Friday, March 1, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

誰說錢買不到快樂?

每個文化都有它的諺語,古老的說法,從一個世代傳到下一個世代,且被視為真理。然而,其中有些並不一定正確。例如,常常被覆述的這句話:「棍子和石頭可能會打斷我的骨頭,但罵我的話絕不會傷到我。」事實上,粗魯、不體貼的話會傷人。而且那傷害常常比棍棒造成的身體傷害更長久。

另一個正確性值得懷疑的諺語是:「金錢買不到快樂。」想想看:當老闆給你加薪,難道不會讓你快樂?若你收到一筆意外之財,難道你不覺得快樂?若你決定賣掉某件東西,然後發現那東西的賣出價格比你想像的還高,這難道不會為你帶來快樂?

甚至聖經也承認:「財物使朋友增多;但窮人朋友遠離…好施散的,有多人求他的恩情;愛送禮的,人都為他的朋友」(箴言19章4、6節)。若讓人們選擇要有錢或沒錢,我們當然都會選擇有錢,不是嗎?

但問題是我們如何定義「快樂」。幾年前,我聽到一位廣播員把快樂與喜樂做了一個很好的區別。他說:「快樂與『發生的事』有關--就是那些能正面或負面影響我們的外在因素。然而,喜樂是內在感受到幸福,不受我們周遭所發生之事的影響。」

例如,買一輛新車會帶給我們極大的快樂--「新車的味道」,先進的零件和科技,以及能開一輛不同的交通工具的新鮮感。然而,若有人在停車場撞了這輛新車的擋泥板,我們的快樂立刻消失。還有,過了一段時間,當那車不再新了,我們的快樂也就消退。所以,是的,金錢能買到快樂--但它不能讓我們永遠快樂。

另一方面,在損失、痛苦或極大的患難中,喜樂仍然能維持。喜樂是知足,與實現及意義有關。它不會因外在環境就消失。所以,更正確的說法是:「金錢可以買到快樂,但無法買到喜樂。」聖經也談到這一點:

專注在正確的事上。金錢可能有用,但有其極限。當我們到達生命的終點,金錢就沒有價值。在那時,重要的是我們留下什麼無形的遺產,那反映出我們在世上是如何生活,以及我們對世界的影響。「發怒的日子資財無益;惟有公義能救人脫離死亡」(箴言11章4節)。

專注在長久存在的事物。另一個普遍的諺語告訴我們:「容易得到就容易失去。」若金錢很容易失去,我們卻用我們所有的時間和精力去追求財富。這是明智之舉嗎?「不要勞碌求富,休仗自己的聰明。你豈要定睛在虛無的錢財上嗎﹖因錢財必長翅膀,如鷹向天飛去」(箴言23章4-5節)。

積儹真正的財寶。若我們的生命是追求喜樂--知足、實現與意義,那麼我們是否有許多錢就沒有多少關係,或甚至一點關係也沒有。「不要為自己積儹財寶在地上;地上有蟲子咬,能銹壞,也有賊挖窟窿來偷。只要積儹財寶在天上;天上沒有蟲子咬,不能銹壞,也沒有賊挖窟窿來偷」(馬太福音6章19-20節)。

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:

箴言11章18、28節,15章16、27節,18章11節,21章20節,27章24節;傳道書5章8-20節;馬太福音7章24-27節

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).

Reflection/Discussion Questions
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

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