Good Luck...I mean, Go With God

By Catiana Nak Kheiyn

I do honestly try not to allow the opinions and judgments of others get to me. (Yes, there's a "but" coming. In fact, there are two.) But I must admit that I occasionally find myself contriving my words while sending off a fellow believer with a word of encouragement as they enter into any given challenge. My compulsion is to say, "Good luck!" but will that cause them to think I believe in the notion of luck?

Let me set the record straight right now: I do not believe in luck. I am a firm believer in the fact that nothing happens by chance (Proverbs 16:33). God is sovereign over everything (Ephesians 1:11; Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 46:9-10), and even the smallest of life's occurrences are known by Him. I much prefer it this way too!

But does saying "good luck" mean that I am not acknowledging God's sovereignty? If I say, "You were fortunate" or "she is lucky," am I showing that I have bought into a worldview that believes life happens at random? Does it mean that I believe life's moments are at the mercy of a mere roll of the metaphysical dice?


If I may be so bold to say it, perhaps "good luck" is merely a turn of phrase. Maybe "good luck" is as innocuous as saying "break a leg" when trying to encourage an actor going on stage. I suppose for some, it may mean more, but for a Christian to say "good luck," can we agree that the words are simply a way to express the sentiment "do a well on that" or even "God bless you in that endeavor"?

Please don't judge me for wishing you "good luck" as an encouragement as you enter into that new job, that placement test, that doctor's appointment. I only wish to bolster your spirit. Wait...what was that? Can't I say "wish" either?

Let's not get ourselves wrapped up in particular verbiage, friends. We all believe in God here. We all believe that God is in control. Can we not take someone's colloquialisms and insert them into their doctrine? Can we not start quoting James 1:26 to each other when we were just trying to boost a friend's confidence?

Yes, the words we say do matter, but what matters even more is the motivation and intention behind those words. Ephesians 4:29 says, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear" [emphasis mine]. When I say "good luck," my intent is not to corrupt you, but to build you up, assure you, and be hopeful of success in whatever you're doing.

"Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

Image Credit: Archana Heenpella; "Good luck — illustration"; Creative Commons

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Published 9-18-13