返回上頁



二○一九年二月九日/二月十日                                                                                           Click here for English version

芳香的祝福語

周曉暉牧師

你所說的話能否散發出蘋果般的芳香?蘋果在舊約時代,以其香氣聞名,能使人恢復精神。故箴言指出,當人說出合宜的話,會使對方心中悅樂,有助他人振作,就連說話的人也倍感快樂。這樣的話才是對人的美好祝福。

農曆年期間,我們與親友拜年時,當如何說出合宜的話?記得有一年親友團拜,席間彼此寒暄問候,我問及一名親友關於他公司的事情,豈料對方臉色一沉,那時我才醒覺原來自己失言。箴言二十五章 11 節,就以蘋果為喻:「一句話說得合宜,就如金蘋果在銀網子裡。」金和銀代表有價值,若以銀子雕刻而成的容器,去盛載芳香熟成的果子,就顯得十分合適。原文中「合宜」一詞,是指在適當的時間、以適當的方式去作。顯然,我的話在當時是不合適的,既在不合宜的時間說,也以不合宜的方式說出。對於聽進去的親友,那是苦澀的話。

近年新春前後,社交媒體上總常見到一些文章,標題大概是「農曆年最怕被親戚問到的十個問題」,其中列舉年輕人怕被一年才見一次的親朋戚友問及的話題。這些貼文固然純粹是用來開玩笑的輕鬆小品,然而字裡行間的嬉笑怒罵,總教讀的人有一種不是味道的感覺。

在互聯網世代,人彷彿可以點觸操控許多事,知識、資訊唾手可得。但過往看似平常的人生階段,現代人卻似是越來越無法掌握。有些事情,當事人或會無法忘記,也不想提起,有時只能避而不談,以免心中泛起絲絲苦澀。每逢佳節,你會察覺與你相聚的親友或弟兄姊妹是處於生命中何種境況嗎?他們是否正面對低沉、失意、失落、哀傷、懷緬、憂慮、困苦的處境?我們要學懂在適當的時間,說出適當的話。

有些話,不一定要在當時說的。箴言也指出人若能約束自己的咀唇,是明智的;勸勉、教導、忠告、「塞錢入你袋」看似是好,但要看時機,過時過節,這些「好意」不一定合適。反而,不刻意說話,卻在心中為對方的需要和生命默默代禱,會是更好的祝福。生命能展現這般的成熟,因有基督作主。

農曆新年來了,你準備用怎樣的祝福語恭賀人?甚願聖靈幫助我們,講出真誠合宜的話,在這個世代中成為蘋果般的芳香祝福;更願我們的生命「在各處顯揚那因認識基督而有的香氣」(林後二 14 下)。

敬祝北宣家人:福杯常滿!香氣常溢!






Pastor's Sharing
Fragrant Words of Blessing
Rev Arnold Chow

Can your words give out fragrance like an apple? In Old Testament times, apples are famous for their refreshing aroma. That is why appropriate words, the Proverbs says, please the heart and help the listener pull himself together. They make the speaker and the listener happy. They are great words of blessing.

What appropriate words should we say when visiting relatives and friends during the Chinese New Year? I remember one time during a Chinese New Year feast when everybody was exchanging greetings and conventional remarks, I asked a relative about his company. That was met with a serious look. Then I realized that I had said something wrong. Proverbs 25:11 says, "Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given." Gold and silver stand for value. It is most appropriate to put fragrant, ripe apples in a carved silver vessel. In the original language, "rightly given" refers to words expressed fitly and at the right time. My words were obviously inappropriate in those circumstances. They were not spoken at the right time nor fitly expressed. They brought bitterness to the hearer.

Around the Chinese New Year, there are often stories in the social media headlined something like "10 Questions You Fear Most to be Asked Around the Chinese New Year." The stories cite subjects that young people are afraid to be asked by the friends they see once a year. Of course, those are funny stories rather than serious writing. Somehow, the merry laughter and angry scolding therein leaves the reader with some sort of pensiveness.

In the Internet world, man seems to be able to control a lot of things at his fingertips. Knowledge and information come at the click of the mouse. However, what used to be normal stages of life have gone further out of control. There are things that people cannot forget nor wish to talk about. They can only be avoided to prevent the bitterness. Every year when you meet friends and relatives in the festive season, can you tell what sort of life situation they are in? Are they depressed, unhappy, lost, sad, anxious, in difficulties or given to reminiscence? We need to learn to speak the right words at the right time.

Some words are unnecessary for the occasion. The Proverbs says it is wise to restrain our tongue. Exhortation, teaching, advice and brilliant tips look good. But the timing must be considered. Festive occasions may not be the right time, however good the intention. On the contrary, keeping silent and quietly praying for the others' lives and needs makes a better blessing. It signifies a mature life under the lordship of Jesus Christ.

In this Chinese New Year, what words of blessing do you intend to use in your festive greetings? I pray that the Holy Spirit will help us to speak honest and appropriate words that become fragrant blessings like apples. I also pray that we will through our lives "spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere" (2 Corinthians 2:14b).

My wish for you all, the NPAC family, is that your cup of blessings will run over, and your lives will always give off the aroma of the Lord Jesus Christ!