在聖經的地基上建立財務的房子

By:Austin Pryor

在2014年一開始的前幾個星期,若是提起2008在經濟風暴下崩盤的股票市場,似乎大家都已經淡忘了。從去年十一月就預期會下跌的市場,今年一開始股市已經漲了175%,比2013前十一個月成長了30%。當我們在景況好的時候,很容易忘記我們需要為隨時會降臨的金融風暴做預備。

2005年的颶風麗塔來襲時,華倫和潘‧亞當失去了在美國德克薩斯州灣區的房子。他們很喜歡這棟房子所以決定要重建它,但因為有之前颶風慘痛的教訓,他們蓋了更能抵擋暴風的地基,支撐柱更加地堅固且高。這間房子可以抵擋五級的颶風,地板離海平面22英吋高。

三年之後,颶風艾克侵襲這個海邊的社區。當颶風離開的時候,當地的消防局、郵局和將近200戶人家也跟著消失了。但是亞當家的新房子依舊存在。有些人就很疑惑說:「為什麼當其他灣區的房子無一倖免時,他們家的房子卻能存留下來?」

這棟房子之所以能存留下來,是因為它原本就是設計成為能夠抵擋五級颶風和暴風的。我們借著這個例子來觀察經濟未來的動向。我們不知何時和哪種暴風會來,但它們總是會來。如果我們夠聰明,就會把自己的經濟房屋建造在強而有力的地基上,因此當暴風來臨的時候,它依然能站立得穩。

耶穌在聖經裡教導我們如何建造生命:「所以,凡聽見我這話就去行的,好比一個聰明人,把房子蓋在磐石上;雨淋,水沖,風吹,撞著那房子,房子總不倒塌,因為根基立在磐石上。凡聽見我這話不去行的,好比一個無知的人,把房子蓋在沙土上; 雨淋,水沖,風吹,撞著那房子,房子就倒塌了,並且倒塌得很大。」(馬太福音7章24~27節)

耶穌教導我們日常生活的準則,包括成為一個金錢的好管家。多少人的房子是建造在人的想法上,因此當風暴來臨的時候,房子就被摧毀。許多年來,我一再強調很多人犯的頭號錯誤就是在金錢的處理上,沒有把聖經原則當成基石,而是隨從世俗的建議。因為新的一年才剛開始,我鼓勵你們做以下的事:
牢記2008年金融風暴的教訓,並且為下一個金融風暴做準備。 檢視你的財務基石。特別是成為沒有負債的人,預備緊急基金,微調你的投資風險到最能反應你的個性和年紀。 重新委身在財務的每個領域上,遵行神保護性的原則。我不是在預言說明年會有下一個金融風暴,但世事難料。如果暴風來了,而你的財務房子是建立在磐石上,它就不會倒塌。

© Sound Mind Investing, 2014. Austin Pryor has 35 years of experience advising investors, and founded the Sound Mind Investing newsletter and website (http://www.soundmindinvesting.com/misc/s_austinpryorbio.htm). You can read more of his writing at www.soundmindinvesting.com. He lives with his wife, Susie, in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

Austin Pryor具有超過三十年理財顧問的經驗。他也是「健全心裡投資」的創辦者。他住在美國肯塔基州的路易斯威爾市。他的網址是www.soundmindinvesting.com

省思 / 討論題目
2008年的時候,你個人或是公司是否被金融風暴影響到?影響多大呢? 比較一下建造能抵擋五級颶風屋子的比喻和建造能抵擋金融災難的財務房子,有甚麼相同和不同之處? 你是否有考慮要做一些措施來預防未來看不見的金融颶風、颱風或地震?說明一下理由。 作者Pryor先生建議遵照聖經的原則來管理財務,你的反應是?你是否想的到任何依據聖經的財務管理原則?如果有,分享一下。註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:箴言13章11節,15章16節,16章3、9節,19章21節,20章24節,22章7節,27章1節,馬太福音6章19-24節、33-34節

BUILDING FINANCIAL HOUSES ON BIBLICAL BEDROCK
By Austin Pryor

In the first weeks of 2014, the stock market devastation caused by the financial storm of 2008 has faded from our memories. From the low of that bear market through the end of November, stocks have returned more than 175%. The gain was 30% for the first 11 months of 2013 alone. During good times like we have been experiencing it is easy to forget the importance of preparing for the occasional storms.

During Hurricane Rita in 2005, Warren and Pam Adams lost their beach house on the Gulf Coast in Gilchrist, Texas, U.S.A. They loved the beach and decided to rebuild, but mindful of painful lessons learned during Rita, they built with a more storm-resistant foundation. This time, columns supporting the structure were stronger and higher. The house was built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, and its bottom floor was 22 feet above sea level.

Three years later, Hurricane Ike roared through the little beach community. By the time the storm was gone, so were the local fire station, post office, and most of the 200 homes in Gilchrist. But the Adams’ new house was still standing. Skeptics asked, "How could that one house survive when none of the others on the Gulf Coast side of town did?"

It survived because it was engineered to withstand hurricane-force winds and storm surges. We should heed this lesson as we consider the financial future. We do not know what storms will come or when, but they always do eventually. If we are wise, we will build our financial houses on a strong foundation so they will still be standing when the worst is over.

Jesus taught us how to build a life: "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash" (Matthew 7:24-27).

He spoke in general terms about following his teachings in daily life, and this includes stewardship – how we manage our financial resources. How many financial houses have fallen "with a great crash" because they were built on the sand of human thinking? For many years, I have said the number one mistake many people make is ignoring the bedrock of biblical principles when managing their money and following secular advice advice. Since a new year has just begun, I encourage you to:
Remember any difficulties you may have had navigating the storm of 2008. Learn from them so you will be well prepared for the next one. Review the strength of your financial foundation. Give special attention to your plan for becoming debt-free, building your emergency fund, and fine-tuning your investment risk to best reflect your risk-taking temperament and season of life. Recommit to following God’s protective principles in all areas of your financial life.I am not predicting we will be facing another financial hurricane in the coming year. But no one knows? If a storm does come, your financial house should be "built
on the rock" so it will not collapse.

© Sound Mind Investing, 2014. Austin Pryor has 35 years of experience advising investors, and founded the Sound Mind Investing newsletter and website (http://www.soundmindinvesting.com/misc/s_austinpryorbio.htm). You can read more of his writing at www.soundmindinvesting.com. He lives with his wife, Susie, in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Were you personally or corporately affected by the economic disaster of 2008 or another dramatic downturns in the economy? If so, what was its impact? What do you think of the comparison between constructing a house to withstand a severe natural storm and building a “financial house” to survive an economic disaster? Have you considered taking specific steps to ensure your financial future against unforeseen financial hurricanes, typhoons or earthquakes? Why or why not? Mr. Pryor suggests following biblical principles of stewardship and financial management. What is your reaction to his recommendation? Do any appropriate principles come to mind? If so, what are they?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 13:11, 15:16, 16:3,9, 19:21, 20:24, 22:7, 27:1; Matthew 6:19-24,33-34

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