Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,This is a proverb that is the favourite for many self-help people, including those who profess themselves to be Christians. I have seen this proverb being used in my management 101 module during my days in NUS.
But happy is he who keeps the law. - Proverbs 29:18 (NASB)
But as I study the Bible, I just get very fascinated how we, as a people of God, can simply read things into the Scripture and co-opt this proverb into our management theory. Is it really the case that where there is no vision, people perish?
What do you think of when you think of vision? Do you think of your eyesight? Do you think of the future direction of your life, or your organisation? Or do you think of the prophetic vision/revelation that God sometimes gives to certain individuals? Unfortunately, most of the people who read this proverb tend to read this proverb in the second sense of the meaning without understanding what the original Hebrew really points to.
In any case, I found that we need to see this verse in the third sense of the meaning, i.e. when God does not give us His revelation (which can refer to His laws), we are totally unrestrained. And the second part of the verse sort of confirmed that when it says "blessed is he who keeps the law." The reference to the law should be the biggest clue that this verse is not talking about your life vision or organisation vision.
So what I am seeing is this: when we do not have God's revelation, we have the tendency to let loose ourselves and do whatever we want. It is really not so much as in if the organisation has no vision, it will die off and be rendered obsolete.
I just hope that a certain someone whom I know at work will not start using this proverb and start teaching the organisations he is coaching about "vision" and leadership...