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培養感恩的態度

CULTIVATING AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

(2021/11/22)

美國一年一度的感恩節慶祝活動將於本週晚些時候開始。感恩節是我最喜歡的假日之一,因為我知道,正如作家兼演講者吉格・金克拉 (Zig Ziglar)曾說的那樣「你的態度決定了你的高度」,而感恩的態度決定了你的喜樂。感恩的態度和感恩節是相輔相成的。
 

最近很多人似乎都很憤怒和不滿,完全沒有表現出這個假期所期待感謝的態度,但只要稍微努力,我們都可以找到能感恩的很多理由。以下是我的一些感恩事項:  
 - 我感謝我優秀的妻子與商業夥伴在過去 50 年中都一直陪伴在我的身邊。
 - 我感謝我的父母愛我他們也彼此相愛,他們提供給我不止是學校教育,還有各樣的課外活動等,一流的教育機會。
 - 我感謝在各種活動和工作中認識的所有朋友。包括攝影的朋友、音樂的朋友、商會的朋尤其是在教會的朋友,我與他們分享對上帝的
   愛以及與耶穌的關係。

 - 我感恩有音樂的天份。雖然音樂在很多人的生活中並不是很重要的部份,但我很高興也很感激它卻是在我的生活中重要的部份。
 - 我很高興自己能夠培養出「慧眼」,能夠快速感知什麼是好看的什麼是不好的。這是 一種習得的技能,讓我能夠從事攝影師,和設計師  
   的工作,並在必要的時刻使用到它。

 - 我很感恩生活在一個有天氣變化的地方,每一天都可以變成一次冒險 - 炎熱或寒冷、下雨或出太陽下雪或雨夾雪 - 但也知道大多數日子,
   天氣都是完美的。我的家鄉堪薩斯
州的「平均」溫度是華氏 70 度(約攝氏21度),但卻總沒有「平凡的一天」。
 - 我很感恩,在每次電話響起時,有人告訴我他們有需要修復的舊照片,因為照片修復是我特殊的專長。
 - 我很感恩擁有由我尊敬的公司生產的出色工具和設備 - 用於攝影、音樂、電腦和其他用途 - 幫助我和其他創意專業人士的生活變得更好。  

什麼讓你覺得感恩?在閱讀聖經時,我發現其中提到許多獻上感謝的地方。為了幫助你為感恩節做好準備,以下僅是關於感恩的兩個例子 - 以及為什麼我們應該這樣做的理由:  

我們要感謝上帝一切美善的本質,和祂所做的一切。造物主上帝使一切成為可能,祂值得被承認和讚揚。你們當曉得耶和華是 神!我們是他造的,也是屬他的;我們是他的民,也是他草場的羊。當稱謝進入他的門;當讚美進入他的院。當感謝他,稱頌他的名!因為耶和華本為善。他的慈愛存到永遠;他的信實直到萬代。」(詩篇 100篇3-5節)  

我們要為一切的事感謝上帝。當我們生活中的事情進展順利時,感到感恩是很平常的,但即使在困難和逆境時也應有感恩的理由 -即便是事後才知道。要常常喜樂…凡事謝恩;因為這是 神在基督耶穌裏向你們所定的旨意。」(帖撒羅尼迦前書 5章16、18節)

©2021 JimMathis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:如果你手上有聖經想閱讀更多內容,請考慮以下經文:
歷代志上16章34-36節
16:34 應當稱謝耶和華;因他本為善,他的慈愛永遠長存!
16:35 要說:拯救我們的 神啊,求你救我們,聚集我們,使我們脫離外邦,我們好稱讚你的聖名,以讚美你為誇勝。
16:36 耶和華─以色列的 神,從亙古直到永遠,是應當稱頌的!眾民都說:「阿們!」並且讚美耶和華。
尼希米記 12章27、43節
12:27 耶路撒冷城牆告成的時候,眾民就把各處的利未人招到耶路撒冷,要稱謝、歌唱、敲鈸、鼓瑟、彈琴,歡歡喜喜地行告成之禮。
12:43 那日,眾人獻大祭而歡樂;因為 神使他們大大歡樂,連婦女帶孩童也都歡樂,甚至耶路撒冷中的歡聲聽到遠處。
詩篇 106篇1-5節
106:1 你們要讚美耶和華!要稱謝耶和華,因他本為善;他的慈愛永遠長存!
106:2 誰能傳說耶和華的大能?誰能表明他一切的美德?
106:3 凡遵守公平、常行公義的,這人便為有福!
106:4 耶和華啊,你用恩惠待你的百姓;求你也用這恩惠記念我,開你的救恩眷顧我,
106:5 使我見你選民的福,樂你國民的樂,與你的產業一同誇耀。
羅馬書 7章25節、8章1-2節
7:25 感謝 神,靠著我們的主耶穌基督就能離了。這樣看來,我心順服 神的律,我肉體卻順服罪的律了。
8:1 如今,那些在基督耶穌裏的就不定罪了。
8:2 因為賜生命聖靈的律,在基督耶穌裏釋放了我,使我脫離罪和死的律了。

反省與問題討論
第一、即使你身處的地方,沒有個人或國家傳統為感恩節留出特定的假期而你如何看待感恩這個概念呢?
第二、你如何回答本篇作者馬諦斯(Mathis)先生提出的問題-你為了什麼而感恩(你有什麼感恩的事項)?請解釋你的答案。
第三、作者引用的一段聖經經文指出,我們應該將感謝特別指向上帝,相信祂是我們所擁有和經歷一切的源頭,即使其中大部分是通過我們的辛勤工作和努力獲得的。你同意嗎?請解釋你的理由?
第四、在艱難、痛苦甚至悲慘的經歷中,我們如何感受和表達感激之情?你能想到任何時候的逆境,現在回想起來,對於能夠經歷過它們感恩嗎?如果有,你是透過哪些方式去感恩?

 

MONDAY MANNA
November 22, 2021

CULTIVATING AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
By Jim Mathis

 

The annual American observance of Thanksgiving Day comes later this week. This has become one of my favorite holidays because I know that, as author and speaker Zig Ziglar used to say, "Your attitude determines your altitude," and an attitude of gratitude determines your joy. Gratitude and thanksgiving go hand in hand.

So many people seem angry and dissatisfied these days, far from exhibiting the thankful attitude this holiday calls for, but with just a little effort, we all can find multiple reasons for thanksgiving. Here are some of mine:

  • I am thankful that my wonderful wife and business partner that has been by my side for the past 50 years.
  • I am thankful for parents that loved me and each other and did what was necessary for me to get a first-rate education, not only through school but also through many extra-curricular activities.
  • I am thankful for all my friends I have met through various activities and pursuits. This includes my photography friends, music friends, Chamber of Commerce friends, and especially my friends at church with whom I share a love of God and a relationship with Jesus.
  • I am thankful for the gift of music. Music is not a big part of many people's lives, but I am happy and grateful that it has been in mine.
  • I am happy that I have been able to cultivate a "good eye," being able to quickly see when something looks good and when it does not. This is a learned skill that has allowed me to make a living as a photographer, and as a designer when needed.
  • I am thankful to live in a place where the weather changes and every day can turn into an adventure – with heat/cold, rain/sunshine, or snow and sleet – but also knowing that most days, the weather is perfect. The "average" temperature in my home state in Kansas is 70 degrees, but there are no “average days.”
  • I am thankful every time the phone rings and someone starts to tell me about their old picture that needs work, since photo restoration is one of my specialties.
  • I am thankful to have wonderful tools and devices made by companies I respect – for photography, music, computers and other purposes – helping to make my life and the lives of other creative professionals better.

What are you thankful for? In reading the Scriptures, I have discovered it says much about giving thanks. To help you prepare for a time of thanksgiving, here are just two examples of what it has to say about giving thanks – and why we should do it:

We should be thankful for all God is and all He has done. The Creator God had made possible all that is mentioned above. He deserves to be acknowledged and praised for that. “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:3-5).

We are to be thankful for all things. It is not uncommon to feel thankfulness when things in our lives are going well, but even times of hardship and adversity can provide reasons for thanksgiving – if only through hindsight. “Be joyful always…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16,18).

© 2021. Jim Mathis is a writer, photographer and small business owner in Overland Park, Kansas. His latest book is The Camel and the Needle, A Christian Looks at Wealth and Money. He formerly was an executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.

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Reflection/Discussion Questions
 
1.Even if you do not have a personal or national tradition that sets aside a specific day for thanksgiving, what do you think of the idea?  



2.How would you respond to the question that Mr. Mathis asked – what are you thankful for? Explain your answer.


 
3.One Bible passage he cited states we should direct our thanks specifically to God, believing He is the source of everything we have and experience, even if much of it has come about through our hard work and efforts. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?



 
4.How can we feel and express thankfulness in the midst of difficult, painful or even tragic experiences? Can you think of any times of adversity that now, in retrospect, you can feel thankful for having gone through them? If so, in what ways?





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

1 Chronicles 16:34-36; Nehemiah 12:27,43; Psalm 106:1-5; Romans 7:25-8:2