二○一八年五月十二日／五月十三日 Click here for English version
TED 網站發放了一個演講：「甚麼造就美好人生」，累積的點擊次數超過 2000 萬，羅拔威丁格教授（Robert Waldinger）分享哈佛大學一項已進行了 80 年的研究，其中顯示：造就美好人生的元素，原來無關於普遍人認為的財富、名譽、成就，卻與良好的人際關係攸關。
羅馬書十三 8-10 提供了實踐愛的兩個重要指示。首先，第 8 節提出「惟有彼此相愛，要常以為虧欠」。怎樣保持愛的動力，使愛不褪色、不逝去，關鍵是叫自己感到還未愛得夠。在任何人生階段，人都需要愛；夫妻、兄弟姊妹間需要對方的愛；父母與子女之間也需要對方的愛。我們的視線，常放在家人身上，留意他們有否做到自己的期望，以此來衡量家人對自己的愛。但聖經提醒我們，視線應該放在自己身上，留意還可為家人做些甚麼，以表達對他們的愛；父母也要從小引導子女學習關心家人的狀況和需要，並以行動去表達關懷和支持。
經文第 10 節從另一角度對愛作出具體的闡釋：「愛是不加害與人的」。愛的一個表現，是不帶給人傷害。在家人中間，我們往往會放下謹慎的心，甚至變得輕率，因而在言語、態度或行為上多有無心之失，帶來傷害；所以我們平日的傷害往往是來自家人的。或許有人認為，既是無心之失，彼此又是家人，不應太計較。不斤斤計較是好的，但家人間豈非更應彼此關注和愛護嗎？傷害就是傷害，不去計較不等如傷害因此會消失。
Embracing Our Family
Rev Law Wai Fun
A TED talk “What makes a good life?” by Professor Robert Waldinger has received more than 20 million clicks and views online. The talk centers on an ongoing Harvard study, spanning 80 years now, which finds that a good life has nothing to do with the widely believed factors of wealth, fame and success. What really matter are satisfying interpersonal relationships.
The family is primarily where interpersonal relationships are cultivated and experienced. Embracing the family and counting on each other through life can help build up trust in other people. However, this cannot be taken for granted. The motivating force behind, which is love, and the expression of it is hindered by our sinful nature. For many people, family relationship actually poses a lifelong obstacle to interpersonal connection. For most of these families, the problem is not the absence of love but one of expression and attitude. We must recognize a need to learn to love and be prepared to learn all our lives.
Romans 13:8-10 carries two important instructions for love. First, verse 8 says, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another…” The key to preserving love and its motivation lies in a feeling of continuing debt to love. In any stage of life, we need love – love between husband and wife, parents and children, and among brothers and sisters. We usually focus on our family, observing how they meet with our expectations and by means of that assess their love for us. But the Bible reminds us to turn our attention to ourselves and focus on what else we can do to show them our love. Parents should guide children from young to learn to care for other family members and cater for their needs, and to take action to express our care and support.
Verse 10 adds to the meaning of love: “Love does no harm to a neighbor.” Love will not bring harm to its recipient. In the family, we tend to be less cautious. We may even be rash. Our words, our attitude and actions may unintentionally hurt our family members. This is why a lot of our everyday impairment actually comes from our family. Someone may say, “This is inadvertent. And we are a family. So why not forgive and forget?” While it is good to forgive and forget, shouldn’t our family be where greater love and care be shown than elsewhere? Once damage is done, it is done. Forgetting it does not mean it disappears.
If it is difficult to come up with ways to express love, it is much easier to think of ways to avoid damaging our relationships. Not hurting family members or making them mad is loving them. The effort to prevent hurting our family will also bring stronger motivation to better understand them. This in turn enables a closer relationship.
A family of love does not come easy. Let us take an attitude of indebtedness and try to prevent hurting our family. Let us make an effort to learn how to love. Let us embrace our family.