Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.Proverbs 16:3
When I was learning sign language in college I remember being introduced to this verse in a new way. I am sure I had seen it before, but the teacher applied it in a way that I had not previously thought about.
She told us that when we were interpreting we may not feel confident at first. But she would not have put us in the position to interpret if she didn’t think we were capable of the task. She was asking us to trust the confidence that she had in us. She wanted us to do what we knew how to do and our thinking and confidence would eventually come in line with our actions.
Do Right to Think Right
This isn’t about the self-help, motivational phrase that says, “Fake it till you make it!” However, I guess that popular phrase could have its roots right here in this verse.
This is also not talking about salvation and the erroneous thought that we should clean up our lives first and then God will accept us. That is theologically incorrect and not what this verse is teaching.
When we commit our works to the Lord, He will help us to think properly about what it is we are doing. That word commit means to roll. The idea is that you roll your works over to Him, take your hands off, and let Him have control.
Doing what we know is right to do is how we can learn to think clearly about the work God would have us do in this world. You don’t have to wait until you completely understand His will and plan for your life. We start with obedience to His leading and then our thoughts are established (fixed, set up, stable).
Think Right to Do Right
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.Philippians 4:8, 9
In these verses, Paul encourages the Philippian believers to fix their thoughts on those things that are right, true and pure. As you meditate on God’s Word then you will be prepared to do what is right.
It is not always “think right then do right,” or “do right then think right.” It is a combination of fixing your heart and mind on God’s Word and His will in your life. As you do what you know is right to do, even if you don’t fully understand it, then your thinking will be brought in line. As you meditate on those things that are right, your actions will fall in line.
Sometimes we need the confidence of another to help us do things that we would not have done on our own. Solomon is encouraging us with Proverbs 16:3 to get into action with our deeds and our thinking will come around to give us the confidence that God is in control and He is the one who establishes our right thinking.
Like my sign language teacher asking us to push ourselves in our abilities, God may sometimes ask us to do something that we are not confident in. But take confidence from the fact that He is right there with you and he wants to help you succeed in your ministry.