UNDERSTANDING THE TIMES
例如，在歷代志上，我們發現一個很有趣的敘述： 一群偉大的人加入大衛對抗掃羅的戰役。「以薩迦支派，有二百族長都通達時務，知道以色列人所當行的；他們族弟兄都聽從他們的命令。」 (歷代志上 12章32節) 他們是一群對自己處境非常機靈的觀察者，也尋求如何適當地去回應周遭的變化。
古老的智慧書，傳道書，也強調改變是不能避免的。傳道書第3章第1節說:「凡事都有定期，天下萬務都有定時」。這邊也談到工作上的變化有幾種方式：「生有時，死有時；栽種有時，拔出所栽種的也有時；殺戮有時，醫治有時；拆毀有時，建造有時；哭有時，笑有時；哀慟有時，跳舞有時；拋擲石頭有時，堆聚石頭有時；懷抱有時，不懷抱有時；尋找有時，失落有時；保守有時，捨棄有時；撕裂有時，縫補有時；靜默有時，言語有時；」 (傳道書 3章2-7節).
版權所有2018 非傳統商業網路(前身為純全資源中心)。節錄自和Rick Boxx的純全時刻，這本刊物主要是從基督徒的角度來探討職場上正直這個主題。如果希望知道更多關於這個事工或是想訂閱每日純全時刻，請上這個網站: www.unconventionalbusiness.org. Rick Boxx最新出版的書提供用五個關鍵的神的方法來建立企業。
March 5, 2018
UNDERSTANDING THE TIMES
By Rick Boxx
While I was partnering with a friend, Jerry, on a consulting job, he shared a profound insight with Tom, who was one of our clients. Jerry’s observation was simple, but profound: "Success is the greatest impediment to greatness."
Once success settles in, Jerry explained, it is not uncommon for leaders to believe achievements are due to their own professional brilliance. As a result they start to assume their success is perpetual. They think that whatever decisions they make will always prove to yield more success. As markets and conditions change, however, successful people can easily be left behind if they are not constantly looking to understand the times, recognizing when important changes occur and adapting accordingly.
Sometimes in today’s world, it seems the only thing that is unchanging is the reality that things can – and often do – change, sometimes at incredible speed. Embracing the status quo is an excellent strategy if you intend to be left behind while your competitors surge ahead.
Change, of course, is hardly a new concept, although technology and communications have certainly played a role in accelerating the rate and scope of change. The Bible offers some wise observations about change, and the importance of our willingness to respond to it effectively.
For instance, in the book of 1 Chronicles we find an interesting recounting of the great men who joined David in his battle against Saul. We learn about the, "men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do" (1 Chronicles 12:32). They were astute observers of what was occurring around them, seeking to discern how best to respond to changing circumstances.
The ancient book of wisdom, Ecclesiastes, also addresses the inevitability of change. The first verse of the third chapter begins with, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” It addresses changing demands of work in several ways:
“A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…. A time to break down, and a time to build up…. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones…. A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew…” (Ecclesiastes 3:2-7).
As we approach our work – formulating plans, developing strategies, undertaking projects, and evaluating results – it would be extremely beneficial to take a cue from the biblical men of Issachar, constantly seeking to understand the times so we will know what we should do not only to succeed, but also to pursue greatness.
At the same time, excellent leaders know that understanding the times and being willing to change their approach do not require changing or compromising their values. Those remain constant, serving as a lighthouse amid the ever-shifting seas of change.
Copyright 2018, Unconventional Business Network (formerly Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about their ministry or to sign up for Rick’s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org. His latest book and inspiration for their new ministry name, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God’s Way.”
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1. When you read, "Success is the greatest impediment to greatness," what does that say to you?
2. How can we overcome the temptation to become caught up in our successes and fail to recognize and respond to important changes when they occur?
3. Have you ever heard of the “men of Issachar” before, who understood their times and knew what they should do? How can we try to be like them?
4. The book of Ecclesiastes lists a series of things stating when it is “a time for this, and a time for that.” How does having this kind of awareness – knowing when it is time for pursuing one thing or another – affect how you approach your work, or responsibilities you hold within your organization?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 23:13-15, 11:14, 15:22, 14:8, 16:1,3,9, 19:20, 20:24; Luke 14:28-31