Posted by: Damon Whitsell | December 20, 2014

Where There is No Vision the People Misinterpret Proverbs 29:18 by Pamela Couvrette

SOURCE: As 2014 comes to a close, many people are reflecting on the year and setting goals. I’m delighted to see so many Christian women desiring to use the gifts God gave them to glorify Him. However, just as everything else in this world is corrupted, our goal setting can also be affected. And this is where Miss Interpreted comes in.

Miss Interpreted yearns to honor God and makes her plans for the new year accordingly. She reads half a verse from Proverbs which says, “Where there is no vision the people perish” (KJV) as a reason to set up vision boards and use visualization to make her dreams come to pass. This is hardly a surprise since Miss Interpreted follows the teachings of celebrity Pastors such as Bill Hybels and Rick Warren who teach this false interpretation:

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.” They can’t focus, can’t reach their goal, can’t follow their dream. An older translation says, “Without vision, the people perish.” I’ve seen it with my own eyes – without vision, people lose the vitality that makes them feel alive.
-Bill Hybels, Courageous Leadership, page 31

(links to Rick Warren’s teachings below)

Let’s look at other translations with attention to the words I’ve italicized:

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint (NIV)

When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild (NLT)

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint (ESV)

Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish (AMP)

Words like revelation, divine guidance, and redemptive revelation of God make it clear the verse is not talking about our own vision we can cast. Likewise, run wild and cast off restraint is referring to rebellion – not a “vitality that makes them feel alive”.

Putting it all together, this verse is saying without God’s revelation in understanding His words and obeying it, people will cast off restraint and do what they think is right in their own eyes.

Isn’t it odd that Bill Hybels chose to use the KJV to misinterpret the meaning? He actually begins by quoting the NASB version which is a clearer indication of the correct interpretation. But I suppose the accurate meaning doesn’t support his message.

When There is No Vision the People Misinterpret Proverbs 29:18


We’ve only looked at half of the verse so far. It continues to say, “But blessed is he who keeps the law” (ESV), or “But happy is he who keeps the law” (NASB). It’s obvious by now this verse is referring to obedience and not failed dreams, or congregation size as Rick Warren would have us believe.

I suppose the faulty interpretation of this verse is attractive to Miss Interpreted because if she’s following Rick Warren, she is most likely also under the teachings of the Word of Faith Movement/Prosperity Gospel. After all, how different is casting a vision than “believing and conceiving”? As if this isn’t bad enough, this is really the law of attraction promoted in a twisted scripture. So basically, Miss Interpreted is practicing in the occult. Deceived Miss Interpreted started off with a desire to honor God and ended up meditating on her vision boards, thereby sacrificing to demons, not to God (1 Corinthians 1:20).

How can God be glorified if we don’t discern His words? Let’s plan to glorify God by testing everything (1 Thessalonians 5:21) so that our love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that we may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (Philippians 1:9-10)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela Couvrette


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