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Man proposes, God disposes

This page is about the saying "Man proposes, God disposes"

Possible meaning:
Human beings can make any plans they want, but it's God that decides their success or failure.

Man (noun) = human beings in general | propose (verb) = suggest; put forward (an idea or plan) | dispose (verb) = decide what happens [mainly poetic] | Also seen as: "Man proposes, but God disposes."

Origin: This proverb is a translation from "The Imitation of Christ" by the German-born Thomas à Kempis (c.1380-1471): "For the resolutions of the just depend rather on the grace of God than on their own wisdom; and in Him they always put their trust, whatever they take in hand. For man proposes, but God disposes; neither is the way of man in his own hands." This may be a reflection of a verse in the Bible (Proverbs 16:9): "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps." Shakespeare, too, had a similar message in Hamlet by Hamlet: "There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will."

Quick Quiz

The saying "Man proposes, God disposes" suggests that people have

a. free will

b. limited free will

c. silly ideas
a) free will b) limited free will c) silly ideas

See Saying of the Day today

Contributor: Josef Essberger

Nobody has the right to obey.'