思想 / 討論題目
你是否熟悉這句諺語：「錢買不到快樂」？「錢可以買到快樂－－但不是永遠的快樂。」你對這句話有何看法？ 金錢如何使你快樂？金錢是否在有些方面使你不快樂？請解釋。 你認為快樂與喜樂有何不同？你是否同意文中所說的差異？為什麼？ 本文所列聖經對金錢與財富的觀察，你有何看法？註：若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文，請看：
WHO SAYS MONEY CANNOT BUY HAPPINESS?
By: Robert J. Tamasy
Every culture has its adages, time-worn sayings passed down from one generation to the next and accepted as truth. Some of them, however, are not necessarily true. Take, for example, the oft-repeated statement, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” In reality, names – harsh, insensitive references to other people – can hurt, and often the damage inflicted lingers much longer than physical pain suffered by being struck by an object.
Another adage of questionable veracity is, “Money cannot buy happiness.” Think about it: When you receive a pay increase at work, does that not make you feel happy? If you get an unexpected check in the mail, don”t you experience a measure of happiness? If you decided to sell something, would it not bring you happiness to learn that the item for sale is worth more than you had imagined?
Even the Bible acknowledges, “Wealth brings many friends, but a poor man”s friend deserts him…everyone is the friend of a man who gives gifts” (Proverbs 19:4, 6). Certainly, given the choice of whether to have money or not to have money, we all would choose to have it, right?
But the issue is how we define “happiness.” Years ago I heard a radio speaker make an excellent distinction between happiness and joy. Happiness, he said, involves “happenings” – external factors that can affect us in positive or negative ways. Joy, however, the speaker explained, is an internal sense of well-being, one that is not dependent upon what transpires around us.
Take, for example, buying a new car. It may bring us great happiness – the “new car smell,” the latest in accessories and technological advancements, and simply the novelty of being able to drive a different vehicle. However, if someone smashes into one of its fenders in a parking lot, our happiness suddenly dissipates. Also, over time, when the newness of the car wears off, our happiness also fades. So yes, money can buy happiness – but it cannot preserve it forever.
Joy, on the other hand, can be sustained even in the midst of loss, pain, or great adversity. It involves a sense of contentment, fulfillment and meaning that need not become diminished by external circumstances. Therefore, it is more correct to state that money can buy happiness – but it cannot buy joy. The Bible also speaks about this:
Aim at the right things. Money may be useful, but it has its limits. It has no value when we arrive at life”s end. At that point, all that matters is the legacy we leave behind, the reflection of how we lived and the impact we had on our world. “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death” (Proverbs 11:4).
Focus on things that endure. Another common adage tells us, “Easy come, easy go.” Is it wise to devote all of our time and energy in the relentless pursuit of riches when they can be so easily lost or taken from us? “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” (Proverbs 23:4-5).
Store up true wealth. If our life”s quest is for joy – fulfillment, contentment and meaning – it matters little whether we have a lot of money, or none at all. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran of more than 35 years in professional journalism, he is the author of Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press) and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress).
Are you familiar with the adage, “Money cannot buy happiness”? What is your reaction to the declaration that it can buy happiness – although not permanently? In what ways does money make you happy? Are there any ways in which money makes you unhappy? Explain your answer. What do you think of the contrast between happiness and joy? Do you agree with the distinction? Why or why not? How do you respond to the biblical observations presented in this Monday Manna about money, wealth and riches?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
Proverbs 11:18,28, 15:16,27, 18:11, 21:20, 27:24; Ecclesiastes 5:8-20; Matthew 7:24-27