「箴言」- 不可思議的力量──THE INCREDIBLE POWER OF PROVERBS

MONDAY MANNA

在一場葬禮上,我和二十年不見的喬閒聊。當他知道我在做非常規商業網絡管理(Unconventional Business Network)的非營利工作時,他說從某種意義上來說,我讓他想起了自己的叔叔。

他叔叔從藍領時期的小規模生意做起,幾年後身價竟值數百萬美元。當喬問叔叔是如何成功時,叔叔回答:「幾年前,我在找尋解決工作問題的方法時發現了聖經中的箴言書。效果很好,所以自此之後,我每天都會閱讀一章箴言並實際應用。」

我的箴言經歷和喬的叔叔相仿。事實上,箴言被稱作聖經的其中一卷「智慧書」。但箴言不止是智慧的話語,這些話是上帝的言語。例如,箴言1章7節說:「敬畏耶和華是知識的開端;愚妄人藐視智慧和訓誨。」這話聽起來似乎有些苛刻,但是當我們讀完整卷箴言時,就會了解為什麼。

箴言不只是一本哲學書,也不是崇高的理想主義,而是腳踏實地、真偽立現、實用的原則和戒律。箴言7章2節告訴我們:「遵守我的命令就得存活;保守我的法則(或譯:指教),好像保守眼中的瞳人。」我們在箴言中所學到的教導,對職場和生活中的每個方面都同樣重要且有用。

我聽說有企業高管每週召開會議,討論箴言的智慧和見解,他們有些人甚至不是耶穌基督的追隨者。即使是不信神的人,他們也在這本簡明扼要的舊約書中發現真理的價值。不過這只是我們可以從箴言中學到的一小部分。為了讓你在職場中持續保有智慧,請經常閱讀箴言:

憤怒。「愚妄人的惱怒立時顯露;通達人能忍辱藏羞。」(箴言12章16節)「暴怒的人挑啟爭端;忍怒的人止息紛爭。」(箴言15章18節)

行動的後果。「惡人雖然連手,必不免受罰;義人的後裔必得拯救。」(箴言11章21節)「有一條路,人以為正,至終成為死亡之路。」(箴言14章12節)

紀律與指正。 謹守訓誨的,乃在生命的道上;違棄責備的,便失迷了路。」(箴言10章17節)「棄絕管教的,必致貧受辱;領受責備的,必得尊榮。」(箴言13章18節)

尋求智慧的引導。無智謀,民就敗落;謀士多,人便安居。」(箴言11章14節)「智慧人大有能力;有知識的人力上加力。你去打仗,要憑智謀;謀士眾多,人便得勝。」(箴言24章5-6節)

處理財務。「不勞而得之財必然消耗;勤勞積蓄的,必見加增。」(箴言13章11節)「富戶管轄窮人;欠債的是債主的僕人。」(箴言22章7節)

© 2020版權所有非傳統商業網路(前身為純全資源中心)。節錄自和Rick Boxx的純全時刻,這本刊物主要是從基督徒的角度來探討職場上正直這個主題。如果希望知道更多關於這個事工或是想訂閱每日純全時刻,請上這個網站: www.unconventionalbusiness.org. Rick Boxx最新出版的書「提供用五個關鍵的神的方法來建立企業。」

反省與問題討論

  1. 你或你認識的人是否曾經花時間閱讀箴言?如果有,箴言對你們產生了什麼影響?
  2. 你如何定義「智慧」?如何區分智慧與知識、經驗?
  3. 在本篇「週一嗎哪」所引用的箴言章節中,哪句對你來說最吸引你的注意或最有見地?請解釋你的答案。
  4. 箴言書共有31章,何不嘗試每天讀一章,持續一整個月,然後評估這段時間裡的所學?

備註:如果你有聖經,希望閱讀更多和這個主題相關的內容,請考慮下面的經文:

箴言14:4
14:4家裏無牛,槽頭乾淨;土產加多乃憑牛力。

箴言15:33
15:33 敬畏耶和華是智慧的訓誨;尊榮以前,必有謙卑。

箴言16:32
16:32 不輕易發怒的,勝過勇士;治服己心的,強如取城。

箴言18:16
18:16 人的禮物為他開路,引他到高位的人面前。

箴言19:9
19:19 暴怒的人必受刑罰;你若救他,必須再救。

箴言20:25
20:25 人冒失說,這是聖物,許願之後才查問,就是自陷網羅。

箴言24:27
24:27 你要在外頭預備工料,在田間辦理整齊,然後建造房屋。

箴言24:4
27:4 忿怒為殘忍,怒氣為狂瀾,惟有嫉妒,誰能敵得住呢?

箴言27:8
27:8 人離本處飄流,好像雀鳥離窩遊飛。

箴言27:17
27:17 鐵磨鐵,磨出刃來;朋友相感(原文是磨朋友的臉)也是如此。


THE INCREDIBLE POWER OF PROVERBS

By Rick Boxx

While attending a funeral, I struck up a conversation with Joe, a guy I had not seen in 20 years. As he learned about what I do with Unconventional Business Network, the non-profit organization I direct, Joe said that in one sense it reminded of his uncle.

He explained that his uncle started with modest means in a blue-collar trade, but years later was worth millions of dollars. When Joe asked about his uncle about his success, the uncle replied, “Years ago, I was looking for a solution to a work problem when I turned to the book of Proverbs. It worked so well that I’ve read and applied a chapter of Proverbs to my life every day since.”

My experience with Proverbs has been similar. In fact, one of the Bible’s “wisdom books,” it says that about itself. But it is not just about the words we read; it is about the God who is behind those words. For instance, Proverbs 1:7 declares, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Those might sound like harsh words, but as we continue reading through each of the book’s 31 chapters, we come to understand why.

Proverbs is not a book of philosophy, nor lofty idealism, but one of down-to-earth, rubber-meets-the-road, practical principles and precepts. Proverbs 7:2 tells us: “Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.” The teachings we find in Proverbs prove equally relevant and useful for the workplace as they are for every other area of life.

I have heard of business executives who commit to meeting weekly to discuss the wisdom and insights from Proverbs, some of whom may not even claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. Even as outsiders to God’s family of faith, they see the value of the truths they find in this concisely written Old Testament book. Here is a small sampling of what we can learn from it. For consistent wisdom in your work, turn to Proverbs frequently:

Anger. “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult” (Proverbs 12:16). “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly” (Proverbs 15:18).

Consequences for actions. “Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free” (Proverbs 11:21). “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Discipline and correction. “He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray” (Proverbs 10:17). “He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored” (Proverbs 13:18).

Seeking wise counsel. “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisors make victory sure” (Proverbs 11:14). “A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance and for victory many advisers” (Proverbs 24:5-6).

Handling finances. “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow” (Proverbs 13:11). “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).

© 2020, Unconventional Business Network Adapted with permission from “Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx,” a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more, visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org. His latest book, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God’s Way.”

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Have you – or someone you know – ever taken the time to read through the book of Proverbs? If so, what kind of impact has it had?
  2.  How would you define “wisdom”? How would you distinguish it from knowledge, or experience?
  3.  Which of the passages from Proverbs cited in this “Monday Manna” seem most interesting or insightful to you? Explain your answer.
  4. Since there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs, what would you think of committing to try reading one chapter of Proverbs a day for an entire month, and then evaluating what you had learned over that time?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages:

Proverbs 14:4, 15:33, 16:32, 18:16, 19:9, 20:25, 24:27, 27:4, 27:8, 27:17

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