I didn’t see this one coming. Fifteen harmless words. A simple note of caution, reminding people not to boast about tomorrow. Seriously, who does such a thing?
You do, Liz.
Ouch. When the Lord pokes me like that, using the double-edged sword of His Word, I know I’m in trouble.
Even so, good news is on the horizon.
Because with God? There is always good news.
Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1
Do not boast about tomorrow… Proverbs 27:1
So, if we’re boasting about, say, Thursday. What does that look like, exactly?\
We forward our overloaded schedule to friends, asking for prayer, secretly hoping they’ll be impressed with all we’re doing.
We spend endless hours organizing our calendar in color-coded glory, instead of taking care of what needs doing right now.
We blithely tell people about our plans for next week, next month, next year, confident all will come to pass precisely as planned.
Sound familiar? Sadly, these examples were taken from my own life. Given enough time, I could come up with a dozen more. Groan.
Now, here comes this verse from Proverbs, urging us to “never brag” (ERV) or “brashly announce” (MSG) our plans for tomorrow. In fact, it’s best if we “do not talk much” (NLV), let alone “glory over” (WYC), what we will “do in the future” (ERV).
So, are we to live only for today? Forget about the future?
We’ve all seen tee shirts and coffee mugs proclaiming, carpe diem, meaning “seize the day.” Interesting that it’s only the first part of the famous Latin quote. The rest is quam minimum credula postero, which translates, “put very little trust in tomorrow.” That last bit? That’s the heart of this verse from Scripture.
Fleetwood Mac sings, “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.”
God says just the opposite. Stop thinking about tomorrow. Stop bragging about it, putting your trust in it, and counting on your future to unfold the way you expect it to.
…for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1
We think we know what tomorrow holds. We’re looking at our Google Calendar, our Franklin Planner, with something noted for every hour. Do this. Go there. Make that. It’s in ink, it’s a done deal, it’s a sure thing.
But the truth is, we “have no idea” (ERV) what’s going to happen tomorrow.
Someone may break their promise, leaving us high and dry. A change in the weather could undo our plans. A check we were depending on might not arrive in the mail. Our car may refuse to start. The school nurse could send a text, asking us to pick up our sick kid in the next 15 minutes.
Or we could get a phone call with the worst news imaginable.
Admit it. We “don’t know the first thing about tomorrow” (MSG) and can’t imagine “what will happen between now and then” (GNT).
A thousand years after Solomon wrote Proverbs 27:1, Jesus offered the same wisdom: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34).
And James reminded us, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:13-14).
Wow. There’s a sobering thought. We might not even be here tomorrow. I looked up the recent stats, and every day on our planet more than 144,000 people die. That’s more than 6,000 people an hour. More than 100 people a minute.
Not trying to be gloomy. Just pointing out the obvious.
Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to anyone.
So, where is the good news in all this?
God is asking us to trust our tomorrows to Him. To embrace the promises in His Word: “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:18). To rest in knowing He’s in charge, and holds our future safely in His loving hands.
Joshua trusted the Lord implicitly, and so told his people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you” (Joshua 3:5). Not you will do amazing things, but the Lord will do them.
So, whenever we think about tomorrow, we’re not to focus on our ability to make things happen, but on God and what He is able to accomplish, which is “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
Good news, yes? This week’s verse reminds us, “Each day brings its own surprises.” (CEV) They could be good surprises. Something life-changing might happen tomorrow. Something fabulous that’s not on your list, not on your radar, yet God has already put it in motion.
James gives us the right way to handle tomorrow: “You ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:15).
So, having a list of things to do is fine, if we seek God’s leading when we make those plans, and hand them over to him at the start of each day.
God has tomorrow covered, according to His perfect will. Our job? Embrace today. Carpe diem, if you will. As David said, “The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad” (Psalm 118:24).
We’re rejoicing, Lord!
And trusting You. Today, tomorrow, and forever.
Now it’s your turn
- Have you ever boasted about tomorrow?
- In light of this verse, what might you do differently now?
Thanks for taking a moment to share. I cherish every comment, and respond as often as I can. Your sisters appreciate your honesty too!
Sending a grateful hug from Louisville (and trying not to think about tomorrow being the last day of July?!).
Your sister, Liz