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二○一九年十二月十四日/十二月十五日                                                                                       Click here for English version

追求基督

蕭壽華牧師

我們每個人內心都有一些慾求或渴望,這些渴望有意識或不自覺地主導著我們人生的方向和抉擇。而這種渴望常與我們成長期間所經歷的缺乏相關——自小缺乏愛的人,會付上一切代價,要得到愛情的補償;自小被人輕視的人,會拼命苦幹,盼能出人頭地。這些內心深處的渴望,會使我們在達成目標時感到滿足快樂,不過卻也很快便再次感到「乾渴」,渴望要得更多。

多年前我參加一個教牧屬靈操練營,導師請我們寫下自己對將來的盼望,特別是退休以後盼望可以怎樣事奉,之後他請我們與旁邊的同工分享。當時我旁邊的是一位剛開始牧職的女傳道,我告訴她,我希望退休後能整合自己的經驗,多培育一些青年牧者。隨後她告訴我:「我盼望我越事奉,越少自己,更多基督在我裡面。」從此,她這句話也成為我深切的渴慕。我開始明白,我一切工作的成就,若成為我心底最大的渴望,而不是基督自己,我將永遠都不會滿足。

宣信博士一生經歷過許多與自我爭鬥的心靈掙扎,因此他長年的渴慕是「非我惟主」(Not I, but Christ),他寫的這首詩歌道:「非我惟主,受人敬愛和尊崇,非我惟主,被人傳揚稱頌,非我惟主,顯在言語和行動……」又說:「求主拯救我脫離自己,溶合在祢裡面」(to be lost in Thee)。他實在是以自己的生命,詮釋了「我已經與基督同釘十字架,現在活著的不再是我,乃是基督在我裡面活著」(加二 19-20)。

在跟從主的路上,我們的自我太容易與世界融合,以尋求地上的成就、名聲、情慾的滿足為人生最大的渴慕;又或以自我某種力量為倚靠,並引以為傲,表面上似是在事奉主,實質上卻是在高舉自己。保羅說:「我也將萬事當作有損的,因我以認識我主基督耶穌為至寶」(腓三 8)。當然世上萬事不一定都叫我們損失,但假若我們的追求會減少自己對基督的渴望,少了去得著基督,那我們的生命就有損失了。

但我所缺乏的愛、尊重、肯定,豈不也是我真實的需要嗎?我們要知道:神是我的主,我的好處不在祂以外。我是否愛自己的「以撒」過於愛神呢?倘若我沒有成就、尊重、愛,也甘願降服在祂旨意下,直到內心真的以認識主、順從主、高舉主為最大的渴慕,祂就必賜我生命的至寶——基督自己。




Pastor's Sharing
The Pursuit of Christ
Rev Gordon Siu

We all have longings and expectations. These desires consciously or unconsciously steer our choices and directions in life. Longings are often associated with our deficiency experiences when we grow up: those who lacked love when growing up will seek it as a remedy at all costs; those who are despised since they were young will do all they can to stand above the rest. Such cravings from the bottoms of our hearts will give happiness and satisfaction when the goals are finally attained, but the happiness would soon dry up, and we would long for more.

Years ago at a camp for pastors on spiritual disciplines, we were asked to write down our hopes for the future, especially ministries after retirement. We were then asked to share our thoughts with the participants around us. Seated next to me was a female pastor who just had started her pastoral ministry not long ago. I told her that after my retirement, I hoped to consolidate my experience and do what I can to groom young pastors. Then she told me, "I hope that the more I serve, the less of myself and more of Christ I will see in me." Since then, what she said became my deep longing as well. I began to understand that if I make whatever accomplishment but not Christ Himself the greatest craving at the bottom of my heart, I will never be satisfied.

Dr. A. B. Simpson went through lots of spiritual struggles with his self all his life. Therefore, his longing had always been "Not I, But Christ." The hymn goes like this: "Not I but Christ be honored, loved, exalted; Not I but Christ be seen, be known and heard; Not I but Christ in every look and action…" and "O to be saved from myself, dear Lord! O to be lost in Thee!" Dr. Simpson did illustrate Galatians 2:20 with his own life: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."

While following Jesus, our self too easily merges with the world and we make worldly success, reputation and the satisfaction of lust our greatest desires. Or, we may rely on and be proud of certain abilities of the self in a way that we are actually promoting ourselves while serving God. Paul said: "I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…" (Philippians 3:8). Of course, not all things on earth are a loss, but if our quest for them undermines our longing for Christ and imposes an obstacle in our pursuit of God, then our lives suffer loss.

But isn't it true that the love, respect and affirmation I lack are my genuine needs? We need to know that God is our Lord and apart from Him we have no good thing. If I am prepared to surrender to His will until I make knowing God, obeying Him and exalting Him truly the greatest longing of my heart – even without personal success, respect or love, then God will bestow on me the greatest treasure in life: Christ Himself.