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否認—危機—行動

DENIAL – CRISIS - ACTION

(2020/02/17)

幾年來,我注意到自己的血壓一直在升高,每次檢查時,它都會比之前高一點。我一直認為這是因為咖啡攝取過量、疲倦或其他一些容易解釋和忽略的關係。到最後,我的醫生告訴我:「你的血壓太高了,開始要服藥了。」藥物起作用,我的血壓又恢復到正常健康的水平。雖然我一直否認,但醫生強迫我承認自己血壓過高,並制定了治療方案。

還有一次,我的債務增加了。我第一次沒有全額付清信用卡帳單時,情況開始像走在濕滑的斜坡上。我每次都認為自己下個月就會完全付清,但卻沒有。我不肯承認這是一個問題,直到情況演變成危機,金額大到我再也無法容忍。我想出了一個行動計劃,並用幾乎和積累債務相同的時間還清所有債務。

成年之後每一年,我的體重都在增加。我說服自己這是正常現象,而且,我認識許多人的體重都比我重。當時我還認為這是因為體重計失靈、穿的鞋子太重,或是剛吃了一頓大餐的緣故。況且,我告訴自己,我的體重會隨著一天的時間而變化。

最後,當體重超標到一個讓我拒絕測量的數字時,這就變成了一件個人危機。我重新買了一個新的電子秤,並開始在每天的同一時間繪製體重圖表;我拒絕任何會影響體重的合理藉口。又一次,我拒絕面對問題,陷入危機,而後制定行動計劃。

許多年前,我的靈命漂泊不定。年輕時我曾去過教會,甚至有過「宗教經歷」。我回顧這段經歷時確信自己和上帝有好關係,但又覺得好像並不是。最後,我陷入了信仰危機,使我知道自己不得不改變自己的生活。所以我再次開始上教會,加入聖經研究小組。在那裡,我明白自己對上帝的看法還停留在孩童階段,是幾十年前主日學教導的觀點。

經過了一段時間的深思熟慮之後,我決定專心追隨基督——這次是以成年人的身分詳加計畫。就像血壓、債務和體重一樣,我一直否認自己缺乏信心。直到我經歷了一場信心危機,讓我知道事情必須改變。這段危機讓我對耶穌基督有了更新、更成熟的認識。

多年來,我看到同樣的危機出現在許多人的生活中,內容包羅萬象。有些人的否認能力比其他人更高,他們似乎從未感受危機,意識到要採取行動。其他人則面對現實,並在重大危機發生之前採取必要措施。你是否正在否認生命中的某些問題?你會去面對危機並立即採取行動嗎?

我建議你向上帝和值得信賴的朋友尋求幫助:你們尋求我,若專心尋求我,就必尋見。」(耶利米書29章13節)「智慧人大有能力;有知識的人力上加力。你去打仗,要憑智謀;謀士眾多,人便得勝。」(箴言24章5-6節)

©2020JimMathis是堪薩斯州歐弗蘭帕克的作家,攝影師和企業主。他的最新著作是《駱駝和針The Camel and the Needle》,《基督徒看財富和金錢A Christian Looks at Wealth and Money》。他曾任堪薩斯州堪薩斯城和密蘇里州堪薩斯城的CBMC咖啡店經理和執行理事。

備註:如果你手上有聖經,並且希望想閱讀更多聖經所提出的原則,請參考以下經文:
申命記5章32-33節
5:32 所以,你們要照耶和華─你們 神所吩咐的謹守遵行,不可偏離左右。
5:33 耶和華─你們 神所吩咐你們行的,你們都要去行,使你們可以存活得福,並使你們的日子在
所要承受的地上得以長久。」
詩139篇1-12、23節
139:1 耶和華啊,你已經鑒察我,認識我。
139:2 我坐下,我起來,你都曉得;你從遠處知道我的意念。
139:3 我行路,我躺臥,你都細察;你也深知我一切所行的。
139:4 耶和華啊,我舌頭上的話,你沒有一句不知道的。
139:5 你在我前後環繞我,按手在我身上。
139:6 這樣的知識奇妙,是我不能測的,至高,是我不能及的。
139:7 我往哪裏去躲避你的靈?我往哪裏逃、躲避你的面?
139:8 我若升到天上,你在那裏;我若在陰間下榻,你也在那裏。
139:9 我若展開清晨的翅膀,飛到海極居住,
139:10 就是在那裏,你的手必引導我;你的右手也必扶持我。
139:11 我若說:黑暗必定遮蔽我,我周圍的亮光必成為黑夜;
139:12 黑暗也不能遮蔽我,使你不見,黑夜卻如白晝發亮。黑暗和光明,在你看都是一樣。
139:23  神啊,求你鑒察我,知道我的心思,試煉我,知道我的意念,
箴言8章17節
8:17愛我的,我也愛他;懇切尋求我的,必尋得見。
箴言11章14節
11:14 無智謀,民就敗落;謀士多,人便安居。
箴言19章20節
19:20 你要聽勸教,受訓誨,使你終久有智慧。
提摩太前書4章7節
4:7 只是要棄絕那世俗的言語和老婦荒渺的話,在敬虔上操練自己。

反省與問題討論
第一、你是否遇到過債務、健康、破壞性行為,或者職場上被你長期否認的問題?如果有,請描述這個問題。它如何影響你,最後你採取了甚麼行動?
第二、你是否還在否認某些生命中未解決的問題或挑戰?要如何在這些問題變成全面的危機之前,發現這些問題的存在?
第三、你的屬靈生命如何?你認為自己和上帝的關係在正軌上嗎?你如何確定?如果無法肯定,你能向誰尋求幫助或忠告,幫助自己誠實釐清問題?
第四、假設你被迫承認自己有需要處理的問題,而且這個問題已經到了危機階段,你願意放棄自己的驕傲,服從可信賴的指導,幫助自己採取必要的行動嗎?請解釋你的理由。
 

MONDAY MANNA
February 17, 2020

DENIAL – CRISIS - ACTION
By Jim Mathis

 

For a few years I kept noticing my blood pressure was elevating. Each time I would check it, it would be slightly higher than the time before. I always attributed this to some contributing source – too much coffee, I was tired, or some other easily explained and dismissed reason. Finally, my physician came right out and told me, “Your blood pressure is too high. I am going to put you on medication for that.” The medication worked and my blood pressure was back to a normal, healthy level. I had been in denial; the doctor forced me to admit my denial and prescribed a course of action.

Another time, my indebtedness was increasing. It started me on a slippery slope the very first time I failed to pay the entire balance on a credit card. I kept thinking I would catch up the next month, but did not. I denied this was a problem until it turned into a crisis, an amount I could no longer tolerate. I came up with a plan of action and paid off all of my debts in about the same amount of time it took to accumulate them.

I have been gaining a little weight each year of my adult life. I convinced myself this was normal and besides, I knew a lot of people who were much more overweight than I was. I also reasoned that my scales must be off, I was wearing heavy shoes, or had just consumed a large meal, and besides, I thought, my weight varies with the time of day.

Eventually I hit a number beyond my comfort zone for what I was willing to weigh. It became a personal crisis. I bought a new digital scale and started charting my weight at the same time every day; I wanted no variables that I could rationalize. Once again, I was in denial, reached a crisis of belief, and developed a plan of action.

Many years ago I was drifting spiritually. I had gone to church as a youth, and even had a “religious experience.” I looked back at that experience, convinced I was right with God, but somehow realized I was not. Eventually, I reached a crisis of belief where I knew I was going to have to change my life. I started attending church again and joined a Bible study group. There I became aware my view of God was that of a child, a perspective I had picked up in Sunday school decades before.

After a period of deep soul-searching, I decided to become a dedicated follower of Christ – this time as an adult with a plan. Just as with my blood pressure, indebtedness and weight, I had been in denial about my lack of faith. I had a crisis of belief where I knew things had to change, and that crisis led me to a new and more mature faith in Jesus Christ.

Over the years, I have seen this same pattern played out in many other people’s lives in a wide variety of subjects. For some, their ability to live in denial is higher than others; they never seem to get to the crisis stage where they recognize the need to take action. Others confront reality and take the necessary steps before a major crisis strikes. Are there areas of your life where you are in denial? Are you heading for a crisis or should you take action now?

I would suggest you consult others for help: God, and trusted friends. “’You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:13). “A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance and for victory many advisors” (Proverbs 24:5-6).

© 2020. Jim Mathis is a writer, photographer and small business owner in Overland Park, Kansas. His latest book The Camel and the Needle, A Christian Looks at Wealth and Money. He was formerly the executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.

CBMC INTERNATIONAL:  Jim Firnstahl, President
2850 N. Swan Road, Suite 160Tucson, Arizona 85712 ▪ U.S.A.
TEL.: 520-334-1114 ▪ E-MAIL: mmanna@cbmcint.org
Web site: www.cbmcint.org  Please direct any requests or change of address to: jmarple@cbmcint.org

Reflection/Discussion Questions

 

1.Have you ever had a problem, whether with indebtedness, physical health, destructive behavior, or an issue in the workplace that you denied for a long time before taking action on it? If so, describe the problem, how it affected you, and what you ultimately did about it.


 
2.Is it possible you might still be in the denial stage of some unaddressed problems or challenges in your life? How do you think you could go about discovering there actually is a problem before it turned into a full-scale crisis?


 
3.What about your spiritual life? Do you think you are where you should be in your relationship to God? Why or why not? If you are not certain, who might you go to for counsel or advice to help you gain an honest understanding of where you are – or might not be?




4.   Suppose you were forced to admit you were in denial about some controlling issue in your life, and it was reaching the crisis stage. Would you be willing to surrender your pride and submit to the guidance of a trusted advisor to help you in taking whatever action is necessary? Why or why not?



NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about principles it presents, consider the following passages:

Deuteronomy 5:32-33; Psalm 139:1-12,23; Proverbs 8:17, 11:14, 19:20; 1 Timothy 4:7

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