理性(腦)的決定 -以及心的決定──DECISIONS OF THE HEAD AND THE HEART

從事保險業的初期階段,我學到了保單能成交的重要訣竅。人們會運用腦(理性)或心(感性)做出決定。對我個人而言,買人壽保險是感性的決定,但必須在財務上務實。通常我會建議客戶選擇較低的月付保費,確保保單生效。保費則是建議客戶認為可以輕鬆負擔的費用乘以50%。事實上,我相信這種方法可以應用在生活的很多決定上。

我們很容易會被感性牽著鼻子走——或是被理性主宰。從我的經驗來看,最佳決策來自平衡的觀點。在婚姻中,丈夫和妻子需要為重要的家庭決定討論和禱告。在商業方面,從有經驗和智慧的人那裡得到的建議是很有價值的。

幾年前,我看到一家中型製造業的兩位領導者為了降低成本,削去三分之二忠實員工的職位,把工作託給外包人員。營收數字也許顯示他們的決定是正確的,但許多盡心竭力員工的生活和生計卻因此受到了極大的影響。眼見這兩位高管摧毀了創始人成功的經營理念,在尋求明智的建言後,我決定離開公司。

在箴言19章20-23節中,我們被如此教導:「你要聽勸教,受訓誨,使你終久有智慧。人心(heart)多有計謀;惟有耶和華的籌算才能立定。施行仁慈的,令人愛慕;窮人強如說謊言的。敬畏耶和華的,得著生命;他必恆久知足,不遭禍患。」

上面這段經文的一些翻譯版本使用「意念」(mind)一詞代替「心」(heart)這個字,因為這兩個詞在聖經中常常被認為是可以互換的。身為上帝的傑作,我們被賦予考量相關訊息和感受情緒的能力,來幫助我們做出決定。當我們尋求使自己的心靈和意念與主一致時,我們就能更好地辨別祂在我們生命中的旨意。

當我們的情感和思想與聖靈同步時,就會發現自己處於能做關鍵決定的有力位置。在羅馬書8章6-8節中,保羅解釋了我們透過耶穌基督得到的新樣式。他的結論是:體貼肉體的,就是死;體貼聖靈的,乃是生命、平安。原來體貼肉體的,就是與 神為仇;因為不服 神的律法,也是不能服,而且屬肉體的人不能得 神的喜歡。」

換句話說,如果我們的心靈和意念不受基督掌管,結果就不能取悅上帝,因為我們專注在自私的慾望上,而不是祂的計劃和目標。

三十多年來,我一直努力在心靈和意念上接受基督的引導。因此,我相信上帝信實地帶我走上了正確的道路。在箴言3章5-6節中,上帝這樣告訴我們:「你要專心仰賴耶和華,不可倚靠自己的聰明,在你一切所行的事上都要認定他,他必指引你的路。

當你用心和意念做決定時,試著全然信靠上帝、我們的天父,尋求祂的智慧和完美的旨意。

Jim Langley從事人壽健康保險業已經超過30年了。最近幾年,他熱心於將自己與神的關係書 寫出來,目的是要鼓勵其他人更加親近神。他也是CBMC的長期會員,在2014年時,他開始寫作「四分衛策略」(Fourth Quarter Strategies)。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你通常會如何做決定?是跟隨你的心,還是你的理性(腦)?請解釋你的答案。
  2. 做決定時,單純根據腦袋所得到的信息下判斷,和純粹回應自己的情緒和感受,這兩種方法會造成甚麼影響?你同意做決定時需要平衡這兩者嗎?如果你贊成,在做關鍵決策時,有哪些方法可以確保你保持平衡呢?
  3. 當你面對關鍵決策時,你通常是否會向人尋求建議和明智的建言?請分享你這麼做的理由。
  4. 當我們希望用平衡的方法做決定,同時運用心與意念時,信仰能如何參與在決策過程中呢?請解釋你是如何得出這個結論的。

備註:如果你手上有聖經,希望閱讀和這個主題相關更多的信息,請閱讀以下的經文:

詩篇13篇1-3節

13:1 耶和華啊,你忘記我要到幾時呢?要到永遠嗎?你掩面不顧我要到幾時呢?

13:2 我心裏籌算,終日愁苦,要到幾時呢?我的仇敵升高壓制我,要到幾時呢?

13:3 耶和華─我的 神啊,求你看顧我,應允我!使我眼目光明,免得我沉睡至死;

詩篇37篇4-5節

37:4 又要以耶和華為樂,他就將你心裏所求的賜給你。

37:5 當將你的事交託耶和華,並倚靠他,他就必成全。

詩篇51篇10-12節

51:10  神啊,求你為我造清潔的心,使我裏面重新有正直(或譯:堅定)的靈。

51:11 不要丟棄我,使我離開你的面;不要從我收回你的聖靈。

51:12 求你使我仍得救恩之樂,賜我樂意的靈扶持我,

耶利米書31章33-34節

31:33 耶和華說:「那些日子以後,我與以色列家所立的約乃是這樣:我要將我的律法放在他們裏面,寫在他們心上。我要作他們的 神,他們要作我的子民。

31:34 他們各人不再教導自己的鄰舍和自己的弟兄說:『你該認識耶和華』,因為他們從最小的到至大的都必認識我。我要赦免他們的罪孽,不再記念他們的罪惡。這是耶和華說的。」

以西結書11章19-20節

11:19 我要使他們有合一的心,也要將新靈放在他們裏面,又從他們肉體中除掉石心,賜給他們肉心,

11:20 使他們順從我的律例,謹守遵行我的典章。他們要作我的子民,我要作他們的 神。

路加福音6章45節

6:45 善人從他心裏所存的善就發出善來;惡人從他心裏所存的惡就發出惡來;因為心裏所充滿的,口裏就說出來。」


 DECISIONS OF THE HEAD – AND THE HEART

By Jim Langley

Early in my insurance career, I learned an important lesson for closing the sale. Decisions can be made either from the head or from the heart. Personally, I consider buying life insurance to be a decision of the heart, but financial considerations must come into play. I often advise clients to choose lower monthly premiums to ensure their policies will remain in force. My approach to initially recommend limiting their commitment to not more than 50 percent of what they feel they can comfortably afford. I believe this approach can be valuable for many life decisions.

It is easy to let the heart take over – or to let the mind do the same. In my experience, the best decisions come from a balanced perspective. In marriages, the husband and wife need to discuss and hopefully pray about important family decisions. In business, there can be great value from getting counsel from others who bring experience and wisdom to the table.

Years ago, I watched two leaders of a medium-sized manufacturing firm eliminate two-thirds of the company’s jobs by reducing costs and outsourcing much of the work done for many years by faithful employees. The numbers might have supported their decisions, but the lives and livelihoods of many devoted people were drastically affected. Seeing two executives decimate the founders’ successful business philosophy caused me to eventually leave corporate life, after seeking wise counsel.

In Proverbs 19:20-23 we are told, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar. The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.”

Some translations of this passage use the word “mind” instead of “heart,” since those two terms are often considered interchangeable in the Scriptures. As God’s most wonderful creation, we have been given the ability to think through pertinent information and feel emotions to help in the decision-making process. As we seek to align both our hearts and minds with the Lord, we can better discern His will for our lives.

When our emotions and thoughts are in tune with His Spirit, we find ourselves in a powerful position for making critical decisions. In Romans 8:6-8 Paul explains about the new nature we receive through Jesus Christ. He concludes, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

In other words, if the heart and mind are not controlled by Christ, the outcome will not be pleasing to God, since we have centered on selfish wants and desires rather than His plans and purposes.

For more than 30 years, I have strived to be guided by the heart and mind of Christ. And because of that, I believe God has faithfully led me down the right path. In Proverbs 3:5-6 we are instructed, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

As you consider the decisions of your heart and your mind, consider placing your total trust in God, our Heavenly Father, seeking His wisdom and perfect will.

© 2019 Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his relationship with God. His goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. A long-time member of CBMC, he started writing “Fourth Quarter Strategies” in 2014.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How do you typically make your decisions, from the heart or from your mind? Explain your answer.
  2. What can be the impact of decision-making solely from the mind, based on information you have, or solely from the heart, responding to emotions and feelings? Do you agree that a balanced approach is necessary? If so, what are ways for ensuring that is the case when making critical decisions?
  3. When you are confronting crucial decisions, do you usually seek out advice and wise counsel from others? Why or why not?
  4. As we consider making decisions from a balanced approach of involving both the mind and the heart, where in your view does faith fit into the process, if at all? Explain how you have reached this conclusion.

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, read the following passages: Psalm 13:1-3, 37:4-5, 51:10-12; Jeremiah 31:33-34; Ezekiel 11:19-20; Luke 6:45

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