你會選擇履歷還是悼文?──RESUME OR EULOGY – WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

MONDAY MANNA

在現代社會中,人們被鼓勵盡己所能豐富自己的履歷。例如,有什麼成就、有什麼技能、職稱是什麼?或者,賺了多少錢?

不過,關於人生最終的成就,思考一下自己喪禮的悼文會是一個更好的主意。在我們的葬禮上,家人和朋友會對我們說些什麼?他們可能不會列出我們的工作或學位,如果有也只是匆匆帶過。他們更可能會描述作為我們的朋友或親人的感覺。他們會不會談到我們的正直和誠信?或是提到我們總是努力發掘他人或景況的光明面?還是說到我們如何提振所到之處的士氣?

我們的生命是否正如加拉太書5章22-23節所描述的,充滿仁愛、喜樂、和平、忍耐、恩慈、良善、信實、溫柔和節制?還是我們只有一張成就清單?

我參加過的每一場葬禮,牧師都從來不會朗讀逝者的財產清冊。我會這樣說,是因為我媽媽幾個月前去世了。在她的葬禮上,人們一個接著一個站起來,陳述她對社區的貢獻以及與她的緊密關係。有些人談到了她的耐心、她的愛心以及她一直以來的積極態度。有幾個人則提到她的職業以及和她一起工作的喜悅,但沒人提到她有多少財產。

現代社會的罪過之一是,我們會過度尊崇這些有地位或擁有財富的人,卻不尊重低收入者或從事低地位工作的人。這和上帝希望我們做的完全相反。聖經清楚地告訴我們不要有偏見或偏愛。雅各書2章5節《新譯本》說:「我親愛的弟兄們,請聽:神不是揀選了在世上被認為貧窮的人嗎?這些人卻在信心上富足,而且是承受 神的國的人。這國是 神應許賜給愛他的人的。」

馬太福音6章19-21節也提醒我們不要倚靠世俗的財寶,要積攢天上永恆的財富。 「不要為自己積攢財寶在地上;地上有蟲子咬,能銹壞,也有賊挖窟窿來偷。 只要積攢財寶在天上;天上沒有蟲子咬,不能銹壞,也沒有賊挖窟窿來偷。 因為你的財寶在哪裏,你的心也在那裏。」

路加福音12章15節補充說: 「你們要謹慎自守,免去一切的貪心,因為人的生命不在乎家道豐富。」 換句話說,我們有什麼財富不代表我們有什麼身分。我們的金錢、房舍、車子都無法定義我們的價值。「物質」是短暫的,它只是生活中的一部分,還常常拖累我們。我們的經驗、教育、人際關係,以及最重要的,我們與上帝的關係才能決定我們是誰。這些才屬於內在,就如同正直、仁愛、喜樂與和平等品德。

當我們去世時,所有財產都會被留在地上,但我們所觸動的生命以及所做出的改變,將繼續長存於地上和天堂。

©2020JimMathis是堪薩斯州歐弗蘭帕克的作家,攝影師和企業主。他的最新著作是《駱駝和針The Camel and the Needle》,《基督徒看財富和金錢A Christian Looks at Wealth and Money》。他曾任堪薩斯州堪薩斯城和密蘇里州堪薩斯城的CBMC咖啡店經理和執行理事。

備註:如果你手上有聖經,並且想閱讀更多相關的經文,請參考:

箴言20章11節
20:11 孩童的動作是清潔,是正直,都顯明他的本性。

箴言21章21節
21:21 追求公義仁慈的,就尋得生命、公義,和尊榮。

馬太福音6章24節
6:24「一個人不能事奉兩個主;不是惡這個、愛那個,就是重這個、輕那個。你們不能又事奉 神,又事奉瑪門(瑪門:財利的意思)。」

馬太福音6章 33節
6:33 你們要先求他的國和他的義,這些東西都要加給你們了。

馬太福音7章24-27節
7:24 「所以,凡聽見我這話就去行的,好比一個聰明人,把房子蓋在磐石上;
7:25 雨淋,水沖,風吹,撞著那房子,房子總不倒塌,因為根基立在磐石上。
7:26 凡聽見我這話不去行的,好比一個無知的人,把房子蓋在沙土上;
7:27 雨淋,水沖,風吹,撞著那房子,房子就倒塌了,並且倒塌得很大。」

腓立比書4章8-9節
4:8 弟兄們,我還有未盡的話:凡是真實的、可敬的、公義的、清潔的、可愛的、有美名的,若有甚麼德行,若有甚麼稱讚,這些事你們都要思念。
4:9 你們在我身上所學習的,所領受的,所聽見的,所看見的,這些事你們都要去行,賜平安的 神就必與你們同在。

馬太福音13章44-45節
13:44 「天國好像寶貝藏在地裏,人遇見了就把它藏起來,歡歡喜喜地去變賣一切所有的,買這塊地。
13:45 天國又好像買賣人尋找好珠子,

反省與問題討論

  1. 你曾經在喪禮或追悼會上,看到人們詳細談論死者的金錢、工作或世俗財產嗎?更常被提及的是什麼?
  2. 為什麼個人履歷表上的內容常常和葬禮悼文的內容如此不同?
  3. 你覺得人們會將哪一項聖經中提到的品德——仁愛、喜樂、和平、忍耐、恩慈、良善、信實、溫柔和節制——和你連在一起?
  4. 我們要如何才能避免沉迷於成功的陷阱或被它吞噬,而學會培養在生命結束之後仍會被人記    念的內在品質和特質?

RESUME OR EULOGY – WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

By Jim Mathis

In modern society we are encouraged to work to build our resume. The questions are always: What have we accomplished? What skills do we have? What is our job title? Or, how much money do we earn?

However, in the end, thinking about our eulogy is a better idea. At our funeral, what will our family and friends say about us? They will probably not list our jobs or our degrees. If so, it will only be in passing. They will most likely talk about what it was like to be our friend, or to have us as a loved one. Will they talk about our integrity and honesty? Will somebody mention how we always looked for the good side of people and situations, or how we lit up a room when we came into it? 

Is our life characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control, as the Bible describes in Galatians 5:22-23? Or are we only a list of accomplishments?

I have never attended a funeral where the pastor read a list of the deceased person’s possessions. I was thinking about this because my mother died a few months ago. At her funeral, person after person came forward to comment on her contributions to the community, as well the many close relationships that she had. Some talked about her patience, her loving spirit, and about her always positive attitude. There were no comments or mention of her financial situation, though several people reflected on her career and what a joy it was to have worked with her.

One of the sins of society is that we place undue honor on people because positions they hold or how much money they possess. Conversely, we fail to respect people with lower incomes or working in lower status jobs. This is exactly the opposite of how God would have us act. Scripture is clear about our need to not be prejudiced or to show favoritism. James 2:5 (New Living Translation) says, Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?”

Matthew 6:19-21 reminds us to not place our trust in earthly treasures, but to lay up eternal treasure. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Luke 12:15 adds, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” In practical terms, what we own is not who we are. Our money, houses and cars are all external to who we are. “Things” are temporary, just along for the ride, often dragging us down. Our experiences, education, and relationships, most important our relationship with God, define who we are. Those things are internal, along with characteristics like integrity, love, joy, and peace.

When we die, we will leave all possessions behind, but the lives we have touched and the difference we have made will live on, both on earth and in heaven.

© 2020. Jim Mathis is a writer, photographer and small business owner in Overland Park, Kansas. His latest book is The Camel and the Needle, A Christian Looks at Wealth and Money. He formerly was a coffee shop manager and executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1.  Have you ever attended a funeral or memorial service where people spoke at length about the deceased person’s money, or jobs, or earthly possessions? What are the things that seem to be mentioned most often?
  2.  Why is the content of one’s resume typically so different from what is expressed through a eulogy at a memorial service?
  3.  Which of the characteristics cited by the Bible – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – do you think people would associate with your life?
  4. How can we avoid becoming preoccupied or consumed with the eternal trappings of success, and learn instead to cultivate internal qualities and traits that will be remembered long after our lives have come to an end?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more consider the following passages:

Proverbs 20:11, 21:21; Matthew 6:24,33, 7:24-27, 13:44-45; Philippians 4:8-9

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