Thursday, April 25, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

你的生命是被浪費了、花掉了或有好的投資?

By Rick Warren

幾乎每一天我都會收到廣告信件,想吸引我對某些財務投資機會的興趣。雖然智慧的財務投資是聰明的事,但我注意到許多人努力地計畫如何把他們的收入拿去投資,卻從未考慮如何投資他們的生命。

當你到達生命的終點,你如何決定你的生命是否有價值?你計畫要用什麼評估標準?問一個更立即的問題,你現在如何投資你的生命?你期待從你的生命投資中得到什麼回收或「股息」?

實際上,當你考慮如何度過你的餘生時,你只有三個選擇:

你可以浪費它。有許多方式可以這麼做;我們向四周看就可看到。許多人在生命中完全沒做什麼事。他們只是存在──佔據空間並用掉空氣。他們的生命沒有任何貢獻。他們的時間被無意義的活動所消耗──或甚至沒有任何活動。

你可以花掉它。有許多方式可以花掉你的生命。你可以把你自己投入一個職業、一項嗜好、一個經驗、或旅行──任何可以吸引你興趣並誘惑你花掉大部份時間、精力和資源的事。平均一個人在世界上大約花掉29,962天。問題是:我們把這麼多天花在什麼事上?

你可以投資它。聖經教導我們,把生命作最佳運用的方式是投資在比我們生命更長久的事上!這需要「看得長遠」──以長期的眼光看生命。當你有了永恆的觀點,有趣的是許多事情都會改變。

如你所預期,聖經常常談到對現世生活要維持永恆觀點的價值及重要性。耶穌教導的許多故事都與投資有關。例如在馬太福音25章14-30節,他講到有三個人被賦予責任去照管主人的產業。其中兩個人做了智慧的投資而受到獎賞。第三個人沒有投資而被處罰。

從聖經的這些故事我們看到投資你生命的七個原則:
所有權:我所擁有的一切其實是屬於上帝的。我們所擁有只是我們在世界上的時間內借給我們的貸款。 分配:上帝在我們出生時賜給我們特別的才幹和能力。 交帳:上帝期待我們使用祂賜給我們的才幹。有一天我們將為我們用祂的賜予做了什麼事向祂交帳。 運用:把我們的才幹發揮到極致會有風險,所以需要對上帝有信心。 動力:防止我們發展才幹的原因是恐懼,不願意冒險走出我們的「舒適區」。 應用:若我們不用我們的才幹,我們將會失去它。 報酬:若我們照上帝希望的方式運用我們的才幹,祂將會給我們獎賞。羅馬書2章6節向我們保證:「他必照各人的行為報應各人」。本文版權屬於「標竿人生」。本文改編自華理克博士的專欄。他寫了許多書,包括廣受讚揚的「標竿人生」。這本書被翻譯成許多語言,並賣到全世界。這本書斷言,有一個經過你仔細考慮且清楚表達的目標去過每天的生活是重要的。這本書被認為是改變20世紀的100本基督教書籍之一。他也寫了「目標導向的教會」。

思想 / 討論題目
你是否曾想過有一天你會評定你的生命是否有價值?在評估時,你會用什麼標準? 你是否認識某個人有意識地決定浪費生命--而不是花掉或投資生命?請簡短地描述那個人,以及他/她為何不把生命作有生產力的運用? 你如何分辨某人在「花掉」他的生命,而某人在「投資」他的生命?對生命有「永恆的觀點」是什麼意思? 根據本文作者的描述,你可以說自己正在投資你的生命嗎?為什麼?你可以用什麼方式開始投資你的生命──或尋求在你的投資上賺取更大的「回收」?若你想參考有關此主題的其他聖經經文,請查看以下經節:
箴言11章23節、14章12節、17章24節、27章23-27;馬太福音24章42-51節、25章31-46節;歌羅西書3章22-24節

YOUR LIFE: WASTE, SPEND OR INVEST IT?
By Rick Warren

Practically every day I receive unsolicited mail trying to interest me in some kind of financial investment opportunity. Although wise financial investing is the intelligent thing to do, I have noticed that many people who diligently plan how they will invest their income have never attempted to consider planning for how they will invest their lives.

When the time comes, and you arrive at the end of your life, how will YOU determine whether your life was worthwhile? What evaluation criteria are you planning to use? To ask an even more immediate question, how are you investing your life right now? What kind of return or “dividend” are you expecting to receive from the investment of your life?

Realistically, you only have three options when you consider what do with the rest of your life:

You can WASTE it. There is countless ways for doing this; we see them by looking around. Many people do absolutely nothing with their lives. They simply exist – taking up space and using up air. They make no contribution with their lives. Their hours are consumed by meaningless activity – or no activity at all.

You can SPEND it. There are many ways to spend away your life. You can give yourself to a career, or a hobby, or an experience, or travel – any kind of pursuit that captures your interest and seduces you into devoting much of your time, energy and resources to it. An average individual will spend approximately 29,962 days on this earth. The question for each of us is: On what will we spend those days?

You can INVEST it. The Bible teaches the best use for our life on earth is to invest it in something that will outlast it! This involves taking the “long-look” – maintaining a long-range perspective on life. It is interesting how much things can change when you acquire an eternal perspective.

As you might expect, the Bible speaks often about the value – and importance – of maintaining an eternal perspective on temporal living. Many of the stories Jesus taught dealt with this theme of investment. In Matthew 25:14-30, for instance, He told a story about three men who were given responsibility for their master”s property. Two of them invested wisely and were rewarded; the third did not and was disciplined.

From biblical stories like these, we see seven principles for investing your life:
OWNERSHIP: Everything I have really belongs to God. All we have is only on loan to me for the time we are on this earth. ALLOCATION: God strategically gives us specific talents and abilities at birth. ACCOUNTABILITY: God expects us to use the talents He has given to us. One day we will give an account to Him of what we did with what He gave us. UTILIZATION: Using our talents to the fullest involves risk, so faith in God is required. MOTIVATION: What prevents us from developing our talents is fear, unwillingness to venture beyond our “comfort zone.” APPLICATION: If we don”t use our talents, we will lose them. COMPENSATION: If we use our talents the way God intends, He will reward us. Romans 2:6 assures us, “God “will give to each person according to what he has done.””© 2011, Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved. Adapted from a column by Dr. Rick Warren, the author of numerous books, including the highly acclaimed, The Purpose-Drive Life, which has been translated into many languages and sold throughout the world. It affirms the importance of having a carefully considered, clearly expressed purpose to guide everyday life. It has been named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He also has written The Purpose-Driven Church.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Have you given any thought to how you would someday assess whether your life has been worthwhile? What criteria would you expect to use in making that evaluation? Is there anyone you know that seems to have consciously decided to waste life – as opposed to spending it or investing it? Briefly describe that person and why you think he or she is literally failing to put life to productive use. How would you distinguish between someone that is “spending” their life and another individual that is “investing” his or her life? What does it mean to have an “eternal perspective” on life? Based on Dr. Warren”s description, could you say that YOU are investing your life? Why or why not? What are some ways you could start turning your life into an investment – or seeking to earn a greater “return” on your investment?NOTE: If you have a Bible, consider these other passages that relate to this topic: Proverbs 11:23, 14:12, 17:24, 27:23-27; Matthew 24:42-51, 25:31-46; Colossians 3:22-24

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