A show of hands, please? How many of you have ever claimed this “promise” verse?
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3)
It’s a promise that if we’re “totally committed” to God, our plans will succeed, right?! Well, not if you look at the Hebrew word translated by the New International Version as “succeed.” Kuwn can be translated “to be firm, be stable, be established; be enduring; to be directed aright, be fixed aright, be steadfast (moral sense); to prepare, be ready.”
Success—particularly in the worldly sense of fame and fortune—is not implied. You can be firm, stable, morally steadfast and still not “succeed.” Last year was disastrous for me as far as worldly success: three books going out of print, cancer, losing a big contract because of “radiation retardation,” huge medical bills and all five lottery tickets I received as a Christmas gag gift being losers. Sigh.
But I think my “purpose” (to communicate the gospel of Christ in as effective and creative manner as possible with as many as possible) remained “firm, stable and morally steadfast.”
So, if you’re not having a “successful” week, you’re in good company. Stay firm, stable, established and most of all—endure!
Copyright © 2009 James N. Watkins
When You Don’t ‘Succeed”… was originally posted on September 22, 2104 and used by permission from the author.
James Watkins: Author, speaker, threat to society. Jim loves God, his family, writing, speaking and Chinese food—in that order Jim wears more hats than his Aunt Luella! He is:
- associate acquisitions editor for Wesleyan Publishing House
- author/contributor to over 30 books and over two thousand articles
- conference speaker throughout North America and overseas
- director of St Davids Christian Writers Conference
- editorial advisor for ACW Press