「對你來說是真理,但對我來說不是」—到底是真的嗎?──‘TRUE FOR YOU, BUT NOT FOR ME’ – IS THIS TRUE?

現在對於許多人來說,真理被視為一種可選擇的商品,好像是決定在雜貨店購買哪種水果或哪個品牌的罐頭食品一般。這只是個人選擇的問題 – 他們是這麼說的。

當我聽到一位民航公司的飛行員這麼說,「對你來說是真理,但對我來說不是。」我感到震驚。這樣說好像真理是主觀的,而且只是根據人們所感覺為正確,就認定的。我很好奇,當他知道本身和乘客的生命,都取決於自己能夠根據絕對的真理,而做出正確決策時,一個資深的機長,怎麼會做出這樣的陳述呢?

例如,在處理飛行中的緊急情況,或在嘗試低能見度前進使用儀表飛行時,絕對沒有出錯的餘地。在這種情況下,真理不是可以複選的題目。儘管如此,我發現像他這樣的人不在少數。我們正生活在一個世界,有更多的人相信沒有絕對的真理,他們認為一切都是相對的。

多年前,我的朋友寧錄·麥克奈爾(Nimrod McNair) 上校說:「弗里茨,哈佛商學院所教導那些真正有效的商業原則,其實都是基於聖經。」他接著解釋說,這不一定代表哈佛商學院的教授們知道這一點。他還發現,他們也教了許多行不通的原則。儘管如此,他說,「無論如何得到,真理就是真理。」,如果一個人應用這些原則,他或她就能期待必然的結果。

我從未忘記這位朋友的話。多年來,通過觀察,我對他的說法進行了驗證。 過去30 年,我在一家我認為擁有良好管理的公司工作。當時,我意識到他們的成功,可以歸功於他們的經營都按著三個基本原則進行著:「不負債、照顧自己員工和幕僚、照顧好自己的客戶」。不管他們是否知道,其實所有這三個原則都是牢牢地根植於聖經的教導。不幸的是,我退休前的最後一位 CEO 改變了公司的發展方向。他系統性地放棄了這些原則,公司的命運一落千丈,最終導致公司破產。

如果你觀察各級領導,無論是丈夫或父親領導自己的家庭,還是總裁或CEO領導大公司,甚至國家的總統或首相領導著國家,都非常有啟發性。當我觀察到有些人將這些原則付諸實踐時,他們就會取得一定程度的成功。他們的個人信仰是什麼,或者他們對宗教信仰的看法是什麼,真的沒有差別。再一次,正如我的朋友寧錄上校所說,「無論如何得到,真理就是真理。」

但我必須承認,自己親身經歷的大部分失敗和悲傷,都可以歸因於違反了聖經中明確陳述或隱含在例子中的原則和戒律。

當猶太的省長本丟彼拉多問拿撒勒人耶穌是否是王時,耶穌回答說:「你說我是王。我為此而生,也為此來到世間,特為給真理作見證。…」可悲的是,彼拉多懷疑地反問:真理是什麼呢? (約翰福音18章37-38節)然而,現今許多人還在問著同樣可悲的問題。

思考一下這個問題的重要性:「有絕對真理嗎?」在判斷某件事是否為真時,你參考的依據是什麼呢?在另一個場景,耶穌說:「你們必曉得真理,真理必叫你們得以自由」(約翰福音 8章32節)。耶穌和聖經是你真理的來源嗎?

William “Fritz” Klumpp 曾在美國海軍擔任飛行員,包括參與越南戰爭期間的多項戰鬥任務,曾任商業航空公司飛行員、房地產主管和 CBMC 前任常務理事。

備註:如果你手上有聖經想閱讀更多相關內容,請參考以下經文:

詩篇 25篇5節
25:5 求你以你的真理引導我,教訓我,因為你是救我的 神。我終日等候你。
箴言 1章7節
1:7 敬畏耶和華是知識的開端;愚妄人藐視智慧和訓誨。
箴言2章6節
2:6 因為,耶和華賜人智慧;知識和聰明都由他口而出。
箴言3章13-15節
3:13 得智慧,得聰明的,這人便為有福。
3:14 因為得智慧勝過得銀子,其利益強如精金,
3:15 比珍珠(或譯:紅寶石)寶貴;你一切所喜愛的,都不足與比較。
箴言15章33節
15:33 敬畏耶和華是智慧的訓誨;尊榮以前,必有謙卑。
箴言16章16節
16:16 得智慧勝似得金子;選聰明強如選銀子。
撒迦利亞書 8章16-17節
8:16 你們所當行的是這樣:各人與鄰舍說話誠實,在城門口按至理判斷,使人和睦。
8:17 誰都不可心裏謀害鄰舍,也不可喜愛起假誓,因為這些事都為我所恨惡。這是耶和華說的。」
約翰福音 18章31-32節
18:31 彼拉多說:「你們自己帶他去,按著你們的律法審問他吧。」猶太人說:「我們沒有殺人的權柄。」
18:32 這要應驗耶穌所說自己將要怎樣死的話了。
約翰福音16章13節
16:13 只等真理的聖靈來了,他要引導你們明白(原文是進入)一切的真理;因為他不是憑自己說的,乃是把他所聽見的都說出來,並要把將來的事告訴你們。

反省與問題討論

  1. 什麼是真理?特別是就你在工作中的經歷和實務經驗而言,你會如何定義它?
  2. 在「相對真理」與「絕對真理」的辯論中,你的觀點是什麼?你在本期週一嗎哪中讀到的內容是否對你原本的想法提出了挑戰?請解釋你的答案。
  3. 當你要根據真理做重要決定時,你會依據什麼?你有沒有想過或說過:「對你來說可能是真理,但對我來說不是」?如果有,請說明是甚麼情況。
  4. 根據你對聖經及聖經教導的理解,你認為哪些原則,對你在工作場域裡的行為或經營事業的方式最為重要或最有用呢?如果有的話,你認為真理和智慧之間有什麼相關性嗎?


‘TRUE FOR YOU, BUT NOT FOR ME’ – IS THIS TRUE?

By Fritz Klumpp

For many people these days, truth is treated as an optional commodity, like deciding what kind of fruit or brand of canned goods to buy at the grocery store. It is a matter of personal choice – or so they say.

“True for you, but not for me.” I was stunned to hear a commercial airline pilot say this, apparently believing that truth was subjective and simply based on what one feels is right. I wondered, how could a seasoned airline captain make such a statement, knowing that his life – as well as the lives of his passengers – were dependent on his ability to make correct decisions based on absolute truth? 

For instance, when dealing with an in-flight emergency or flying on instruments while attempting a low-visibility approach, there is absolutely no room for error. Truth, in such circumstances, is not a matter of multiple choice. Nonetheless, I have found that he is not alone. We live in a world where more people than not believe that there are no absolute truths, that everything is relative.

Years ago, my friend, Col. Nimrod McNair, said: “Fritz, the principles of business that Harvard Graduate School of Business teach that actually work are biblically based.”  He proceeded to explain that does not necessarily mean the Harvard Graduate School professor know that. He also noted they teach many principles that do not work. Nonetheless, he said, “Truth is truth, no matter where you find it,” and if an individual applies those principles, he or she should expect certain results. 

I have never forgotten my friend’s words, and through the years, by observation, I have put his premise to the test. For 30 years I worked for a company I believed had been blessed with good management. In time I realized their success could be attributed to operating according to three basic principles: Stay out of debt; take care of your employees and staff; and take care of your customer. Whether they knew it or not, all three of these principles are firmly anchored in the Bible’s teachings. Unfortunately, the last CEO before my retirement changed the course of the company. As he systematically abandoned these principles, the fortunes of the company fell, eventually leading the company into bankruptcy.

It has been very enlightening to observe leadership at all levels, whether a husband and father guiding his own family, or a president or CEO leading a major company or even a country. As the ones I observed put these principles into practice, they achieved a certain level of success. It really made no difference what their personal beliefs were or what views they held about religious faith. Once again, as my friend Nimrod said, “Truth is truth, no matter where you find it.” 

I must admit most of the failures and grief I have personally experienced can be attributed to the violation of principles and precepts that are either clearly stated or implied by example in the Scriptures.  

When Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea, asked Jesus of Nazareth if He was a king, Jesus replied, “You say rightly that I am a king.  For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.” Sadly, Pilate skeptically replied, “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38). That same unfortunate question is one many people continue to ask today.

Consider the importance of that question: Is there absolute truth? In determining whether something is true or not, what serves as your frame of reference? On another occasion, Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Are He and the Bible your source of truth?

William “Fritz” Klumpp served as a pilot with the U.S. Navy, including numerous combat missions during the Vietnam War, is a former commercial airline pilot, real estate executive, and former Executive Director of CBMC.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. What is truth? How would you define it, especially in terms of what you have experienced and put into practice at work?
  2. In the debate between “relative truth” and absolute truth, what is your perspective? Has what you have read in this edition of “Monday Manna” challenged your thinking at all? Explain your answer.
  3. When determining to make an important decision – based on truth – what source or sources do you rely on? Have there been any occasions when you have thought or said, “That may be true for you, but not for me”? If so, explain the circumstances.
  4. Based on your understanding of the Bible and its teachings, what principles have you found most important – or most useful – in how you conduct yourself in the workplace, or how you operate your business? What correlation, if any, do you see between truth and wisdom?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Psalm 25:5-5; Proverbs 1:7, 2:6, 3:13-15, 15:33, 16:16; Zechariah 8:16-17; John 8:31-32,16:13


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