過「美好生活」的秘訣

By: Rick Warren華理克

幾年前,美國加州美生維久市的一個規畫社區打出廣告吸引買屋者,他們用了一些廣告詞:「美生維久:加州的承諾」和「過美好生活的地方」。我想每個文化都有不同的方式描述「美好生活」。例如義大利文的「la dolce vita」就是「甜蜜的生活」。我們不也都想要美好的生活嗎?

雖然「美好生活」是個常被使用,且用到浮濫的句子,但我想會有多少人曾經真正嘗試為「美好生活」下個定義--或說明美好生活應該是怎樣的生活。

好看。有些人把「美好生活」與「好看」混淆。他們心裡想的全是外表--好像那是生活中最重要的事。例如在美國文化中崇拜美麗的人,覺得能吸引人是重要的。廣告商就利用這一點,他們知道只要承諾「好看」就會讓無數男女花幾千萬在美容商品、曬膚沙龍、整型手術、吸脂、專屬服裝配色以及最新潮的服飾。

感覺好。另外有些人認為「美好生活」就是「感覺好」。他們的目標就是減少痛苦並增加樂趣--而且他們會用所有可能的辦法達到這目標:熱水按摩浴缸、遊樂場、毒癮、虛擬實境體驗、環遊世界、看電影或去音樂會。在有些國家,娛樂業已變成最大的產業。1960年代有一個標語是:「若感覺好,就去做。」這句話已成為許多人的哲學。

擁有好東西。然後還有些人認為「美好生活」就是「擁有好東西」。他們生活的主要野心就是積攢所有的東西和好東西--愈多愈好。他們盡量多賺錢,使他們能盡快地花錢。有些人甚至坦白地在汽車保險桿貼上他們這樣的價值觀:「死時有最多玩具的人就是贏家。」另一些人雖然沒有這麼厚顏無恥,但仍然相信這個「美好生活」像商品一樣是可以賺取的。

真理是:以上那些都無法使人滿足。
不論你做什麼,你都無法停止老化的過程。

樂趣只是美好生活的副產品。不應把它視為生活的目標。
生活中最重要的東西根本不是東西!

那麼,美好生活到底是什麼?那是因為成為好的人且做好的事而有的滿足與喜樂。那是發現並成為上帝要你成為之人的結果。沒有其他的事物能填補你靈魂中的那個虛空。聖經告訴我們:「我們原是他的工作…為要叫我們行善,就是神所預備叫我們行的(以弗所書2章10節)。當你用你的生命去幫助別人(行善),並認識且信靠上帝,你就會感覺很好。那就是美好的生活。別讓別人欺騙你,讓你以為美好生活是別的事物。

在聖經新約中,耶穌說祂來是要賜給我們生命,且要讓我們經驗到最豐盛的生命(約翰福音10章10節)。聖經也說,我們可以現在就擁有這豐盛的生命,且那豐盛的程度與我們信靠上帝的程度成正比。(哥林多後書3章17節)。

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
若有人問你什麼是「美好的生活」,你會如何定義? 根據你對美好生活的定義,你是否正在經歷這樣的生活?為什麼? 好看、感覺好和擁有想要的東西只是美好生活的副產品,不應是我們生活的主要焦點。」你對這句話有何看法? 本文作者認為,與上帝建立關係能使我們成為好的人並做善事,最終成為上帝要我們做的人。你是否同意他的這個觀點?請解釋。註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
傳道書3章12-13節;馬太福音6章19-21節,25章21-23節;路加福音16章10-12節;使徒行傳20章35節;哥林多前書7章23-24節

THE SECRET FOR LIVING “THE GOOD LIFE”
By: Rick Warren

A few years ago, the planned community of Mission Viejo, California in the U.S.A. launched an advertising campaign to attract home buyers. The campaign used phrases like, "Mission Viejo: the “California Promise”" and "The place to live the Good Life." I think every culture refers to “the good life” in one way or another. In Italian, for example, it”s “la dolce vita” – literally, “the sweet life.” Don”t we all want the good life?

Even though it has become an oft-used, well-worn phrase, I wonder how many people have ever bothered to try defining what “the good life” really is – or what it should be.

Looking good. Some people confuse "the good life" with "looking good.” They are preoccupied with appearances – as if that is what really matters in life. The American culture, for example, idolizes beauty and places high value on being attractive. Advertisers capitalize on this. knowing the promise of "looking good" causes men and women to spend billions on beauty products, tanning salons, plastic surgery, fat suction, custom color coordination, and the latest styles in clothing.

Feeling good. For others, "the good life" means the same as “feeling good.” Their goal is minimizing pain and maximizing pleasure – and they will use whatever means they think necessary to achieve this: hot tubs, entertainment parks, drug addiction, virtual reality experiences, world travel, film or concert venues. The supplying of pleasure and entertainment has grown into the largest industry in some countries. A motto from the 1960s, "If it feels good, do it,” has become personal philosophy for many people.

Having the goods. Then there are others who associate "the good life" with “having the goods.” Their chief ambition in life is collecting all the goods and goodies of life – at least as many as possible. They earn as much money as they can so they can spend it as fast as they can. Some frankly identify their values with bumper stickers that declare, "The one that dies with the most toys wins." Others are not that brazen, but still believe this “good life” is something that can be acquired, like a commodity.

The truth is: None of these things ultimately satisfy.
No matter what you do, you cannot stop the aging process.
Pleasure is a byproduct of the good life; it should not be viewed as the goal of it.
The greatest things in life are not things at all!

So, what truly is the Good Life? It is the personal fulfillment and joy that come from being good and doing good. It is the result of discovering and becoming exactly what God created you to be. Nothing else will fill that void in your soul. The Bible tells us: "You are God’s workmanship, created…to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do" (Ephesians 2:10). When you use your life to help others – doing good – and know and trust God, you will feel good about yourself. That is the Good Life. Don’t let anybody deceive you into thinking it is something else.

In the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus announced He came to give us life, making it possible for us to experience life abundantly – to its fullest (John 10:10). The Bible also declares we can have this abundant life right now, to the degree we trust God with every detail of our lives (2 Corinthians 3:17).

© 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

If someone were to ask you about “the good life,” how would you define it? Based on your definition of the good life, do you believe you are experiencing it right now? Why or why not? What do you think of the statement that looking good, feeling good, and “having the goods” – possessing desirable things – are nothing more than byproducts of the so-called “good life” and should not be the primary focus of our lives? Do you agree with Dr. Warren”s view that having a personal relationship with God enables us to be good and do good, ultimately making it possible for us to become all that He has designed us to be? Explain your answer.
NOTE: If you have a Bible, consider these other passages that relate to this topic:
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13; Matthew 6:19-21, 25:21-23; Luke 16:10-12; Acts 20:35; 1 Timothy 6:17

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