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二○一八年四月十四日/四月十五日                                                                                          Click here for English version

成聖較快樂重要

陶恕

追求快樂的自私慾望,與其他自私慾望同樣受到罪的污染。它根源於肉體,這在神面前絕對無法站立得住。「原來體貼肉體的,就是與神為仇;因為不服神的律法,也是不能服。」(羅八 7)


社會大眾愈來愈多為各種錯誤行為找藉口,說他們「只是想找尋一點快樂」。在同意結婚之前,現今年輕的女性會直接地問,這人「會否帶給我快樂」,而不是無私地問自己,能否給她的終生伴侶帶來快樂。報紙的戀愛信箱吸滿了眾人的自憐眼淚,他們寫信請教如何「保住他們的快樂。國家的心理學家財源滾滾,因為愈來愈多人在不顧一切地追尋快樂的路上尋求專家的指教。只因對方「破壞」了他的快樂而做出傷害對方的犯法事,今天非常普遍。


現代享樂主義的影響,在神的百姓中也可感受得到。大多數時候,福音被說成是獲得快樂、心靈安穩或安全感的手段。甚至有些人用聖經來使他們「放鬆」,彷彿聖經是一種麻藥。


這一切有多錯,只要透過以默想的心閱讀新約一次這個簡單動作,就可以輕易知道。當中的重點不在快樂,而在成聖。神關注各人內心的狀態,多過他們的感受。毫無疑問,神的旨意會給順服的人帶來終極的快樂,但最重要的,不是我們有多快樂,而是有多聖潔。士兵在戰場上不會尋求快樂,他會尋求早日結束戰爭,打勝仗,然後回家與心愛的人重聚。到那時候,他便會獲得圓滿的快樂;戰事一日仍在進行,他一日都要做個好士兵,不管當下有何感受,都叫自己做個男子漢。


像孩子般叫嚷著要快樂,可以變成實在的陷阱。人很容易會欺騙自己,努力培養宗教喜樂,卻沒有活出相應的義。人若不聖潔,便不應渴求快樂。他應努力追求認識並遵行神的旨意,把該擁有多少快樂一事留給基督。


對於那些認真看待這件事的人,我有一個建議:去向神求個明白。告訴祂,你不惜任何代價渴求成聖,然後求祂,絕對不要賜你快樂多於聖潔。你若在聖潔上有所虧缺,讓你的喜樂也變得黯淡。求祂使你成聖,不管你快樂不快樂。要知道,最終你必會快樂,就如你成聖一樣;但在目前,你要專注服事神,學像基督。


如果我們膽敢這樣表態,我們必會認識一種更深度的內在潔淨。因為神是神,我們也很有可能同樣認識一種更深度的快樂,一種源自與神更親密相交的快樂,一種高層次和不自私、不受肉身污染的快樂。


〔本文撮錄自《與神連線》(Of God and Men),陶恕著,周健文譯;蒙宣道出版社允許轉載。〕






Good read
A. W. Tozer: Holiness before Happiness

A selfish desire for happiness is as sinful as any other selfish desire, said A. W. Tozer, who added that the root of such selfish desire is in the flesh and it can never have any standing before God. “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” (Romans 8:7).

The fact is that the pursuit of happiness is widely recognized as an unalienable right and the legitimate purpose of human life. Even the gospel can be presented as a means toward happiness, peace of mind and security. This is hedonism of the old Grecian days applied to modern daily living.

But all of this is wrong, wrote A. W. Tozer. Specifically, he said:

“How far wrong all this is will be discovered easily by the simple act of reading the New Testament through once with meditation. There the emphasis is not upon happiness. God is more concerned with the state of people’s hearts than with the state of their feelings. Undoubtedly the will of God brings final happiness to those who obey, but the most important matter is not how happy we are but how holy. The soldier does not seek to be happy in the field; he seeks rather to get the fighting over with, to win the war and get back home to his loved ones. There he may enjoy himself to the full; but while the war is on, his most pressing job is to be a good soldier, to acquit himself like a man, regardless of how he feels.

The childish clamor after happiness can become a real snare. One may easily deceive himself by cultivating a religious joy without a correspondingly righteous life. No man should desire to be happy who is not at the same time holy. He should spend his efforts in seeking to know and do the will of God, leaving to Christ the matter of how happy he shall be.

For those who take this whole thing seriously, I have a suggestion: Go to God and have an understanding. Tell him that it is your desire to be holy at any cost, and then ask Him never to give you more happiness than holiness. When your holiness becomes tarnished, let your joy become dim. And ask Him to make you holy whether you are happy or not. Be assured that in the end you will be as happy as you are holy; but for the time being let your whole ambition be to serve God and be Christlike.

If we dare to take a stand like that, we may expect to know a new degree of inward purification. And, God being who He is, we are more than likely to know a new degree of happiness as well, but a happiness that springs out of a more intimate fellowship with God, a happiness that is elevated and unselfish and free from the pollutions of the flesh.”

(A. W. Tozer: Of God and Men, Chapter 12)