信念塑造我們的行為,激勵成長

By: Rick Warren

在工商專業界,我們每一天都看到人們因為沒有清楚、妥善思考過的信念而做出決定和做出的事所造成的不良後果。有時人們甚至因此受苦。如有人曾說,若你在任何事上都不堅持,你在任何事上都可能跌倒。

字典對信念的定義一般都是堅定的信仰。然而實際上,信念不僅如此。你的信念也包括你的價值觀、委身和動機。我喜歡聖經教師浩爾.韓瑞克給信念下的定義:「信仰是你同意的事,而信念是你願意為它死的事!」信念決定我們的行為,激勵我們用特定的方式去行事。

例如,當人們開始成為基督徒時,他們通常會按照其他基督徒的建議或效法他們的行事為人。他們禱告、讀聖經並參加主日崇拜,因為他們觀察到別人這麼做,所以就效法他們。

剛信主的人會如此是合理的。小孩也是這樣學習。然而當我們長大成熟,我們終究要發展出自己的理由去做我們想做的事。那些理由就變成信念。以下是有關信念的一些重要原則:

聖經的信念對靈命的長大成熟非常重要。諷刺的是今天世界上的人常常對小事(例如最喜愛的運動、服飾和音樂)有很堅強的信念,但對重大議題(對與錯之分別)的信念卻很弱。

試著列出你的屬靈信念。你的信念在重大議題上軟弱嗎?聖經教導我們:「你們務要儆醒,在真道上站立得穩,要作大丈夫,要剛強。凡你們所作的都要憑愛心而作」(哥林多前書16章13-14節)。

沒有信念的人會被環境擺佈。若你沒有決定什麼是重要的,以及你要如何生活,其他人就會替你決定。

沒有信念的人是隨從群眾、意志薄弱的人。我相信保羅在羅馬書12章2節所說的話是指信念。「不要效法這個世界,只要心意更新而變化,叫你們察驗何為神的善良、純全、可喜悅的旨意」。

信念幫助我們致力於靈性的成長。成長需要時間與精力。若沒有對成長的信念,人們會灰心並放棄。沒有人能持續做一件困難的工作,除非他堅信有一個好理由繼續做下去。這也適用在禱告、讀經和把聖經的原則活在我們每天的生活和工作中。

知道要做什麼(知識),為何要做(看法),以及如何做(技巧)都沒有用,除非有一個信念激發你真的去做!對世界有最大影響力的人,不論善惡,都是那些有強大、深刻信念的人。他們不一定是最聰明、最富裕或受過最好的教育,但他們的信念驅使他們去影響世界。

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」和「聖誕的目的」。

思想 / 討論題目
你是否同意我們會為信仰辯護,而我們願為信念而死?請解釋。 本文作者建議你列出屬靈信念。請試著列出,並且也列出其他你認為非常重要有關個人、道德或倫理的信念。你的清單會包括哪些? 你是否曾與對於如何做生意或執行任務顯然沒有堅定信念的人共事過?缺乏信念會有哪些後果? 你認為有堅定的信念可以如何使你避免被世界(你周圍的社會)擠入它的模型裡?你有何例子嗎?
註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
帖撒羅尼迦前書5章21-22節;提摩太後書1章13-14節;提多書1章9節;希伯來書3章1-6節,4章14節;雅各書1章5-6節

CONVICTIONS SHAPE OUR CONDUCT, SPUR GROWTH
By: Dr. Rick Warren

Every day in the business and professional world we see – and sometimes suffer – the consequences of people acting and making decisions without clear, well-thought-out convictions. As someone has said, if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.

Dictionaries usually define conviction as a fixed or strong belief. In reality, however, conviction is much more than that. Your convictions also include your values, commitments, and motivations. I like the definition of conviction I once heard from Bible teacher Howard Hendricks: "A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!" Convictions determine our conduct. They motivate us to act in certain ways.

When people initially become followers of Jesus, for example, they often do things simply because other Christians suggest or model those behaviors. They pray, read the Bible and attend worship services because they observe and want to emulate the examples of others.

This is reasonable for new believers. Little children learn the same way. However, as we grow and mature, we eventually must develop our own reasons for doing what we do. Those reasons become convictions. Here are some important principles about convictions to remember:

Biblical convictions are essential for spiritual growth and maturity. An irony about our world today is people often have strong convictions about weak issues (things like their favorite sports, clothing and music) while having weak convictions about major issues (the difference between right and wrong).

Try making a list of your spiritual convictions. Are your convictions weak on any major issues? The Bible teaches us, “Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping” (1 Corinthians 16:12-15).

People without convictions are at the mercy of circumstances. If you fail to determine what is important and how you will live, other people will determine it for you.

People without convictions are weak individuals that mindlessly follow the crowd. I believe the apostle Paul was talking about conviction when he said in Romans 12:2, "Don’t let the world squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your mind from within …" (Phillips translation).

Conviction helps us be diligent in continuing to grow spiritually. Growth requires time and effort. Without convictions about growth, people become discouraged and give up. No one persists with a difficult task unless convinced there is a good reason for doing it. This applies to prayer, studying the Bible, and seeking to live out biblical principles in our everyday life and work.

Knowing what to do (knowledge), why to do it (perspective) and how to do it (skill) are worthless without the conviction to motivate you to actually do it! People who have made the greatest impact on this world, for good or for evil, were those with the strongest, deepest convictions. They were not necessarily the smartest, wealthiest, or best educated, but convictions moved them to move the world.

© 2010, 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 and The Purpose of Christmas.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

Do you agree with the distinction that beliefs are what you argue about, while convictions are what you are willing to die for? Explain your answer. Dr. Warren suggested making a list of your spiritual convictions. Try doing this – as well as other personal, moral or ethical convictions that you consider very important. What would you include on this list? Have you ever worked with someone that clearly lacked strong convictions about how to conduct business or carry out his or her job responsibilities? What were some of the results of this lack of conviction? How do you think strong convictions can enable you to avoid letting the world – society around you – squeeze you into its mold? What might be some examples?
NOTE: If you have a Bible, consider these other passages that relate to this topic:
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; Titus 1:9; Hebrews 3:1-6, 4:14; James 1:5-6

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