Select Page
Mishlei 16-03 (Control – Awareness)

Mishlei 16-03  

Control – Awareness

Key Concepts

We can assume that a righteous person would like to do the right thing in every situation. But making that decision is often difficult because of all the various factors, spiritual and material, affecting any decision. How do you know what is right?

One way or the other a decision will be made, and some action will be carried out. Mishlei suggests that in making the decision you separate the thoughts that precede the action from the physical action itself. Be aware and have in mind that the thoughts are your own, but the physical action will ultimately be carried out by Hashem. In effect, as was mentioned in Segment 16-01, your thoughts and plans are a program that you are expecting Hashem to follow.

So, you should ask yourself. “What is it that I want Hashem to do for me? Is this a worthy and appropriate action?” If it is, then your thought process has been validated and you can feel reasonably confident that it is correct. If not, perhaps you should rethink the matter.

Exploring Mishlei

 ג =  גֹּל אֶל ה’ מַעֲשֶׂיךָ וְיִכֹּנוּ מַחְשְׁבֹתֶיךָ

(3) Commit your actions to Hashem and your thoughts will be right.

This proverb distinguishes a person’s thoughts from the resulting actions. The person is advised to be aware that once he “acts” he is actually giving up control of this deed to Hashem. For it is Hashem that will be actually carrying out the action, for better or worse.

That awareness should serve as a restraint affecting what the person is thinking as he makes his decision. The result will hopefully be a greater degree of rightness in his thinking, and that will have a favorable effect on the final outcome.

Learning Mishlei

Commit your actions to Hashemגֹּל אֶל ה’ מַעֲשֶׂיךָ
and your thoughts will be right וְיִכֹּנוּ מַחְשְׁבֹתֶיךָ
because your awareness will serve as a restraint
on how you decide to carry out your action.

Additional Insights

(1) Focus on the fact that you only have power over your thoughts, but it is Hashem who will carry out the action that your thoughts are pointing to. If you do, you will succeed in getting your thoughts to contribute to the actual correct result. (רבינו יונה)

(2) A person’s thoughts are by nature fleeting and impermanent. If he wants to solidify his thoughts and make them have a lasting effect, he should dedicate all his actions to the glory of Hashem. The effect will be that his thoughts will be devoted to doing Hashem’s will. This will give them a lasting effect. (מלבי”ם, מצודות)

(3) If you place your trust in Hashem and ask Him to do what is best for you in every situation, your tefillos will be fulfilled.
(רש”י, רלב”ג)

(4) Remember that as you mentally weigh your options, there is an instinctive tendency for a person to justify his desired action. If you then ask yourself what Hashem wants, you will come to a decision that is in line with His will. (המאירי, הגר”א)

(5) Remember that both your thoughts and the resulting actions are visible to Hashem. Therefore, strive to reconcile them. The words you speak in your tefillos are actions. Are they matched to the thoughts that pass through your mind as you say those words? Are your uncontrolled and random thoughts during tefillah like the words mouthed by a mentally defective person in the street? (שבט מיהודה)

NOTE: For a PDF copy of this segment, please click on the blue title below.
This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article.

Mishlei 16-03 (Control) PDF version