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施比受更為有福
 


現代的商業可以被形容是「冷酷無情地追求收穫」:獲得顧客、獲得市佔率、獲得競爭優勢。每天的股票市場都公告「獲利與損失」。當然,當經濟衰退還滯留不去,看不到明顯的反彈,許多人都沒有獲利。不論是因為公司倒閉、被解僱、房子被法院拍賣、信用過度擴張、投資失利--或是這些原因的總和--許多個人與家庭只能勉強支付生活開銷。

可能現在是全球工商專業界領袖們再思考「金科玉律」的好時機。你也許會想到金科玉律最早是出現在聖經新約,保羅引述耶穌的話:「施比受更為有福」(使徒行傳20章35節)。

雖然現今有些憤世嫉俗的人會說:「金科玉律」已被重新定義為:「有錢的人掌權」,但原來的金科玉律還是真實的定律--即使在物質主義與消費主義已深深影響社會的時候。慷慨施捨雖然不常見,然而吊詭的是「施」常常比「受」更有利。

當我們施予時,不儘別人得到所需的幫助,我們也有收穫--我們會看到幫助的管道。似乎當我們施予,就有收穫。我們也會了解,我們不能單靠自己而成功,我們一路上都獲得幫助。提供幫助給別人--不論是實際的資源、時間、意見或鼓勵--我們也會得到同樣的幫助。

聖經談到許多有關慷慨施予的事。這對現在貧困之人比以前更多的時代特別有意義。以下是一些例子:

慷慨施捨是正確的。在工作場所中,我們常常討論「什麼是正確的」。顯然,當我們有機會時就向別人行善是正確的--而且我們可能看到這項投資的報酬。「義人的心願盡得好處;惡人的指望致干忿怒。有施散的,卻更增添;有吝惜過度的,反致窮乏。好施捨的,必得豐裕;滋潤人的,必得滋潤」(箴言11章23-25節)。

慷慨施捨激發更多善行。慷慨施捨會給別人立下一個強烈的正面典範,使別人知道自己應該怎麼做。「施恩與人、借貸與人的,這人事情順利;他被審判的時候要訴明自己的冤…他施捨錢財,賙濟貧窮;他的仁義存到永遠。他的角必被高舉,大有榮耀」(詩篇112篇5、9節)。

慷慨施捨能榮耀上帝。愛心與憐憫是上帝的屬性。有什麼其他的方式比把祂賜給我們的資源施予別人更能反映祂的屬性?「欺壓貧寒的,是辱沒造他的主;憐憫窮乏的,乃是尊敬主」(箴言14章31節)。

慷慨施捨反映我們的盼望。我們的信心是建立在容易失去的物質上,或是建立在供應我們所有物質的上帝身上?「你要囑咐那些今世富足的人,不要自高,也不要倚靠無定的錢財;只要倚靠那厚賜百物給我們享受的神。又要囑咐他們行善,在好事上富足,甘心施捨,樂意供給人」(提摩太前書6章17-19節)。


思想 / 討論題目


1. 你對「施比受更為有福」有何看法?

2. 你所認識最慷慨施捨的人是誰?請描述此人,以及慷慨施捨如何影響那人的生活。

3. 你認為自己是慷慨施捨的人嗎?你很容易施捨嗎?或者你要經過掙扎才勉強施捨?請解釋。

4. 若商業世界的焦點從「獲得」轉為「施捨」,並強調慷慨施捨,你認為會有何影響?期待這樣的改變是否不切實際?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


詩篇37篇21節;箴言3章27-28節,11章26節,21章13節,22章9節;路加福音12章48節;哥林多後書9章6-7節,提摩太前書6章17-19節

 

 


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TIME TO REVISIT THE ‘GOLDEN RULE’?

By: Robert J. Tamasy



Modern-day business could be described as the relentless “pursuit of gain”: gaining customers, gaining market share, gaining a competitive edge. Daily stock market reports declare “gains and losses.” Of course, as the economic downturn has lingered with no major reversal in sight, there are many who have not gained. Whether due to job terminations and layoffs, foreclosures, overextended credit, significant investment losses – or any combination of these – individuals and families have been scrambling simply to meet their financial obligations.

Perhaps now would be a good time for business and professional leaders around the globe to revisit the so-called “Golden Rule.” You may recall this originally appeared in the Bible’s New Testament when the apostle Paul quoted Jesus, who stated, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts. 20:35).

Although some cynics today would tell us that the “Golden Rule” has been redefined to mean, “He who owns the gold rules,” the basic principle still holds true – even in these days when materialism and consumerism have taken such a strong grip on society. Generosity seems more the exception than the rule, yet there is something curious, even paradoxical, about the reality that giving often is more beneficial and rewarding than receiving.

It could be that whenever we give, not only to do others receive much-needed aid, but we also receive – the satisfaction of knowing we have the conduits through which assistance came. It seems that as we give, we gain (there is that word again). There also is an understanding that we could not have achieved our successes alone, that we received help from people along the way. Offering help to others – whether in the form of other tangible resources, time, wise counsel, or encouragement – is one way of giving back for the generosity of which we have been recipients.

The Bible says much more about giving and generosity, information that is especially meaningful at a time when needs that surround us seem more acute and intense than ever. Here are some examples:

Generosity is right. In the workplace we often discuss “what is right.” Clearly, doing good to others when we have the opportunity is right – and we are likely to see that investment pay healthy dividends. “The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath. One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:23-25).

Generosity promotes good. Giving generously sets a strong, positive example to others in how they should conduct themselves. “Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice…. He has scattered his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever…” (Psalm 112:5, 9).

Generosity honors God. Love and compassion lie at the heart of God’s character, and what better way to reflect His character than to give from resources He has enabled us to accumulate? “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31).


Generosity reflects our hope. Is our trust in things that can easily be lost or in God, the ultimate source of all we have? “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
 

 

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran of 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential. For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

 



Reflection/Discussion Questions

1. What is your impression of the so-called “Golden Rule”?

2. Who is the most generous person you know? Describe this person and how you think generosity has affected his or her life.

3. How would you rate yourself in terms of generosity? Does it come easily for you, or is it something you struggle with? Explain your answer.

4. If the focus in the business world were to shift from “gain” to “give,” emphasizing generosity, what do you think would be the overall impact? Is it even realistic to envision such a change? 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 37:21; Proverbs 3:27-28, 11:26, 21:13, 22:9; Luke 12:48; Corinthians 9:6-7; 1 Timothy 6:17-19
 


 

 

 

 

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