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事實上，不少弟兄姊妹在職場和人際關係上，都為了持守主道而面對挑戰。不少行業、機構常有員工會進行一些違背誠信、但卻已經約定俗成的事情。例如找人簽簿、打咭，而實質上自己並沒有上班和履行職務；或者上級會吩咐下屬做假帳。遇到這些事，基督徒即使不揭發別人，只求潔身自愛，也會被別人排斥和攻擊。若弟兄姊妹遇到這樣的情況，我們要好好為他們守望。要長期忍耐自己被當作異類，實在需要抓緊在基督裡的盼望，和其他同作「異類」/非凡公民 （peculiar citizens）互勉同行。
Giving Off Aroma Without Using God
Rev Lawrence Chan
The other day in a worship sermon, I have explained what it means to “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27). The phrase “conduct yourselves” in the original language can be translated as “live as citizens.” This reminds us that in accepting the gospel and believing in Christ, we should not just seek our own moral advancement to gain the approval of the church community. We should also naturally give off the aroma of Christ and bear good testimony in our community life. It is like what was reported earlier in the media. Christian dentists offered free service to foreign domestic helpers, south Asian ethnic groups and other disadvantaged communities on Sunday afternoon during their day off. As a result, those suffering from dental diseases but who lacked resources to see the dentist could again show off their best smiles.
In doing good works, Christians can meet with praises as well as hostility. Jesus has reminded his disciples: “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). The disciples are reminded that acknowledging His lordship and following His teachings will bring them opposition, slander, attacks and persecution in this rebellious world. Nevertheless, the disciples must maintain gospel conviction and never disown their faith. This is because God treasures our lives. We must support one another and persist in the faith until the end.
As a matter of fact, many brothers and sisters face challenges in enduring in faith at their workplaces and in personal relationships. In many professions and organizations, there are common practices that compromise integrity. Examples include getting others to sign a register on your behalf or getting someone to stamp your card to report for duty while you are not actually there. A boss may also ask a subordinate to compile false accounts. Under such circumstances, even if a Christian does not disclose others’ acts and just refrain from such improper practices, he will still be rejected and attacked by his fellow workers. If this happens, we need to really watch over these brothers and sisters. To endure being considered as an “alien” for long periods of time is not easy. It really takes a firm grasp of our hope in Christ as well as mutual encouragement and walking together with other "aliens” or peculiar citizens in order to be able to do so.
Meanwhile, there are some in society who proclaim to be Christians but their words and deeds are unacceptable and so cause others’ doubts about their faith. They claim “to act justly and to love mercy,” but cover up social injustice or appear harsh and proud in their words and deeds. In business and trade, there are people who say “Believe me! I am Christian” but their business operations are later found to violate Christian ethics.
Dear brothers and sisters, we should weigh carefully what is said by others and watch out for those who play the Jesus card to seek approval of the church community but whose real purpose is to advance their personal interest and power. We should also be careful with ourselves and not imitate those that use the name of Christ for personal gain.
May the Lord bless and keep us so our lives can give off the pleasing aroma that comes from knowing Christ!