商場世界觀與聖經教導的抵觸

By Rick Boxx

你是否曾經花時間檢視自己個人的世界觀?是甚麼原因造成這樣的世界觀?世界觀非常重要,因為它會影響我們對這個世界的看法以及我們如何回應。

利潤。在八零年代,著名的經濟學家米爾頓·傅利曼(Milton Friedman註1)宣稱「做生意最重要的目的就是要獲得利潤。」很多老闆接受Friedman的看法,合理化自己不計一切代價追求更多利潤的行為。1987年,這樣的觀念出現在一部電影「華爾街」裡面。片中麥克道格拉斯(飾演Gordon Gecko)很諷刺地說:「貪婪是好的。」但在真實的世界中,股市因為人心貪婪而崩盤。不幸的,現在還是很多人相信這樣的準則,即使很多證據已經顯示出這樣的想法是錯誤的。

當我們查考了聖經,這樣的議題再次出現。例如,哥林多前書10章31節教導我們:「所以,你們或吃或喝,無論做甚麼,都要為榮耀上帝而行。」這裡說到,神希望我們工作、做生意或做任何事情都是要為了榮耀他而做,不僅僅是要賺取利益而已。

合作關係。吉姆有一個很令人興奮新的商業點子,但是他需要一筆為數不小的創業基金。有一個他認識的人投資他,提供了所需的資金,變成吉姆的事業合作夥伴。雖然吉姆的太太警告他,一個沒有相同創業理想的夥伴,可能會造成不平等的約束。但是吉姆還是拿了資金,急著要得到他所需要的資金。

果不其然, 一年之後,吉姆的夥伴把他踢出事業,因為他們的宗教信仰不同。我們在歷代志下20章37節也看到類似的狀況,「那時瑪利沙人、多大瓦的兒子以利以謝向約沙法預言說:「因你與亞哈謝交好,耶和華必破壞你所造的。」後來那船果然破壞,不能往他施去了。」

位置。在工商業界,我們常被告知我們可以自由選擇事業夥伴。但是聖經告訴我們,神擁有一切。如果你相信聖經,祂知道你應該和誰成為生意夥伴。

當我還很年輕的時候,在企業裡面很努力地往上爬,心裡面只想著要要越爬越高,所以下面的人要服從我。但是有一天,一個特別的經驗改變了我的世界觀。

當時我所服務的銀行總裁告訴所有的員工把車子開到後面去,因為他要幫大家洗車子,服務大家。我當時真是不敢相信眼睛所看到的。我的老闆知道了就笑笑地跟我說,耶穌也曾經為他的門徒洗腳。耶穌在路加福音22章26節告訴我們:「但你們不可這樣;你們裏頭為大的,倒要像年幼的,為首領的,倒要像服事人的。」這個世界告訴我們,領袖是應當被服事的,但是神告訴我們,優秀的領袖是要服事人的。

註1: 米爾頓·傅利曼(Milton Friedman,1912年7月31日-2006年11月16日)是美國經濟學家,以研究總體經濟學、個體經濟學、經濟史、統計學、及主張自由放任資本主義而聞名。資料來源:維基百科https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%B1%B3%E7%88%BE%E9%A0%93%C2%B7%E4
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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

你對在商業世界的運行中,這些明顯矛盾的世界觀該如何反應? 在你看來,下結論說: 「我知道聖經教導的和世界不一樣,但是為了要成功,我要做必須做的。」對此,你有麼看法? 你是否同意合夥人之間,在私人和工作信仰和價值觀上,也需要考慮是否相同?為什麼不只是考慮天分、才能、資金就好了呢? 你是否曾經曾經在僕人領袖的底下工作過?僕人領袖的態度對員工、顧客和供應商有甚麼影響?你覺得這樣的態度會減損領袖的尊嚴嗎?分享你的看法。

如果你手上有聖經,想要了解更多跟這個主題相關的經節,請參考:馬太福音6章19-24節、33節;馬可福音10章45節;以弗所書6章5-9節;歌羅西書3章23-24節

THREE PARADOXES OF BUSINESS

By Rick Boxx

Have you ever taken time to examine your personal worldview and factors that have formed it? Our worldviews are critical since they shape the ways we think about the world and how we respond to it. In that light, many commonly held views on business run counter to the biblical worldview, and we would be wise to understand how these perspectives conflict. Here are a few of them:

Profit. In the 1980s, noted economist Milton Friedman proclaimed, “the only purpose for business is profit.” Many leaders embraced Friedman”s view, justifying their pursuit of enhanced profits at all costs. In 1987, this worldview went on public display in the theatrical film, “Wall Street.” In one pivotal scene, at the same time the actual stock market was crashing, largely due to greed, Michael Douglas, playing the film role of Gordon Gecko, ironically declares, “Greed is good!” Unfortunately, many still believe this mantra, despite much evidence that such thinking is wrong.

The paradox arises when we consider what the Bible says. For instance, 1 Corinthians 10:31 teaches, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This is saying that God desires our businesses – our work – to glorify Him, not just acquire profits. Which view have you chosen?

Partnership. Jim had an exciting new business idea but it required a significant sum of start-up money. An acquaintance offered to invest the necessary funds and become Jim”s equal partner. Although Jim”s wife cautioned her husband against being “unequally yoked” with this man who did not share the same beliefs and values, Jim charged ahead anyway, eager to obtain the financing he needed.

The story came to a short-lived, sad conclusion one year later when Jim”s partner forced him out of the business due to his disdain for his spiritual beliefs. We see a similar dilemma in 2 Chronicles 20:37 after Jehoshaphat, the king of Israel, partnered with a wicked king to build ships. God destroyed the ships and sent a prophet to tell Jehoshaphat, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has destroyed your works.”

Position. The business and professional world says we can choose whomever we want to be our partners. God, however, owns everything according to the Scriptures. If that is true, should He have the right to choose the people with whom we partner – and how we work with them?

When I was young, climbing the corporate ladder, my mindset was focused on moving higher and higher so more people would serve me. Then one day an experience rocked that worldview!

The president of the bank I was working for asked all of the employees to drive their cars around back because he was going to wash their cars as an act of service to the staff. When in disbelief I challenged his unconventional approach, my boss smiled knowingly and reminded me Jesus served His disciples when He humbly washed their feet.

Jesus said in Luke 22:26, “The one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” The mindset of our world says leaders should be served, but God says the best leaders are those that serve others.

Copyright 2016, 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 new book, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God”s Way.”

Reflection/Discussion Questions

What is your reaction to these apparent paradoxes in worldviews about how we should operate in the business world? In your view, is it ever justifiable to conclude, “I know the Bible teaches differently about how we should conduct ourselves in the workplace, but to succeed in business, you have to do what you have to do!”? Explain your answer. Do you agree that personal and professional beliefs and values should be considered in forming a business partnership? Why shouldn”t we just consider the gifts, talents and tangible investments that the respective partners can contribute and leave it at that? Have you ever worked for someone who viewed his or her role in the company as being that of a servant? What impact do you think such an attitude has on employees, customers and suppliers? Do you think it could diminish the leader”s influence and power in any way? Why or why not?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Matthew 6:19-24,33; Mark 10:45; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:23-24

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