The Definitions of Achieve

Achievement. Everyone who has ever played a sport or mastered a skill like playing an instrument or planting a garden has a future destination in mind. Once they get there, or make progress towards the goal, they have a sense of achievement. To “achieve” implies there is some foundational work, dedication and focus on a goal.

Achieve Idioms and the Wisdom of Solomon

I love the pictures presented by idioms. – Hit a home run, the team won the Superbowl, she delivered the goods, he hit the bullseye, she made the grade, and I see the light at the end of a tunnel. When we get to the end of the tunnel of life, what will we have achieved? The book of Proverbs has much to say about achieving, and one of the words King Solomon used to indicate achievement is “gain.” It seems Solomon saw many aspects of achievement in wisdom and in financial dealings and he used word pictures to make a point. Without commentary, I will share a few of them.

Financial Dealings

Here are some of the Proverbs…

1:19 “Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.”

13:11 “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”

15:27 “Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live.”

20:17 “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.”

20:21 “An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.”

28:16 “A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.”

31:11 “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.”


Here are some of the Proverbs…

3:13-14 “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.”

4:1 “Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight.”

15:32 “Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.”

16:31 “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” (Note: I don’t believe that good works saves anyone’s soul. Rather, good works are the display of a soul that has been born again by the finished work of Jesus Christ.)

19:20 “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”

19:25 “Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.”

21:11 “When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.”

Achieve Antonyms

Obviously, if you don’t achieve, then it is likely that you fall short (of), miss; fail (at); lose. We get a choice. Achieve or fall. But we need to be careful to achieve something worth achieving. Jesus painted a picture of that as well.

How to Identify a Follower of Jesus

When setting a goal for gain count the cost.

Jesus, in Mark 8:36, said, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” What appears to be profit in the minds of many is a short-term gain. Wise investors think long-term.

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five-Minute Friday link-up.

All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.