Good luck - why we shouldn't say it

How often have you heard the words “good luck”, “wish me luck”, “how unlucky you must be”.

If you win a new job, someone is bound to say how lucky you were in winning the promotion as if it came down to chance.   What the person is say is that it the decision of winning the job is to do with randomness... probabilities... accidents... chance. But to say that the universe is operated based on chance is to say there is no God.

For a Christian, nothing is left to chance and as a result we should not use the worldly term “good luck/bad luck”.  We need to remember, could we repeat the same words we say to our friends to the Lord Jesus Christ - would we wish Him luck.  NO. As when we do we are saying that things are random, but throughout the whole of Scripture it is very clear that God is in control of all things and nothing is left to chance.  This is demonstrated in Proverbs 16:33 “The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.” It couldn’t be clearer than that. 

As Christians we have been given the promise that He works all things, whether seemingly good or bad - "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans8:28).

Nowhere in the verses from Ecclesiastes (3:1-9) does it mention randomness, probabilities, chance or luck  . . . no, all things has been determined already by God, there is no surprises, not with the seasons, when we are born or when we die - He knows all.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born , and a time to die ; a time to plant , and a time to pluck up that which is planted ; A time to kill , and a time to heal ; a time to break down , and a time to build up ; A time to weep , and a time to laugh ; a time to mourn , and a time to dance ; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together ; a time to embrace , and a time to refrain from embracing ; A time to get , and a time to lose ; a time to keep , and a time to cast away ; A time to rend , and a time to sew ; a time to keep silence , and a time to speak ; A time to love , and a time to hate ; a time of war, and a time of peace.

So, what can Christians say instead, perhaps "God be with you", "you are in my thoughts and prayers" or perhaps something from the scriptures "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all." (Revelations 22:21) or "Grace be with you all" (Hebrews 13:25).  However saying this to a non believer will certainly take them by surprise for sure, but it may make them think or perhaps comment about why we, as Christians, don't say "good luck". I am certainly guilty of saying it, especially if others around are saying it (talking before thinking!).

What do you say when someone says good luck to you?


  1. I have problems on birthday cards, like "Wishing you a Happy Birthday", I write it but don't like it, there is nothing in a wish, as it is very much the same as luck. Maybe your thought could be used here, like "May God's blessing be on you this Birthday" or similar. Thoughtful post. Thanks LL S.

  2. I'm with Stephen ... "wish" is a very similar term, but it is almost impossible to escape it.

    When people use "luck" concerning anything in my life, I always politely say, "Praise God. He did it."

    Have a great evening!

  3. Hello! I am a new reader. Can't wait to see more from your blog! Please follow me back at The Nutritionist Reviews and Giveaways:

    Aww I love your puppy!

  4. Jo: it gets sticky, doesn't it? I find myself saying it before I stop & think because it is part of our culture & we have been conditioned from tiny things to say it but then I quite often leave *Blessings* ~ or I did, until I found out Pagans use it. Hmmm...quandry. As the world gets worse & worse though I find myself called to be more & more particular about things.

  5. I hadn't thought of "best wishes" when I was writing this, but you are quite right it is the same as "good luck".

    Welcome Beth in NC: it is lovely to meet you, thank-you for visiting. Will pop over to say hi:)

    Welcome to Amanda-The Nutritionist Reviews: thank-you for your kind words. Yes, the puppy is cute but now almost 3 and is like a noisy teenager!

    Ganeida: it is tricky and find myself falling into the bad habit, but as I think about it more I am being more careful about the words I use. I must say I also use "Blessings", will need to rethink that.

  6. Jo, this is something I have been aware of, since becoming a Believer. Instead of saying anything about 'good luck' etc, I say 'Blessings to you' or however is appropriate for what's being said.

    I agree with what you have written.

    Not sure what Ganeida means about the pagans and 'blessings'... can anyone enlighten me? Be interested to hear about it.

    'Luck' just shouldn't be in the Christian's vocubulary, that's for sure.

  7. We were brought up knowing that "luck" is not a Christian word - my children are the same, and funnily enough, without me even telling them what to do about it, when they read a book that says "luckily she didn't fall" (for example), they say "happily she didn't fall"!!! Not sure where they learned to use "happily" in that context, but I'm happy about it!! I never know what to say when people say "good luck" to me - I never have come up with something to say in response that was fitting to all situations...
    If I want the best for someone (a Christian) in a situation, instead of saying 'good luck', I usually use a phrase that includes God or the Lord - like "May the Lord bless you" or "may the Lord go with you" or something like that. For unbelievers, if I want to say something in the place of 'good luck', I say "all the best".

  8. This has been an issue and discussion with us frequently, as well. We don't believe in "luck" but we see so much of that mentality around us -- especially all kinds of "New Age" stuff like crystals and card readings, and lots of people in this tiny village go to "psychic," looking for a little luck. You are so right about Christians knowing the truth, that God is in control of all, and so-called luck has nothing to do with it. Sometimes, I confess, it slips out from one or the other of us, but we are indeed conscious of it, and try very hard not to say "good luck," or similar things. It can be hard sometimes when we have both grown up with that, and it's all around us. All I can say, truly, is THANK GOD that He is in control, and we don't have to hope for "luck!"

  9. I am like Clara I say "all the best" to someone that is non-christian and if I know them well enough I will mention praying for them too...which I would do if I said I was going to:)
    btw, isn't there a scripture in Eccl about "chance", I can't think of it at the moment but I've always wondered about that.

  10. Found it! Eccl 9:11...anyone care to share any insight into this?

  11. Rosemary - Ecclesiastes was written from a very worldly viewpoint. The entire book is written to show that life is like a vapour, as we also read in James - "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14). I wrote a bit about Ecclesiastes here, if you want to read more about that:
    The "preacher" was born long before the Lord Jesus came and offered a solution to the futility of life, so he wrote from his observations of the world - and if we were to take God out of the equation, it would seem like everything in life happened by chance to us, too... Thank God He sent Jesus to give us reason and to reveal the mystery of His eternal purpose for our lives - this takes all the "chance" out of it!!
    Does that help?

  12. That is exactly why Jewish people say Shalom meaning peace, encapsulating a reality of hope of wholeness.

  13. Excited to read this post Jo. This terminology is used so often today. As Clara said we were taught that hings don't happen by luck. And I'm with Stephen about the wishing too! I even take one more step further and have decided that I don't really like congratulations either. Usually people say this inferring that it has been all by the accomplishments of one person, eg. congratulations on getting the job, or congratulations on the birth of your baby. In my thoughts instead we really should be saying something along the lines of "praise God for how He has worked things out for you".
    In answer to your question about how do you respond - it really depends, I try to take it back to God and how He is the One who takes care of our every need.


Post a Comment