The words guidance and vision are both future-oriented, and many use them interchangeably. However, I tend to draw a distinction between the two. Here are my short definitions:
Vision is a long-term, usually general picture of what the future might look like when a project or transition is complete.
Guidance is a short-term, very specific instruction about the next step to take in the midst of the project or transition.
To say that even more concisely, vision is about the destination; guidance is about the journey.
To unpack that a bit, here’s how the two terms operate distinctly from one another:
- Vision is a picture of a possible future. Guidance is a specific step to take at a specific time.
- Vision motivates and inspires. Guidance leads and directs.
- Vision tempts you to force it into reality. Guidance restrains you to act only as the Father leads, trusting him to make the vision real.
- Guidance tempts you to lose yourself in empty procedure. Vision gives procedure meaning and direction, preventing you from getting lost.
- Vision and guidance can be compelling, exciting, frightening, and mystifying.
- Vision is tested and refined and comes to pass through a thorough process of confirmation and obedience to guidance.