Monday, April 15, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

慷慨與我們的動機

By Rick Boxx

賽斯.高汀(Seth Godin)的書「夠關鍵,公司就不能沒有你」(Linchpin),其中有一章精采的篇幅談到慷慨,也包含一些聖經歷史。但這位傑出的行銷專家對施予提出了一個不同的觀點。他力勸領袖們要慷慨,不是在金錢上,而是在天份上。

他把人分成三類。第一類的人只想作接受者。第二類是慷慨的人,但你要回報他們許多時間。第三類人很慷慨,只因為他們愛你,並且關心你的最佳利益。

當我思想高汀的觀察,我發現人們很容易落入第二類。我們可能願意獻出我們的天份或才幹,但在內心深處我們可能會想,「我會得到什麼好處」。

這就是為什麼聖經不斷地說,上帝關心我們做什麼事,也關心我們為何做那事,包括我們慈善的行為。如箴言16章2節所教導:「人一切所行的,在自己眼中看為清潔;惟有耶和華衡量人心。

另一處經文指出,雖然我們可能被外在的行為所騙,但上帝知道人們內心所想的:「耶和華不像人看人:人是看外貌;耶和華是看內心」(撒母耳記上16章7節)。

很少人能比得上李得諾(R.G. LeTourneau)所設定的標準,他是一位製造商、發明家、真正好心的施予者。從1920年代到1960年代,他發明並銷售了許多推土機。李得諾先生被人稱為「推土機院長」,也被認為是能改變地上景觀之大型機器的最偉大發明家。他在工商業上有很大的成就,然而他在慷慨捐獻上的名聲更大。用他的才幹去幫助別人帶給他許多喜樂。

有許多年李得諾都實行「逆轉十一奉獻」:他把利潤的90%捐獻出去,只靠剩下的10%生活--他不是按照許多人認為符合聖經的「十一奉獻」,奉獻出收入的十分之一。他快樂地看著幾百萬美元從他的事業流向慈善工作,那些錢被用來支持世界各地的宣教事工,滿足人們靈性和身體的需要。

哥林多後書8章7節教導我們:「你們既然在信心、口才、知識、熱心,和待我們的愛心上,都格外顯出滿足來,就當在這慈惠的事上也格外顯出滿足來。」雖然李得諾先生在工商界有相當大的成就,但許多工商界人士可能沒聽過他的名字。然而,即使李得諾先生已於1969年過世,我保證許多人仍然受惠於他的慷慨捐獻。許多他支持的組織和機構今天仍繼續做著有價值的事工。那些事工,而非他發明的機器,才是他最棒的遺產。

讓我來問你一些重要的問題:
最近你是否檢視過你的動機?即使你在才幹和財務資源上很慷慨,你施予的原因是否正確? 在你過世後,你最希望人們記得你留下什麼?本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。想要更多了解正直資源中心或想要收到電子文件的「瑞克每天的正直時刻Rick”s daily Integrity Moments」系列文章,請上網www.integrityresource.org。他的書「如何生意興隆而不犧牲正直」提供人們正直地作生意的方法。

思想 / 討論題目
在對施予之態度上的三種人中(接受者;期待回報的施予者;或只為了幫助別人而施予,不在意是否得到榮譽或肯定),你屬於哪一類?請解釋。 你是否同意我們施予背後的動機是重要的?為什麼? 知道上帝「衡量人心」且「看內心」,對我們衡量所做的事和說的話,甚至參與慈善的活動上有什麼影響? 本篇「週一嗎哪」引述一節經文勸勉基督徒要「在這慈惠的事上也格外顯出滿足來」。你要如何向別人解釋這節經文的意思,不但在原則上,也在實際的做法上?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言11章24-25節,18章16節,19章6節,25章14節;馬太福音6章19-24節;哥林多前書9章9-12節;哥林多後書9章6-14節

GENEROSITY AND OUR MOTIVES
By Rick Boxx

Seth Godin’s book, Linchpin, includes a fascinating chapter on generosity, complete with some biblical history. But this brilliant marketer offers a different perspective on giving. He urges leaders to be generous, not with their money, but with their talents.

He places people in three categories. The first consists of those who desire only to be recipients. The second group is made up of people that are generous, but it is evident that you owe them big time in return. The third group is generous, simply because they love you and are concerned about your best interests.

As I thought about Godin”s observations, I realized how easy it could be to fall into the second category. We might choose to give away our talent or skills, but deep down we might be wondering, “What is in it for me.

This is why the Bible affirms repeatedly that God is concerned about both the “what” and the “why” of our actions, including our charitable deeds and gestures. As Proverbs 16:2 teaches, "All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord."

Another passage points out that although we might be fooled by external behavior, God recognizes what is going inside: “…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Few people measure up to the standards established by manufacturer and inventor R.G. LeTourneau, a truly good-hearted giver. From the 1920s to the 1960s, he developed and sold much of the first earthmoving equipment. Mr. LeTourneau became known as “The Dean of Earthmoving,” and was regarded as the greatest inventor of the huge machines that could transform the landscape. Even with his business accomplishments, however, his reputation for generosity was even greater. Using his talents to help others gave him much joy.

For years, Mr. LeTourneau practiced what could be considered a “reverse tithe”: He gave away 90 percent of his profits, and lived on 10 percent – instead of donating 10 percent of his earnings, which many consider to be a biblical “tithe.” He happily watched millions of dollars flow through his business and into charitable work, much of it being used in funding extensive worldwide ministries to meet both spiritual and physical needs.

2 Corinthians 8:7 teaches, "But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving." Despite his considerable achievements in the business world, many people might not recognize Mr. LeTourneau’s name. However, even though he died in 1969, I guarantee that many people have continued to benefit from Mr. LeTourneau”s generosity. Numerous organizations and institutions he helped to support continue doing worthwhile work today. That, and not the machinery he developed, is his greatest legacy.

Let me ask you some important questions:
Have you examined your motives lately? Even if you are generous with your talents, as well as your financial resources, do you give for the right reasons? What kind of legacy will you be remembered for?Copyright 2012, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. 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 about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick”s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Of the three categories of people, in terms of attitudes toward giving, which would best describe you – a recipient; a person that gives but then expects something in return; or a giver that simply wants to help others, with no regard to receiving credit or recognition? Explain your answer. Do you agree that the motives behind our giving are important? Why or why not? What impact – if any – does it have on you to know that God “weighs the motives” and “looks at the heart” when evaluating the things we do and say, even charitable activities? One passage cited in this “Monday Manna” exhorts followers of Jesus to “excel in this grace of giving.” How would you explain to someone else what that means, both in principle and in practice?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 11:24-25, 18:16, 19:6, 25:14; Matthew 6:19-24; 1 Corinthians 9:9-12; 2 Corinthians 9:6-14

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