Friday, June 14, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

跟隨一條危險的道路

By Rick Boxx

戴瑞登(Drayton)是一位非常成功的基督徒商人。有一次我與他談話時,我們開始思考在商場有正確動機的重要性。他告訴我,前一天他與一位年輕人會面的經過。

當戴瑞登問那年輕人的夢想和願望是什麼,他很快地說:「我要快速地賺很多錢,而且越快越好。」戴瑞登立刻回說:「我以前就聽過這種夢想--但這種夢想通常無法實現。你還不如找一樣顧客需要的東西,而且專注在那事物上。」

當戴瑞登談到那次的會談,讓我想起使徒保羅寫給他那年輕跟隨者提摩太的訓誡。在提摩太前書6章10節提出這樣的警告:「貪財是萬惡之根。有人貪戀錢財,就被引誘離了真道,用許多愁苦把自己刺透了。」

這節經文並非說金錢的本質是邪惡的,或者努力去賺錢以供應本身的需要,或甚至去買非必需的額外渴望東西是錯的。然而,金錢可能會成為偶像,消耗我們的熱情。當它成為我們生活中掌控一切的目標,而不是考慮如何運用我們天賦的恩賜、才幹、技能和經歷去做我們享受的工作,並在過程中服事其他人,這時它就變成陷阱。

戴瑞登和使徒保羅都了解追求金錢是危險的,讓我們容易遇上許多種試探。我們都能想到著名的工商專業領袖屈服於貪心、賄賂、欺騙、作出假的承諾以及各式各樣的不道德行為。追求財富也可能讓我們結交承諾會「幫助」我們達到我們財務目標的問題人物。

如同戴瑞登給那年輕人的建議,最好是去追尋自己所熱愛的事物。若你擅長做某件事,而且能樂在其中,那麼得到財務報酬的機會就會跟著而來。但即使沒有,你還是會因為把一件工作做好而得到滿足。以下是聖經談到金錢和把錢當作我們工作的焦點:

分散的忠誠是行不通的。有些工商專業人士可能聲稱他們追求財富,上帝的事工也會受益。然而,耶穌說:「一個人不能事奉兩個主;不是惡這個,愛那個,就是重這個,輕那個。你們不能又事奉神,又事奉瑪門」(馬太福音6章24節)。

我們如何處理錢財反射出我們的屬靈價值觀。若某人託付你一件小事,而你卻沒做好,你還期待他再託付你更大的事嗎?這個道理與我們使用金錢一樣。「人在最小的事上忠心,在大事上也忠心;在最小的事上不義,在大事上也不義。倘若你們在不義的錢財上不忠心,誰還把那真實的錢財託付你們呢?」(路加福音16章10-11節)。

本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思 的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。

省思 / 討論題目
若你碰到一個人說:「我要快速地賺很多錢,而且越快越好。」你的第一個反應會是什麼? 為何追求金錢常常會造成許多問題?你是否同意這個說法?你認為一個人把獲得財富作為他/她生活的焦點,還能夠避免被誘惑去做出不道德的行為? 你認為「貪財」一定會使人遠離他們的信仰且「用許多愁苦把自己刺透」嗎?請解釋。 耶穌也說過:「駱駝穿過針的眼,比財主進神的國還容易呢!」(馬太福音19章24節)。你想祂為何這麼說?註:若你有聖經且想要讀更多有關此主題的經文,請思考以下經節:詩篇112篇1-3節;箴言8章12-21節,10章2節,13章11節,15章16節,22章7節,30章8-9節;路加福音16章9節


A DANGEROUS PATH TO FOLLOW
By Rick Boxx

While I was speaking with Drayton, a highly successful Christian businessman, we began reflecting on the importance of having the right motives in business. As we talked, Drayton told me about a meeting he had the previous day with a young man.

When Drayton asked this individual about what his dreams and aspirations were, the young man quickly replied, “I want to make as much money as possible, quickly.” Immediately Drayton replied, “I”ve heard that answer before – and it usually doesn”t work out well. You would be better off finding something that customers need and focus on that.”

As Drayton commented on this encounter, it reminded me of an admonition the apostle Paul wrote to his younger follower, Timothy. In 1 Timothy 6:10 the apostle presents this warning: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

This passage does not state money is inherently evil, or that it is wrong to strive to earn money to provide for one”s needs or even additional things that fit more into the category of desires rather than a critical need. However, money can become an idol, consuming our affections. It turns into a snare when it becomes the dominating goal of our lives, rather than considering how best to use our innate gifts, talents, skills and experience to perform work we enjoy, and to serve other people in the process.

Both Drayton and the apostle Paul realized the pursuit of money can be dangerous, making us vulnerable to temptation of many kinds. We all can think of prominent business and professional leaders that have succumbed to greed, bribery, deception, making false promises, and various forms of unethical behavior. The quest for wealth also could lead us to associate with questionable individuals who promise to “help” us to achieve our financial objectives.

As Drayton suggested to the young man, it would be far better to pursue one”s passion. If you do something well and find great enjoyment in doing it, chances are financial rewards will follow. But even if they do not, you will still find satisfaction in a job well done. Here are some other things the Bible says about money and making it the focus of our work:

Divided allegiances do not work. Some business and professional people might claim that in their pursuit of riches, God”s work will be a beneficiary. Jesus said, however, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6:24).

How we handle money reflects spiritual values. If someone entrusted you with a small responsibility and you failed, would you expect to be trusted with greater responsibilities? The same holds true with our use of money. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:11).

Copyright 2014, 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.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
What would be your first reaction to a person you met that said, “I want to make as much money as possible, quickly”? Why do you think the pursuit of money for its own sake is often so problematic? Do you agree that it is? Do you think a person could make the acquisition of wealth the primary focus of his or her life and still avoid being seduced into undesirable behavior? Do you think that “the love of money” necessarily results in people wandering from their spiritual faith and “piercing themselves with many griefs”? Explain your answer. Jesus also said, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24)? What is your understanding of why He said this?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Psalm 112:1-3; Proverbs 8:12-21, 10:2, 13:11, 15:16, 22:7, 30:8-9; Luke 16:9

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