Friday, February 23, 2024

貧窮 - 卻有錢在銀行裡!

By Ken Korkow

許多年前我和我的家人手頭很緊,在聖誕節時無法買一棵聖誕樹,更沒辦法買任何禮物放在聖誕樹下。我的孩子們覺得悲哀。我的妻子莉茲覺得悲哀。我也覺得悲哀。

然後,在過了新年的第一天,我有一個驚人的發現:事實上我們有錢在銀行裡──但我們卻都不知道。我已經把前一個月的薪水存入銀行,卻忘了記錄下來。所以我們以為自己是貧窮的──而且也活得貧窮--然而我們卻有錢在銀行裡!

這種事是否曾經發生在你身上?你是否曾發現你擁有資源,卻沒有去運用──至少沒有完全地運用?那不一定是指金錢。那可以是你獨有的恩賜與才能,但你卻很少運用。那可能是你讓它逐漸減少的技能。那可能是有用的人際關係,可幫助你解決麻煩的問題或作重要的決定,但你卻沒有利用那關係。

我發現這種情況也可能發生在靈性上。我們常常想在生命中做困難的改變,或去修正行為或思考模式,但我們沒有求助我們可找到的屬靈資源,反而倚靠自己的力量和意念。這常常導致失敗。

亨利.卜雷克比博士是一位非常受尊敬的演說家和作家,他談到我們應該學習使用我們所擁有的屬靈資源。他引述聖經中耶穌的跟隨者,使徒彼得的一句話來證明他的觀點:「神的神能已將一切關乎生命和虔敬的事賜給我們,皆因我們認識那用自己榮耀和美德召我們的主」(彼得後書1章3節)。然後他作了以下的觀察:

「身為基督徒,你已擁有你所需要的一切去活出聖潔且豐盛的生命。你的聰明、你的教育或你的家庭背景──這些都無法使你的生命聖潔。你要活出一個得勝、喜悅並豐盛的生命,所需要的就是住在你裡面的聖靈。根據彼得所說,每位基督徒,藉著信心,可以得到這些品格:良善、認識上帝、節制、堅忍、敬虔、仁慈和愛心。」

「若你不知道自己繼承了一份遺產,你即使繼承了也沒有用。同樣的,若你不去使用那使你像基督的資源,即使你已擁有那資源也沒有益處。當上帝已使我們可以節制,若我們繼續缺乏節制,我們就是搶奪我們周圍的人。若上帝願意將仁慈注入我們的行為中,但我們從不展現出來,人們就會受不必要的苦。得到上帝所賜給我們之一切的方法是我們的信心。我們必須相信上帝要將這些品格建立在我們的生命裡。在福音書中,耶穌根據人們的信心回應他們。祂將救恩與醫治賜給有真信心的人。若他遇見不相信的人,祂就不賞賜他們。」

「再次檢視彼得所說上帝要注入你裡面的品格。若你缺少任何一樣品格,可以求上帝幫助,使你更像基督。」

不論我們是在公司的會議室、在辦公室的小隔間裡、作一個銷售展示會、製定一年的預算、或處理家中的問題,我認為這都是一個很好的建議。

肯恩.寇克住在美國內布拉斯加州的Omaha市,在那裡他擔任CBMC的區域總幹事。本篇文章改編自他每週寫的「生活傳真」專欄。我們獲得允許轉載。

思想 / 討論題目
你是否曾經像本文作者一樣,以為自己缺少金錢或其他資源,後來卻發現其實你擁有那資源,因為你不知道自己擁有,所以沒有把它使用到你需要的事上? 即使你知道資源就在自己手中,為何有時你還是沒有適當地或完全地運用那資源? 「管家」這個詞的意思包含適當地管理我們所負責掌控的資源,不論那是金錢、才幹或甚至時間。你是否認為自己是管理這些資源的好管家? 卜雷克比博士寫道屬靈資源時說,上帝已提供祂的跟隨者一切所需去以正確的方式生活不論是在職場、家中或社會上。你是否同意?為什麼?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
馬太福音8章13節、9章29節;15章28節;馬可福音6章5-6節;加拉太書5章22-23節;彼得後書1章3-11節

POOR – WITH MONEY IN THE BANK!
By Ken Korkow

A number of years ago my family and I were so strapped for money we were not able to buy a Christmas tree for the holiday season, much less afford to purchase any gifts to put under it. Our children were sad. My wife, Liz, was sad. I was sad.

Then, after the first of the new year, I made a startling discovery: in reality we had money in the bank – but we didn’t know it. I had not recorded the deposit for my previous month”s paycheck in the checkbook register. So we thought we were poor – and living that way – yet we had money in the bank!

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Have you ever found yourself with resources you realized you were not utilizing – at least not as fully as you could have been using them? It might not necessarily even involve money. It could be gifts and abilities that you uniquely possess, but rarely use. It could be skills that you have allowed to diminish. It could be relationships that might be useful for helping you work through perplexing problems or make critical decisions, yet you fail to take advantage of them.

I have found this can also be true in a spiritual sense. Often we try to make difficult changes in our lives, or to modify behavior or thought patterns, but rather than turning to spiritual resources that are available to us, we choose to rely on our own strength and good intentions. Often failing in the process.

Dr. Henry Blackaby, a highly respected speaker and author, talks about spiritual resources at our disposal that we should learn to utilize. He cites a statement from the Bible by the apostle Peter, one of the followers of Jesus Christ, to prove his point. "As (Jesus”) divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue" (2 Peter 1:3). Then he makes the following observations:

"As a Christian, you have everything you need to live a holy and abundant life,” Blackaby states. “Your intelligence, your education or your family background – these do not determine the holiness of your life. Everything you need to live a victorious, joyful, and abundant life is found in the Holy Spirit who resides within you. According to Peter, each Christian, by faith, has access to these qualities: goodness, knowledge of God, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

"It would be of no use to inherit a fortune if you did not know it was yours. Likewise, it is of no benefit to inherit everything necessary to become like Christ if you do not claim it. If we continue to lack self-control when God has made it available, we rob ourselves and those around us. If God is willing to instill brotherly kindness into our behavior, but we never display it, people will suffer needlessly as a result. The key to all that God has made available to us is our faith. We must believe that God wants to build these qualities into our lives. In the Gospels, Jesus related to people according to their faith. He rewarded genuine faith by granting salvation and healing. If He met unbelief, He did not reward it..

"Review the qualities that Peter said God wants to instill in you. If you lack any of these qualities, ask God to work them into your character, so that you will be more like Christ."

I believe this is good advice, whether we find ourselves in a corporate boardroom, an office cubicle, making a sales presentation, formulating an annual budget, or dealing with home and family issues.

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
Have you ever found yourself, like Mr. Korkow, thinking that you lacked money or other resources to meet a need, only to discover it was available to you after all? You were not aware of it, so you could not appropriate what was needed? How have you failed to properly or fully use resources you had at your disposal, even at times when you knew they were within your grasp? The term “stewardship” pertains to the proper management of resources under our control and responsibilities, whether money, or abilities, or even time. Do you regard yourself as a good steward of such things? Dr. Blackaby writes about spiritual resources, declaring that God has provided everything that His followers need for living the right way, whether in the workplace, the home, or in society. Do you agree? 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: Matthew 8:13; 9:29; 15:28; Mark 6:5-6; Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:3-11

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