How many times have you heard that quoted (from the Bible – Proverbs 29:18) in order to support the introduction of or need for a vision / mission statement? I have heard so many sermons on that theme that I am almost willing to submit to them since that many people surely can’t be wrong.
But only almost.
The problem is that it is a misquote. The King James Version (from which it is misquoted) states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” It is not ‘a vision’, it is ‘vision’. ‘Vision’ here does not mean a modern vision statement. It refers to God’s revelation. And ‘perish’ is not the best translation either.
The New International Version offers us: “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.” In other words, where people don’t listen to God they do their own thing.
What I find interesting about many of the sermons I have heard on the KJV approach is that few of them have gone on to the second half of the verse: “but blessed is the one who keeps the law.” (NIV) That is the corollary of the first half.
If you ignore God you are heading for a fall. But if you live in the way he intends you will find blessing. ‘Blessing’ does not mean an easy life, or that you won’t have any problems. It means that you will experience God’s approval, enjoy his ‘well done’, cause him to smile on you…
Be blessed, be a blessing.
Children seldom misquote their parents. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.