生命的最佳用途及最高價值

By:Ken Korkow
當我還在做房地產的時候,有一種用來估價地產的方法就是「最佳用途和最高價值」。如果有人來跟我說:「我繼承了一筆160英畝的土地,請告訴我它價值多少?」我會先問他:「這塊地在哪裡?」「現在做甚麼用途?」「它附近的土地都做甚麼用途?」

如果這塊地座落在內布拉斯加州,是一塊平坦的沃土、有豐富的水源,我會評估這塊地一英畝值好幾千美元。但是,如果是座落在南達科達州附近的果園地,土壤貧瘠、都是石頭,又是丘陵地形、沒有野生動物的棲息地、一年的降雨量只有七英吋,這樣的地一英畝大概就只值幾百美元。

如果這160英畝的地座落在美國的德州達拉斯市中心,它的價值就會用一平方英尺來計算了!(1英畝 =43,560平方英尺)。

如果應用這樣的估價原則在你的生活當中:你的生命最佳的用途和最高價值是甚麼?雖然這不容易決定,但這是一件值得思考的事。例如,你也許很享受打高爾夫球,但如果你從未打破標準竿,那做一個職業的高爾夫球員可能就不是一個明智的選擇。拍照也許是你的嗜好,但如果你沒有拍照的技術或是天賦的美感,也許就不要選擇做一個職業的攝影師。

當我回顧自己的生命時,我知道自己天生就很會做兩件事:打仗(我打過激烈的越戰)以及靠賣農地果園來賺錢。但是,這兩件事我都不再做了!因為我知道它們不是我生命的最佳用途和最高的價值!

不久之前,我讀到一篇文章,讓我有了下面的想法:

「依世俗的眼光來看,上帝難以置信地浪費祂的聖者在最無用的地方。我們也許會判斷,因為我最會做這個,所以這是我生命的最佳用途。但是耶穌卻不用這樣的標準來衡量自己的生命,因為祂知道神自己會將祂的聖者放在會為祂帶來榮耀的地方,我們無法判斷自己生命的最佳用途。」(Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost For His Highest")

耶穌在地上的日子,有許多才能,但是祂沒有自己決定他生命最佳的用途和最高價值。相反的,他認為他人生最佳的用途和最高價值就是「要認識和順服神的旨意。」『我憑著自己不能做甚麼,我怎麼聽見就怎麼審判。我的審判也是公平的;因為我不求自己的意思,只求那差我來者的意思。』(約翰福音5章30節)因為我從天上降下來,不是要按自己的意思行,乃是要按那差我來者的意思行。差我來者的意思就是:他所賜給我的,叫我一個也不失落,在末日卻叫他復活。因為我父的意思是叫一切見子而信的人得永生,並且在末日我要叫他復活。(約翰福音6章38-40節)

當我掙扎思考著「甚麼是我人生最佳的用途和最高價值?」時,我決定我人生最大的用途就是要更多認識神、定意與祂更親密,對我來說沒有比這更重要的了!也沒有比這更有價值和回報了!

那你呢?對你在這個世界上的呼召和命定,你是否有一個永恆的眼光?當然,我們每天都有自己職場上的責任,但是我們也應該用永恆的眼光來看待手中的工作。如以弗所書2章10節說到:「我們原是他的工作,在基督耶穌裏造成的,為要叫我們行善,就是 神所預備叫我們行的。

Ken Korkow住在美國內布拉斯加州的歐馬哈市,為當地CBMC的地區主任。本篇文章節錄自他所撰寫每週一次的「生命傳真」專欄。已蒙允許使用。

思想 / 討論題目
你聽過『最佳用途和最高價值』一詞嗎?如果你不在房仲業工作,在你的職場中有沒有類似的觀念?這個觀念對你來說,在個人及專業領域上有甚麼意義? 你是否曾經問過自己「我人生的最佳用途和最高價值是甚麼?」這樣的問題?如果有,你的結論是甚麼?如果沒有,當別人問你時你會怎麼回答? 本文作者對自己「人生的最佳用途和最高價值」的答案是專注於與神的關係。對於這一點你的看法如何? 對於文中提到「神難以置信地浪費他的聖者在最無用的地方」你的看法是甚麼?你是否想過神認為的「最佳用途和最高價值」和一般人的看法是完全不一樣的? 註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
詩篇139篇13-16節;哥林多前書3章9節;腓立比書3章7-10節;提摩太後書2章15節, 3章16-17節


WHAT IS YOUR LIFE”S HIGHEST AND BEST USE?
By Ken Korkow
When I was working in commercial real estate, one of the appraisal approaches we used when determining property valuation was termed “highest and best use.” If someone came to me and said: "I have inherited 160 acres. Please tell me what it is worth," I would begin by asking questions: "Where is it located?" "What is it being used for now?" "What is land adjacent to it being used for?"

If the land was situated in the middle of Nebraska – flat, with good soil, having abundant water available – I would guess the property was worth thousands of dollars per acre. However, if the 160 acres were located near our ranch in South Dakota – with poor soil, lots of rocks, hilly terrain, no wildlife habitat, and annual rainfall as low as seven inches per year – the property would be worth only several hundred dollars per acre.

If the 160 acres happened to be located in the middle of downtown Dallas, Texas, U.S.A., it would be valued at a tremendous amount of money per square foot (at 43,560 square feet per acre)!

Apply that valuation principle to your own life: What is the highest and best use for your life? This is well worth considering, but the answer is not always easy to determine. For instance, you might enjoy playing golf, but if you never break par, devoting yourself to becoming a professional golfer seems unwise. Taking photographs might be a pleasurable hobby for you, but if you do not have the technical skill or natural artistic instincts that are required, you probably should not pursue a career in photography.

Looking at my own life, I concluded I was a “natural” at two things in my life: fighting in war (I served in heavy combat during the Vietnam War) and making lots of money by selling farms and ranches. But I no longer do either of those anymore, because I concluded they were not the highest and best use of my life.

Not long ago I read a statement that got me thinking about this:

"Look at God’s incredible waste of His saints, according to the world’s judgment. God seems to plant His saints in the most useless places. And then we say, “God intends for me to be here because I am so useful to Him.” Yet Jesus never measured His life by how or where He was of the greatest use. God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be." – Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost For His Highest"

During his time on earth, Jesus had many talents and abilities, but they did not determine what He did with his life. Instead, his primary motivation was to "know and obey the will of the Father" (John 5:30; 6:38-40; 15:10; Mark 12:28-30).

As I have wrestled with the question, “What is the highest and best use of my life?” I have determined that my highest calling is to learn to know Christ more intimately and living Him more intentionally. In my opinion, nothing else comes remotely close. And nothing else is as exciting or rewarding!

What about you? Do you have an eternal vision that ignites your earthly passion? We all have day-to-day workplace responsibilities, but even these should be viewed in terms of eternity. In Ephesians 2:10 it says, “For we are God”s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Are you aware of those “good works” God has prepared for you to do?

Ken Korkow lives in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., where he serves as an area director for CBMC. This is adapted from the “Fax of Life” column that he writes each week. Used with permission.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Are you familiar with the concept “highest and best use”? If you do not work in commercial real estate, is there an equivalent to this idea in your area of expertise? What does this phrase mean for you, both professionally and personally? Have you ever thought of asking yourself a question similar to, “What is the highest and best use of my life”? If so, what has been your conclusion? If not, how would you answer it if asked by someone else? Mr. Korkow states that his own answer to this question directly centers around his relationship with God. What is your reaction to that viewpoint? How do you understand Oswald Chambers” statement about “God”s incredible waste of his saints,” appearing to plant his people in “the most useless places”? Does that seem true to you? Would you think there a possibility that what God regards as “greatest use” could be drastically different from how we would conclude from a pragmatic, human perspective? Why or why not? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Psalm 139:13-16; 1 Corinthians 3:9; Philippians 3:7-10; 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17

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