小心捷徑的試探

By: Dr. Rick Warren

有一年夏天我們全家開車去度假,我們唯一的目標是去看美國的西半部。我們就把箱型車裝滿東西出發去探險。在兩週的旅程中我們開了超過5,000哩。

旅程中我們大部份都在享受旅遊,而沒有急著開向下一個目的地。但當我們在其中一州旅行時(我不會提到那一州的名字),我們對那不變的風景覺得單調無聊,我當時就有一個好主意:走捷徑到下一個大的城鎮。

從地圖上看來另外的那條路似乎非常完美,是直接到下個城鎮的一條捷徑。根據那地圖所顯示,我們認為這捷徑可省下一個鐘頭的開車時間--而且可以讓我們不需瞪著那乏味的公路景觀。所以我們就離開那交通頻繁的高速公路,開向另一條路。

結果那真是一個大錯誤!那條路上的困難一個接著一個,有一連串的麻煩障礙:修路、一排開得很慢的卡車使我們無法超車、路當中有牛群和羊群擋住我們的去路、路上的坑洞和殞石撞擊地球所造成的坑洞一樣大、而且沒有加油站或廁所供應我們旅途的需要。

這個經驗的結果是:我所建議的「捷徑」最後花了我們更多時間,我們幾乎用光汽油,而且我的家人對我的建議不但不感謝,還都很生氣!

教訓:捷徑並非都很好。

雖然有些物理學家可能會為此點爭辯,但有時到達目標的最短距離並不是直線。

捷徑--以及它的可能危險--不只限於旅行。例如,在今天工商業競爭激烈的氣氛常常引誘我們偷工減料以便加快進度,或者減少支出以增加利潤。時間的壓力、管理的要求、貪心、甚至懶惰都會讓我們採用不好的建議,轉向不好的途徑去達成目標。

但道德的捷徑,例如給顧客較不好的產品或服務一定會讓我們自食惡果,若沒有立刻報應,長期後也一定遭報。

聖經是不受時間限制的智慧,它提供許多關於捷徑的警告:
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)。
下次當你被試探想要走捷徑--在走之前,先仔細謹慎地思考。

本文版權屬於「標竿人生」。本文改編自華理克博士的專欄。他寫了許多書,包括廣受讚揚的「標竿人生」。這本書被翻譯成許多語言,並賣到全世界。這本書斷言,有一個經過你仔細考慮且清楚表達的目標去過每天的生活是重要的。這本書被認為是改變20世紀的100本基督教書籍之一。他也寫了「目標導向的教會」和「聖誕的目的」。

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。
註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:箴言19章2節,28章22節;腓立比書2章3-4節;歌羅西書3章17、22-24節;雅各書5章12節

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.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

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

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