知道太多的陷阱

By: Jim Mathis
Ted DeMoss是CBMC最新的總幹事,他有時會評論一個人因為被教育而超過他們自身的聰明,這是他用一種幽默的方式來形容一個人知道太多,但是思考太少。換句話說,他相信當純粹的知識被不當的使用時,可能是非常危險的。

我當然可以完全明白「知道太多」但是思考不足是什麼意思,它似乎是很多人共有的特質,我也在自己身上看見了這個特質。在我早年的職場生涯中,我創立一個沖洗放大照片的事業。因對完成攝影一無所知,所以我必須一個人思考每一個細節,倚靠我的心和直覺(我現在知道這完全是神的智慧,而不是我自己擁有的知識)。這種直覺的方法帶來一些很有創意的結果,也讓我的事業漸漸地超越其他競爭的同業,在商場上得到很大的成功。

相反的,幾年後,我從事另一個計畫。我覺得自己已經充分準備好了,所以跟我的競爭者從事類似的工作。雖然對我的作品,我有更多的知識,但是我的事業並沒有比在這個領域的其他人更成功。當我回顧時,我非常確定是因為我沒有被迫花更多的時間去尋找更新、更好的做事方式。我完全是靠自己的知識,和我在這個行業裡所建立的熟練度。很顯然的,為了自己利益的緣故,我知道的太多了!

這似乎是與直覺相反的。人可能會覺得一件事知道越多越好,但是事實上,不一定總是如此。

Steve Jobs是蘋果電腦背後創意的力量。但是我很懷疑,如果他出身IBM(IBM是用非常不一樣的方法在處理電腦的問題),他會創辦蘋果電腦。正因為Jobs對電腦沒有什麼經驗,以至於他是用另一種完全嶄新的思考方式,有時候好像是非正統的方式,但是事實證明是極具創意的方式。

在靈性的領域裡,我們高舉神而非我們的知識。箴言第三章5-6節說:「你要專心仰賴耶和華,不可倚靠自己的聰明,在你一切所行的事上都要認定他,他必指引你的路。」這對商場上的老兵來說通常是很難的,因為我們習於找尋可靠的、可測量的解決方法,而不是用信心行動。但這卻正是神要求他的門徒所做的。

在十四~十七世紀文藝復興時代之前,所有的人類都被認為本質是相同的,所以如果有人會創作藝術、音樂或是文學,他們一定是領受了某種超自然的天賦。人們會說,某人有一種天份-一種神聖被賦予的能力,而非那個人本身是天才。但是在文藝復興時代,以人為中心的思想歸結出是個人有創造的能力,而非任何一種超自然的助力或是干預,我相信這種想法是錯誤的。

聖經明確地說,神給予也收取特殊的天賦和能力,所以我們不應將天份完全歸因於自己的功勞,或是過分要求我們自己擁有自己想要的天賦。神已經給我們每一個人特別的天賦和才能,即便他們看起來不像是。如果我們倚靠神和他的帶領,而不是我們自己的全備知識和聰明,我們將會發現自己完全使用和享受神已賜予我們的獨特能力。

J吉姆.馬提斯在堪薩斯州陸路公園市經營一家照相館。他的專長是商業和影劇界人像。最近他開了一所攝影學校。他曾是一家咖啡店的經理,也曾是CBMC在堪薩斯州堪薩斯市和密蘇里州堪薩斯市的執行主任。

思想 / 討論題目
你是否同意,知道太多有時可能會成為發現問題更好答案的障礙?為什麼? 你是否可以想的出來某個時候,套句俗話說,你知道那個人見樹不見林-當你太靠近某一種狀況,其實事後回想最簡單的解決方式就在眼前?描述一下當時的狀況以及問題是如何被解決的? 你認為一個人應該如何避免掉入擁有太多知識或資訊的陷阱? 特別是在商業和專業的領域裡,你認為靠著靈性的智慧做決定,而非靠可測量和評估出來的文獻最大的挑戰是什麼?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
撒母耳記上16章7; 箴言16章3、9;耶利米書 33章3;哥林多前書2章:9;以弗所書3章20

PITFALLS OF KNOWING TOO MUCH

By: Jim Mathis

Ted DeMoss, the late president of CBMC, would occasionally comment that a person was “educated beyond their intelligence.” This was just his humorous way of describing a person that he felt knew too much but would think too little. In other words, he believed raw knowledge could be a dangerous thing when used carelessly.

I can certainly understand how this whole idea of knowing too much and not thinking enough seems to be a trait shared by many people. I have seen it in myself. In my early career, I started a photofinishing business. I know absolutely nothing about photofinishing, so I had to think through everything and figure it all out for myself, relying primarily on my heart and intuition. (I know now this was wisdom from God, not any real knowledge that I had.) This intuitive approach led to some very creative solutions that set my business apart from our competition and resulted in a lot of commercial success.

By comparison, years later engaged in another project, I felt very well-prepared and approached our work along the same lines as our competitors. Despite having acquired more knowledge about my craft, however, my business was no more successful than some others in the same field. In retrospect, I am certain this was because we had not been forced to be creative in finding new and better ways for doing things. We relied entirely on our own understanding – and established practices within our industry. Apparently I knew too much for my own good.

This seems counter-intuitive. One would expect that the more you know about something the better – but it does not always work that way. Take, for example, Steve Jobs, the creative force behind Apple Computers. I doubt he would have started Apple if he had come from a background with IBM, which used a very different approach in solving technology problems. Jobs” lack of computer experience caused him to think in totally new, sometimes unorthodox ways – but ways that proved very productive.

In the spiritual realm we are exhorted to trust God rather than our own knowledge. Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” This often is hard for veterans of the business and professional world, because we are accustomed to seeking tangible, measurable solutions to problems rather than acting by faith. Yet this is exactly what God asks of His followers.

Prior to the Renaissance period that spanned the 14th through 17 centuries, it was assumed all people were essentially the same, so if someone was capable of producing art, music, or literature, they must have received some special gift from the supernatural. People would say someone had a genius – a divinely bestowed ability – not that he or she was a genius. During the Renaissance, however, man-centered thinking concluded man was capable of creativity on his own, without any supernatural aid or intervention. I believe this line of thought is incorrect.

As the Bible asserts, God gives and withdraws special gifts and abilities, so we should not give ourselves too much credit for having them – or demean ourselves up too much if we do not have the gifts we want. He has provided each of us with specific gifts and talents, even if they come in ways that do not seem like gifts. If we rely on God and His direction, rather than our complete knowledge and understanding, we will discover ourselves fully using – and enjoying – the abilities He has uniquely given to us.

Jim Mathis is the owner of a photography studio in Overland Park, Kansas, specializing in executive, commercial and theatrical portraits, and recently has opened a school of photography. He formerly was a coffee shop manager and executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Do you agree that it is possible to know too much about something, that knowledge can sometimes prove to be an obstacle in discovering new and better answers to problems? Why or why not? Can you think of a time when, to borrow the adage, you or someone you know “could not see the forest for the trees” – when you were too close to a particular situation to recognize a fairly simple solution that seemed obvious in hindsight? Describe that situation and how it eventually was resolved. How do you think someone can avoid the pitfall of being misguided by too much knowledge or information? What do you think are the greatest challenges – particularly in the business and professional world – to making decisions that are based on faith and spiritual wisdom, rather than on the basis of documentation that can be measured and evaluated?If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages: 1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 16:3,9; Jeremiah 33:3; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Ephesians 3:20

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