Achilles heel

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not rely on your own understanding;

think about Him in all your ways,

and He will guide you on the right paths.,

Don’t consider yourself to be wise;

fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

Proverbs 3:5-7

In Greek mythology, when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die young. To prevent his death, his mother Thetis took Achilles to the River Styx, which was supposed to offer powers of invulnerability, and dipped his body into the water; however, as Thetis held Achilles by the heel, his heel was not washed over by the water of the magical river. Achilles grew up to be a man of war who survived many great battles. One day, a poisonous arrow shot at him was lodged in his heel, killing him shortly afterwards.

Did you know that this is the backstory to this saying? I didn’t, I believed something completely different.

It got me thinking about how many modern myths we believe and allow them to guide our thinking and decision making. How much conventional wisdom, do we allow to drown out the truth and wisdom of the Gospel.


You need to earn my trust.

Money is the root of all evil.

To your own self be true.


Do these sound familiar? I’m sure they do and there are many more that sound so good but they contradict the truth of the gospel. We believe them to our own peril. Truth is…


Trust is given, not earned.

The love of money is a root of evil.

My own heart is deceptive and being true to it will only lead to trouble.


I so often find myself having to make choices or decisions and my thoughts go towards conventional thinking and sounds something like this: ‘the answer is obvious’ or ‘I can handle this’ or ‘I’ll trust my gut’. Time and time again, when I look back, I have to admit that there was an angle I missed, a possibility I did not consider or a truth that I ignored, often with bad or unhelpful consequences. I relied on my own understanding and I considered myself to be wise and became vulnerable.


If I depend on what I know and understand I am proud and vulnerable.

Trusting in the Lord, considering His wisdom and thinking about what He wants in every decision I have to make is staying humble and there I find grace (James 4:6).


How much better would my marriage, parenting, finances, etc. be if this was the way I lived.


By the way:

“A smile saves you energy” – not true

A small smile takes about ten muscles to raise the upper lip and corners of the mouth, while a small frown takes only three muscles to drop the lower lip and corners of the mouth. So, sorry, a smile does not save you energy.

Danie van Tonder

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1 Comment

  • Lee-Ann says:

    So very true! When reading this I Keep thinking “Let Go and Let God”! So many times I try to handle everything, and the times I have given it all to God I have seen amazing outcomes that could only be from God, and so much better than I expected, or I could have done, yet I still find times where I still try handle things on my own! This is something that needs to be said and practiced daily for sure!! “Let Go and Let God”!

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