Is the Bible Against Planning?

No. It’s only against planning done with a mindset that we are the final authority, rather than God:

The Bible Affirms Planning that is Done in Dependence on God: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)

The Bible is Against Planning that Does Not Take God into Account: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. . . . Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4:13-16)

Here’s how we can put it: The Bible is highly in favor of planning, and in fact commends and, it can be argued, commands planning.

But planning can be done in two ways: God-dependent and godless. And, godless planning is not what you might expect. It can seem innocent. But godless planning is any time you create plans without taking God into consideration — without acknowledging his authority over all things, and that heaven rules, not you. It calls this type of planning arrogant. And we can fall into it without even knowing it.

The Bible is pro-planning. But it is anti- what we might call arrogant planning.

And arrogant planning doesn’t mean necessarily being high-handed and in opposition to God. It can mean simply forgetting about him in making your plans.

  • Nathan W. Bingham

    Helpful insight, and an important distinction. Thanks.

  • Gordon


    I think rather, assumes.

    But planning until the end of the day should be sufficient. Matthew 6:34 hints at this, Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 points to the reason.

  • Kennisha Hill

    I really liked this! Thanks for the reminder that we should always acknowledge him in all that we do.

  • Robin Vosler

    Thanks for sharing this insight! I just talked about this tonight with a group of women. I’m a die-hard planner, so giving that control to God has been a struggle for me. I have the tendency to try and “figure it all out” on my own. I love the verses you use to explain when planning is actually considered Godly versus godless. Thanks!

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