By: Dr. Rick Warren
「行正直路的，步步安穩；走彎曲道的，必致敗露」（箴言10章9節）。 「用詭詐之舌求財的，就是自己取死；所得之財乃是吹來吹去的浮雲」（箴言21章6節）。 「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）。 「誠實人必多得福；想要急速發財的，不免受罰」（箴言28章20節）。
思想 / 討論題目
你可否回想到有一次你（或你認識的人）走上不好的捷徑，最後遭受極大的挫敗？請簡單說明事情的經過。 在工作中你是否經常被試探想要走捷徑，不論是為了使一個案子能快點完成，為了省錢（或賺更多錢），或為了其他原因？你如何處理那些狀況－－你是否走上捷徑，若有需要就合理化那行為，或者你還是按原來的計畫走，即使那會花更多時間或金錢？ 若你發現別人在提供服務給你時，採取你不需要或不想要的捷徑，你會如何反應？ 你可否想到什麼時候捷徑是正當的或甚至是好的？請解釋。
BE WARY OF TEMPTING SHORTCUTS
By: Dr. Rick Warren
One summer our family took a vacation by car, with our only goal being to see the western half of the United States. We had loaded up our van and headed out in search of an adventure. By the conclusion of our two-week trip, we had put more than 5,000 miles on the odometer.
For most of the trip we simply focused on enjoying the journey rather than rushing toward a destination. But in one of the states we traveled through (which will remain unnamed) we were so bored with the monotony of the unchanging scenery, I got what I thought at the time was a brilliant idea: to take a shortcut to the next large town.
The alternative road the map displayed seemed perfectly acceptable, appearing to be a direct route to the next town. Based on what the map showed, we reasoned this shortcut could save us at least an hour of traveling time – and spare us from having to stare at the tedious roadway vista. So we got off the well-traveled highway and set off on the alternative route.
What a great mistake that proved to be! The road presented one difficulty after another, a series of troublesome obstacles: construction work; a line of slow trucks that we were unable to pass; cattle, and then sheep, in the middle of the road, blocking our advance; potholes seemingly as big as meteor craters; and no gas stations or restrooms to serve our traveling needs.
The bottom line of this experience: My proposed “shortcut” ended up taking much longer than the original route would have required, we nearly ran out of gas, and I had a very aggravated, unappreciative family!
The lesson: Shortcuts are not always as good as they may seem.
Although some physicists might want to debate this point, it seems obvious that sometimes the shortest distance to a goal is NOT a straight line.
Shortcuts – and their potential dangers – of course, are not limited only to traveling. Today”s competitive business climate, for example, often tempts us to cut corners in order to speed up progress on projects, or to cut expenses and increase the margin of profit. Time pressures, management demands, greed, or even laziness can prompt us to take ill-advised diversions en route to chosen objectives.
But ethical shortcuts, such as shortchanging a customer on the quality of a product or service, will always come back to haunt us, at least in the long term, if not immediately.
In its timeless wisdom, the Bible offers several warnings against shortcuts:
“The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out" (Proverbs 10:9). “Dishonest gain will never last, so why take the risk?” (Proverbs 21:6). “Money that comes easily disappears quickly, but money that is gathered little by little will grow” (Proverbs 13:11). “The man who wants to get rich quick will quickly fail” (Proverbs 28:20).
The next time you are tempted to take a shortcut – think carefully and cautiously before taking it.
© 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.
Can you recall a time when you – or someone you know – took an ill-conceived shortcut and suffered a significant setback as a result? Briefly describe what happened. How often do you find yourself tempted to take shortcuts in the workplace, whether to finish a project more quickly, to save (or generate) money, or for some other reason? How do you handle those instances – do you take the shortcut, rationalizing it if necessary, or do you follow the original plan, even if it requires more time or money? What would be your reaction if you discovered someone had taken an unnecessary or undesirable shortcut in providing a service for you? Can you think of times when shortcuts can be justified – or are even desirable? Explain your answer.
NOTE: If you have a Bible, consider these other passages that relate to this topic: Proverbs 19:2, 28:22; Corinthians 1:17; Philippians 2:3-4; Colossians 3:17,22-24; James 5:12