Tuesday, February 27, 2024

成功的陷阱──THE SNARES OF SUCCESS

最近,我訪問了安妮·貝勒(Anne Beiler),安妮阿姨蝴蝶餅(Pretzels)的創辦人,關於成功的陷阱。當她決定幫助家庭,而開始蝴蝶餅的事業時,她還只是一位八年級學歷的阿米許(Amish註1)家庭主婦。從一家農夫市場簡陋的攤位開始,安妮成功地將企業發展,成為全球擁有900多家店鋪的規模,然後才將其出售。

那種成功雖然非常令人羨慕,但在實現過程中也會帶來許多誘惑和陷阱。我們需要採取措施來防範它們。箴言22章5節教導「乖僻人的路上有荊棘和網羅;保守自己生命的,必要遠離。」

要意識到前方可能存在的陷阱(或圈套)是很重要的。常常出現的第一個陷阱是稱讚。當貝勒開始創辦安妮阿姨的蝴蝶餅時,人們開始因她的成功而稱讚她。但她一直在想:「我並不聰明,我只是一位受過八年級教育在家照顧孩子的阿米許母親。」

但後來,她承認自己開始相信這些稱讚,蒙蔽自己以為這是她所擁有的聰明才智,而不是上帝的恩典。哥林多前書3章18節警告我們「人不可自欺。你們中間若有人在這世界自以為有智慧,倒不如變作愚拙,好成為有智慧的。」如果你的成功帶來了稱讚,避免蒙蔽自己,要記住你的成功僅僅是來自上帝的恩典。

另一個常見的陷阱是權力。隨著商業領袖逐漸地成功,他們的權力也往往增大,容易使人腐敗。哈維·溫斯坦 (Harvey Weinstein) (註2) 擁有權力在電影事業中創造或毀滅女演員,但他濫用權力,利用提供角色的機會,勾引許多女性,作為交換。

在傳道書4章1節中我們讀到「我又轉念,見日光之下所行的一切欺壓。看哪,受欺壓的流淚,且無人安慰;欺壓他們的有勢力,也無人安慰他們。」權力可以慷慨地用於造福他人,也可以被濫用。找一個問責夥伴來幫助你,防止沉醉在權力中。

第三個陷阱是獨處。當反省和安息時,尋求獨處是很重要的。但有些領袖一旦開始獲得成功,可能會將獨處進行極端的濫用。有些人因為個人的不安全感而選擇孤立,而其他人則因為日益自大,認為自己比其他人更優越而選擇獨自一人。

孤立是我們靈界仇敵最喜愛的工具之一。彼得前書5章8節警告說「務要謹守,警醒。因為你們的仇敵魔鬼,如同吼叫的獅子,遍地遊行,尋找可吞吃的人。」當處於孤立狀態時,你容易忽視或輕忽自己和組織的缺點。透明坦誠的生活在群體中,會是一個更好、更安全的策略。

最後的陷阱是驕傲。在銀行金融業中,我目睹了幾家公司開始經歷快速的成功,並吸引到非常有利的新聞報導。高層主管的驕傲常常使他們追求越來越多的關注。當看到有多篇關於我的某個客戶公司的文章時,我會去拜訪這位客戶,確保他們的業務沒有被輕忽。我發現追逐驕傲的讚譽,通常會忽視了日常運營,有時甚至會導致失敗。箴言16章18節警告說「驕傲在敗壞以先;狂心在跌倒之前。」

註1:阿米許人Amish是基督新教重洗派門諾會中的一個信徒分支(又稱亞米胥派),他們拒絕汽車及電力等現代設施,且過著簡樸生活。資料引自維基百科,有興趣者,可自行上網搜尋。
註2相關哈維·溫斯坦(引發美國Me too運動)的事件,請自行上網搜尋。

@2023版權所有,經許可改編自 “UBN誠信時刻”,關於職場工作中信仰議題的評論。UBN(非常規企業聯盟)是一個服務小型企業界的國際性職場信仰事工。UBN的官網: www.unconventionalbusiness.org

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考下面的經文 :

箴言11章14節
11:14 無智謀,民就敗落;謀士多,人便安居。
箴言12章15節
12:15  愚妄人所行的,在自己眼中看為正直;惟智慧人肯聽人的勸教。
箴言13章13-14節
13:13  藐視訓言的,自取滅亡;敬畏誡命的,必得善報。
13:14  智慧人的法則(或作:指教)是生命的泉源,可以使人離開死亡的網羅。
箴言16章2節
16:2 人一切所行的,在自己眼中看為清潔;惟有耶和華衡量人心。
箴言17章3節、10節
17:3  鼎為煉銀,爐為煉金;惟有耶和華熬煉人心。
17:10 一句責備話深入聰明人的心,強如責打愚昧人一百下。
箴言19章20節
19:20  你要聽勸教,受訓誨,使你終久有智慧。
箴言27章17節
27:17  鐵磨鐵,磨出刃來;朋友相感(原文作磨朋友的臉)也是如此。
傳道書4章9-12節
4:9   兩個人總比一個人好,因為二人勞碌同得美好的果效。
4:10  若是跌倒,這人可以扶起他的同伴;若是孤身跌倒,沒有別人扶起他來,這人就有禍了。
4:11  再者,二人同睡就都暖和,一人獨睡怎能暖和呢?
4:12  有人攻勝孤身一人,若有二人便能敵擋他;三股合成的繩子不容易折斷。

反省與問題討論

  1. 大多數人,如果不是所有人,都將取得成功視為至高無上的優先事項。你是否同意成功會帶來潛在的危險或「陷阱」,而可能導致失敗呢?請解釋你的答案?
  2. 你能想到任何因驕傲或權力的陷阱,導致個人或企業失敗的例子嗎?你能想出可能導致發生的原因嗎?
  3. 在箴言27章中,我們找到兩個稱讚的陷阱之例子。箴言27章2節「要別人誇獎你,不可用口自誇;等外人稱讚你,不可用嘴自稱。」 和箴言27章21節「鼎為煉銀,爐為煉金,人的稱讚也試煉人。」你是否看到這兩種警告之間的差異?如果有的話,是在哪些方面呢?
  4. Boxx先生提到的最後一個,可能伴隨成功而出現的陷阱是「獨處」或孤立。請思想一個可能發展出的情況。採取什麼樣的防範措施,可以防止獨處或孤立的發生和可能產生的後果呢?


THE SNARES OF SUCCESS

By Rick Boxx

Recently, I interviewed Anne Beiler, founder of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, about the snares of success. She was an 8th-grade educated, stay-at-home, Amish mom when she determined to help support her family by starting a pretzel business. From the humble beginnings of one farmer’s market store, Anne grew the business to more than 900 stores around the world prior to selling the business.

That kind of success, while very enviable, can bring many temptations and snares along the way. We need to take steps to guard against them. As Proverbs 22:5 teaches, “Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; One who guards himself will be far from them.”

It is important to be aware of what snares (or traps) might be ahead. The first snare that often comes is praise. When Beiler began building Auntie Anne Pretzels, people started praising her for her success. But she kept thinking, “I’m not brilliant, I’m an 8th-grade educated, Amish, stay-at-home mom.” 

But eventually, she admits, she started to believe the praise, deceiving herself that it was her brilliance, rather than God’s grace. We find this warning in 1 Corinthians 3:18, “Take care that no one deceives himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.” If your successes bring praise, avoid deceiving yourself by remembering that your success only came from God’s grace. 

Another common snare is power. As business leaders grow in success, they also tend to grow in power, which can easily corrupt. Harvey Weinstein had the power to create or destroy actresses in the film industry. He abused his power to seduce many women in exchange for offering them stardom. 

In Ecclesiastes 4:1 we read, “And behold, I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and power was on the side of their oppressors, but they had no one to comfort them.” Power can be used generously to benefit others, or it can be abused. Find an accountability partner to help you guard against becoming intoxicated by power. 

A third snare is privacy. Seeking privacy is important for times of reflection and rest, but some leaders who begin experiencing success take privacy to an extreme. Some go into isolation due to personal insecurities; others choose being alone due to growing arrogance that they are better than others. 

Isolation is one of our spiritual enemy’s favorite tools. In 1 Peter 5:8 we are warned, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” When isolated, you can easily overlook or discount your own and your organization’s shortcomings. Living in community with transparency is a better, safer strategy.

The final snare is pride. In the banking industry, I watched several companies begin to experience rapid success, drawing very favorable news coverage. The top executives’ pride often led them to pursue more and more attention. When I saw multiple articles about a customer’s company, I would visit the customers to make certain their business was not being neglected. The pursuit of prideful accolades, I discovered, often led to ignoring the day-to-day operations; this sometimes resulted in failure. Proverbs 16:8 cautions, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Copyright 2023, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission. Visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Most of us – if not all of us – place a high priority on achieving success. Do you agree that success brings with it dangers or “snares” that potentially could lead to failure? Why or why not?
  2. Can you think of any examples of times when the snares of pride or power led individuals or businesses to failure? Can you think of reasons this might have happened?
  3. In the 27th chapter of Proverbs we find two examples of the snare of praise. Proverbs 27:2 says, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.” Then in Proverbs 27:21 it says, “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.” Do you see a difference between these two admonitions? If so, in what ways?
  4. A final snare Mr. Boxx cites that can accompany success is that of “privacy” or isolation. Think of a scenario where this might develop. What safeguards could be put in place to prevent its occurrence and the consequences that could result?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Proverbs 11:14, 12:15, 13:13-14, 16:2, 17:3,10, 19:20, 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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