Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
This is one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible for the small business owner. I’ve known (or thought I’ve known) this scripture for many years.
Though I’ve quoted this passage many times, as I sat down to write this devotional I realized that I’ve all but ignored the second part of it. In fact, to be honest, I didn’t even know that part was there.
Proverbs is a wonderful book full of wisdom that you can take verse by verse and apply to your life. That being said, let’s unpack this scripture a little.
Vision is the Catalyst to Growth
To run any business effectively and even to run your life, you’ve got to have a vision. A vision of where you want to go, who you want to be, and what you want to accomplish. You also need to be able to communicate that vision effectively to your team, whether they are employees, volunteers, or family members.
Without a clear vision, people just exist. They aren’t striving for achievement which is the catalyst of growth. More importantly, if there is no growth there is erosion, decay, and death.
What does the verse say? It says…
Without a Vision, The People Perish
I don’t know about you, but perish means death to me. If a plant isn’t growing, it’s dying. No plant, animal, or organism just grows to a certain point and then pauses life. If it’s living, it’s either growing or dying. It’s the cycle of life.
The same is true in you and I. The difference is that the death can be spiritual, emotional, relational, etc. If any of these areas are unhealthy, it is an inward sign that point to the death of something. Usually there are outward signs of decay even in these internal areas because they manifest themselves in different ways.
A dying business will manifest signs of it being unhealthy (just like a plant would) long before the business fails. This is sometimes hard to recognize because people are involved. Unlike plants, we can hide signs from others and even from ourselves.
…But he that Keepeth the Law, Happy is He.
This is the hope in this verse. If you keep the law, meaning biblical principles, you will be happy. Most of our unhappiness comes from divided interest and emotions within us.
You’d be surprised how much discontent goes away and how much more peace you have if you follow biblical guidelines while running your business (and personal life).
The question I have here is how does the second part of the verse relate to the first? On the surface they seem to be two totally different ideas with no clear connection.
More research suggests that “vision” in this verse is referring to the special vision (or revelation) of God. Basically, it means that without the law of God or God’s word (God’s vision), people perish.
Focus on God’s Vision
This is where it get’s deep. The secret in business and in life is to have a God ordained vision. Not just a vision. Any leader can have a vision. I would bet money you could google “20 best vision statements” and get results that are better than what you would probably come up with on your own.
But what is God’s vision for you? What is God’s vision for your business? If you haven’t figured that out or haven’t given much thought to it, I encourage you to start today.
Questions for Reflection/Action Steps
- What is God’s Vision for your business? For your life? For your family?
- How can you ensure you are glorifying God as you run your business?
- Where do you need to let go and trust God in your business?
God, please give me the wisdom to seek your vision for my life and business today. Give me the courage to say the things you lead me to say and do the things you lead me to do. Make your vision my vision.