你如何投資你的生命?

By Lane Kramer

過去20多年來我一直以一個純商業的立場與一些非常成功的執行長們在一起。他們當中有些人用非常少的資本就讓公司成長到相當大的規模,然後以幾百萬美元將公司賣掉。有些人則能夠雇用幾百名員工,領導很大的公司。然而,我懷疑單單這些有形的商業指標就表示他們的生命成功嗎?

當然,這答案取決於一個人如何定義成功。你如何定義你的生命是否成功?你是否用你賺多少錢來衡量成功?或你的公司成長到多大的規模?或者透過關係來衡量,例如你與上帝、朋友和家人的關係?你認為上帝會如何衡量你的生命是否成功?

對我而言,那問題的答案取決於在我的事業、我的家庭、我的教會、我的朋友圈、在整個商場,以及我所居住的美國德州達拉斯社區裡,我是否實現上帝給我的目的,並且做上帝要我做的事。

我衡量成功的方式是透過一個投資人的眼鏡。每一天我必須決定我要把時間、才幹、錢財、人脈資本和體力投資到哪裡,才會帶來最大的效益。這些都是上帝託付給我的恩賜。要如何部署這些恩賜,以及要把它們部署在哪裡的投資選擇,不是件容易的事,但卻是重要的事。如哥林多前書4章2-5節所說:「所求於管家的,是要他有忠心…(主)要照出暗中的隱情,顯明人心的意念。那時,各人要從 神那裏得著稱讚。

例如,在執行長協會之後,我是否留下來花更多時間使我的企業更成長,或者我把這段時間投資在家中,與我的妻子共進晚餐?禮拜天下午我是否固定花時間與我老邁的母親談天,或者我把這段時間用來看華爾街日報(Wall Street Journal),作投資研究?禮拜天早上我是去騎自行車,或是在教會裡崇拜並參加主日學?我是否參加監獄服事,或是去鄉村俱樂部參加會員的比賽?決定,決定。這些都需要來自上帝的智慧。

所有的投資人都想讓資本得到最大的回報。那也正是我在整個生命中所要做的事。哥林多前書第4章和聖經其他經文告訴我,有一天上帝會檢視我的一生,並要我說明我是如何投資祂所給我的恩賜。所以身為那些恩賜的管家,而非擁有者,我必須思考主人(真正的擁有者)會要我如何投資祂所託付我的一切。

我們應該尋求作一個好管家/投資人,因為我們愛上帝,且想要服事祂,上帝是我們的創造者,祂也了解我們的人性。祂知道我們都想要因為是好投資人而被肯定,被獎賞。而聖經清楚地說,上帝將因我們忠心地投資/管理祂在今生和天上所給我們的一切恩賜而獎賞我們。

在未來的「週一嗎哪」裡,我將提出一些特別的意見,是有關如何確保我們成為上帝託付我們照顧並使用之資源的好投資人。同時,花一些時間思考你在「生命投資」上做得如何。

連恩.克拉瑪是德州達拉斯的商人,他成立一個會員制的組織「執行長協會」,幫助執行長建立符合聖經原則和價值觀的世界級公司。他的網站是www.ceoinst.com。

省思 / 討論題目
你個人如何定義成功?根據你的定義,到現在為止你會如何為你的進展評分? 本文作者建議把成功視為將我們所擁有的時間、才幹和其他資源作好的投資。你是否同意? 哥林多前書4章談到我們受到上帝的託付,要成為一個管家。你對此有何回應? 根據你所讀到的,你認為要採取什麼步驟才可成為一個更有效的管家,或者在職場中你如何作你可處置之時間、才能和其他資源的投資人?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言12章24節,14章23節,20章5-6節,28章20節;馬太福音24章45節,25章14-30節;路加福音16章10節;腓利門書6節

HOW ARE YOU INVESTING YOUR LIFE?
By Lane Kramer

Over the last 20 years I have been around some very successful CEOs from a purely business standpoint. Some of these people have taken very modest amounts of capital and have grown companies to a considerable size, and then sold them for millions of dollars. Others have been able to employ hundreds of people and lead very large companies. However, I wonder if these tangible business indicators alone mean they have truly been successful in life?

The answer to that, of course, depends on how a person defines success. How do you define success for your life? Do you measure success by how many dollars you earn, how big your company grows, or is it through a more relational approach, such as the quality of your relationships with God, friends and family members? How do you think God would measure success for your life?

For me, the answer to that last question is determined by whether I am fulfilling my God-given purpose and doing what God wants me to do in my business and my family, as well as my worship community, circle of friends, the marketplace as a whole, and the Dallas, Texas, U.S.A. community where I live.

One way I measure success is through the lens of an investor. Every day I have to determine where to maximize my investment of time, talents, treasure, relational capital, and physical energy. These are all gifts from God that He has entrusted to me. The investment choices of how and where to deploy them are not always easy, but they are important. As it says in 1 Corinthians 4:2-5, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful…. (the Lord) will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men”s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

For example, do I spend more time “after hours” at The CEO Institute trying to further grow my business, or do I invest that same hour at home having dinner with my wife? Do I spend regular time on Sunday afternoon talking with my elderly mother, or do I devote the time to investment research in the Wall Street Journal? Do I ride my bicycle on Sunday morning, or do I invest that time worshipping at my church and attending Sunday school? Do I participate in a prison ministry event, or do I play in the member-guest tournament at the country club? Decisions, decisions. They require wisdom from God.

All investors try to maximize the return on investment of capital. That is precisely what I am trying to do in my life as a whole. As we are told in the passage from 1 Corinthians 4 and elsewhere in the Bible, I know one day God will review my life and ask for an accounting of how I invested the gifts He gave to me. So as a steward of those gifts, and not the owner, I have to think about how the Master (the true Owner) would have me invest what He has entrusted to me.

While we should primarily seek to be a good Steward/ Investor because we love God and want to serve Him, God as our Creator also understands our human nature. He knows we all want to be recognized and rewarded for being good investors. And the Bible makes it clear that God will reward us for our faithfulness in investing/stewarding all His gifts both in this life and in Heaven.

In a future “Monday Manna,” I will present some specific ideas on how we can ensure being good investors of the resources God has entrusted to our care and use. In the meantime, take some time and consider how you are doing in “life investing.”

Lane Kramer is a Dallas, Texas business who founded The CEO Institute, a membership-based organization to help CEOs build world-class companies consistent with biblical principles and values. His website is www.ceoinst.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
What is your personal definition of success? Based on your definition, how would you rate your progress to date? Mr. Kramer suggests viewing success in terms of being an investor of the time, talents and other resources we have. Do you agree? Why or why not? The passage from 1 Corinthians, chapter 4 talks about receiving a trust, or being made a steward, by God. How do you respond to this idea? In light of what you have read, what steps would you think could be helpful in becoming a more effective steward or investor of what you have at your disposal, including your time, abilities and other resources available to you in your workplace? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 12:24, 14:23, 20:5-6, 28:20; Matthew 24:45, 25:14-30; Luke 16:10; Philemon 6 (NIV, Amplified)

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