Friday, April 12, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

不確定的危險和應許

By: Rick Boxx

許多工商界領袖都相信全球經濟仍然繼續在掙扎,且沒有展現多少復甦的力量,這都是因為不確定性。稅捐造成每個人的壓力,許多經濟指標使人不安,而世界上大部份的政治景象也充滿了未知數。因此,工商領袖對是否進行新企劃、雇用新員工、或參與任何可能置他們公司損益於風險的重大活動猶豫不決。

從某一方面來看,這樣小心的做法似乎合理、可靠。難道經濟狀況不好時,魯莽地行動是智慧的嗎?在聖經舊約中箴言贊成謹慎地採取行動,例如:「通達人見禍藏躲;愚蒙人前往受害」(箴言27章12節)。換言之,若沒有認清危險的狀況就行動可能會導致災難的後果。

然而一直等待到狀況似乎完善可能也不是最謹慎的做法。到那時可能就太晚了。如諺語提醒我們:「早起的鳥兒有蟲吃。」有時開始新企劃的最佳時機是每個人都還渾渾噩噩之時。當每個人為了將來感到恐懼而停滯不前,有些勇敢且有遠見的工商人士帶著妥善的想法開始著手前行,造就了歷史上一些偉大的成功故事。

所以,一個人要如何分辨?你如何能看出何時最好謹慎等待,而何時最好向前邁進,不必管市場還彌漫著不確定性?

即使在經濟狀況最好的時候也沒人可保證一定會成功,聖經提供了一些有幫助的方針值得我們思考。箴言也再次提供了健全的真知灼見:

收集所有相關資料。
失敗的最大成因是不願作足夠的研究調查,且沒有在行動前作適當的準備。「聰明人的心得知識;智慧人的耳求知識」(箴言18章15節)。

向值得信任的朋友尋求意見。獲得資訊的方式之一是向對你考慮要採取之步驟有相當了解的朋友和同儕諮詢。他們可提供你可能從未考慮過的觀點。「無智謀,民就敗落;謀士多,人便安居」(箴言11章14節)。「不先商議,所謀無效;謀士眾多,所謀乃成」(箴言15章22節)。

為了榮耀並討上帝喜悅而做。計畫常常是受自私的渴望或驕傲的動機所驅動。當一個人的意念是遵循上帝的引導,就可避開可能的陷阱。聖經新約羅馬書8章5節教導我們:「因為隨從肉體的人體貼肉體的事,隨從聖靈的人體貼聖靈的事。

謹慎地計畫與了解危險在工商界是必要的條件,然而當你真的察覺到上帝的靈催促你往前行時,聽從聖靈是最有智慧的行動。

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。想要更多了解正直資源中心或想要收到電子文件的「瑞克每天的正直時刻Rick”s daily Integrity Moments」系列文章,請上網www.integrityresource.org。他的書「如何生意興隆而不犧牲正直」提供人們正直地作生意的方法。

思想 / 討論題目
根據全國和全球目前不確定的經濟環境,你的機構對為將來計畫有什麼態度? 我們都了解在採取新的行動前要謹慎的重要性。但太謹慎是否有不利之處?請解釋。 當你強烈地想引進新的觀念或做法,你一般都採取什麼程序?你曾採用過作者所建議的步驟嗎?或者你認為那些建議將來可能有幫助?請解釋。 在工商界每天實際的生活中,你認為想要在工商界榮耀並討上帝喜悅是什麼意思?那如何應用在處理經濟的不確定性上?依你的觀點,試著這麼做是否切合實際?為什麼?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
詩篇37篇4-5節;箴言10章17節,11章2、14節,12章15節,14章15節,15章14節,16章3、9節,27章17節;歌羅西書3章17節

THE PERIL – AND PROMISE – OF UNCERTAINTY
By: Rick Boxx

Many business leaders believe a primary reason the global economy continues to struggle and has demonstrated little evidence of renewed strength is due to uncertainty. Taxes are creating a strain on everyone. Many economic indicators are unsettling. And the political landscape in much of the world is filled with unknowns. As a result, business leaders are hesitant about moving forward with new projects, hiring new staff, or engaging in any significant activity that could put their corporate bottom lines at risk.

In one respect, such cautious approaches seem warranted. Would it be wise to proceed with reckless abandon even though economic conditions do not seem favorable? In the Bible”s Old Testament, the book of Proverbs endorses taking action with prudence. For instance, it says, “The prudent sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it” (Proverbs 27:12). In other words, failure to recognize dangerous situations and act accordingly can lead to disastrous consequences.

Yet waiting until conditions seem perfect might not be the most prudent course to take, either. By then it might be too late. As the adage reminds us, “The early bird catches the worm.” Sometimes the best time to launch something new is when everyone is gripped by inertia. While everyone else has become immobilized by fear of what might lie ahead, some of the great success stories in the history of business have been individuals with the courage – and foresight – to proceed with well-conceived ideas.

So how does one tell the difference? How can you discern when it is best to be cautious and wait, and when it is best to move forward despite prevailing uncertainty?

While no one can offer guarantees of success even in the most favorable economic conditions, the Bible offers some helpful guidelines worth considering. Again the book of Proverbs provides sound insight:

Gather all the information needed. One of the major contributors to failure is unwillingness to conduct sufficient research and prepare properly before taking action. “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out” (Proverbs 18:15).

Seek counsel from trusted associates. One way to get that information is consulting with friends and peers that are knowledgeable about the steps you are considering. They can provide viewpoints you might not have considered. “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure” (Proverbs 11:14). “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).

Proceed motivated by a desire to honor and please God. Too often plans are driven by selfish desires or prideful motivations. Those potential pitfalls can be avoided when the individual”s intent is to follow the direction God reveals. In the Bible”s New Testament, Romans 8:5 teaches, "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires."

Prudent planning and awareness of dangers are imperative in business, yet when you truly sense that the Spirit of God is prodding you to move forward, the wisest course is to listen to God’s Spirit.

Copyright 2011, 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 Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick”s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
What has been your organization”s attitude toward planning for the future in light of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the economy, both nationally and globally? We can understand the importance of proceeding with caution before embarking on new initiatives. But could there be drawbacks from being too cautious? Explain your answer. When you feel strongly about introducing new ideas or programs, what process do you typically follow? Have you used any of the steps suggested by Mr. Boxx – or do you think they might be helpful in the future? Explain your answer. In the pragmatic, everyday world of business, what do you think it means to have a desire to honor and please God in business? How does that apply to dealing with uncertainties in the economy? Is it even practical – in your view – to try doing this? Why or why not?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Psalm 37:4-5, Proverbs 10:17, 11:2,14, 12:15, 14:15, 15:14, 16:3,9, 27:17; Colossians 3:17

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