-4; Joshua 1:6-9; Matthew 1:18-21, 10:21-28; Luke 12:4-7; Hebrews 13:6

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