Melvyn Tan
December 9, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

Where There Is No Vision…

[blockquote source=”Proverbs 29:18 (NIV)“]Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.[/blockquote] Where there is no vision… One of the Bible verses that have always resonated with me was this: “where there is no vision, the people perish”. As someone who is more skewed towards the […]

[blockquote source=”Proverbs 29:18 (NIV)“]Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.[/blockquote]

Where there is no vision…
One of the Bible verses that have always resonated with me was this: “where there is no vision, the people perish”.

As someone who is more skewed towards the “planning” profile, it is no wonder why this verse resonated with me so well. I have always believed that unless you have a goal in life, you will live aimlessly.

And if you are aimless, then everything could excite you or nothing could excite you. Hence you’d be easily bored but comfortable.

As a result, when I first heard the verse I was like a fly attracted to light.

Different translations
It was not until I decided to find out which specific verse this is taken from, that I’d realize that it isn’t even listed in the NIV. The NIV is my first and only translation of the Bible that I’ve used for my reading as well as my Bible study.

Then it puzzled me even further to realize that many translations do not even use the term “vision”, except for King James.

Interpretation of Scriptures
As I research further, one of the principles of Bible study was to not interpret the Bible based on your own experience. What this means is that one must not use Scripture to simply support what you are doing.

Examples of how to interpret
A very simple example of how this can be (mis)used is this very verse. A church leader could quote this verse from the Bible and proclaim that that’s why the church needs a new and bold vision to build a megachurch and hence asks for donations to support the building of the church. Where there is no vision.

I’ve also heard business leaders who quote this verse (just the first part – “where there is no vision, the people perish”) and proclaim that’s why your business needs a vision. Thats why you need to have a personal vision. And how important it is to have a written vision statement.

Having a vision is great, but…
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong to have a vision statement for your company, business, or even yourself. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to build a megachurch and having that kind of grand vision. In fact, I firmly believed that vision is so under estimated that we don’t write (or re-write) our vision statement enough. And having goals are great. Because they keep you focused on where you are going.

There’s nothing absolutely wrong with having a vision. But it is dead wrong when you use the Scriptures and bend it’s meaning and intend just to support what you are saying.

Do not bend the meaning
In other words, it is wrong to think of: I’ve already written out the idea and now I just need to look for that one verse in the Bible to support it. Its like, now that I have written out our company’s vision statement, where none existed before. Now I have to convince my people, many whom I know are Christians, to accept it. Hence let’s use Proverbs 29:18 “where there is no vision, the people perish”.

Instead, it is quite the opposite. Its about first understanding God’s will and obeying it, then align what we do to it. An example would be: in my review of my body of work, how can I make sure that it is meaningful, not just for me but for others too? What are my end goals and how can I align these goals to God’s will?

God’s revelation
In fact, the NIV translation of this verse is this: the revelation is revelation of God’s will. If we do not know what’s God’s will; it is not revealed to us, then people may just go wild and do whatever they see fit. Some may even start a flesh trade and proclaim that it is satisfying a need, albeit a immoral one. And so, if we do not know God’s will, but if we keep to His laws, we will be happy.

His law is simply this: love one another.

Prayer
Father I pray that I will be able to keep this law in my personal, people, and professional domains. In Jesus name, Amen.