The Principle of the Path on Getting Lost

This continues my discussion of Andy Stanley’s book, The Principle of the Path. The principle says: the direction you take in life, not your intentions, determine where you will end up. If you head into an uncharted forest, you will probably get lost even if that is not your intention.

The sad thing about getting lost in life is you usually don’t find your way back in hours or days. Typically you stay lost for years, even decades. Maybe you can relate.

Is Getting Lost God’s Fault?

I’ve had many people complain to me about their situation in life. They chart a life of self-destruction and then when it blows up they say, Why did God let this happen to me? Whoa. Say what? How did this become God’s fault? Most often, their situation is a result of their choosing to walk a certain path with very predictable results. To blame the consequences on God is an easy way to dodge responsibility. They need to own the consequences.

Good Intentions Aren’t Good Enough

Andy Stanley describes their problem saying that people don’t understand the connection between their behavior and the consequences that follow:

They’ve come to believe the popular notion that as long as their intentions are good, as long as their hearts are in the right place (whatever that means), as long as they do their best and try their hardest, it doesn’t really matter which path they take. They believe somehow they will end up in a good place. But life doesn’t work that way. page 20

He Partied Like a Rock Star

In chapter three he uses an example from the book of Proverbs in the Bible. It’s a story of a young man who goes to town and is seduced by a prostitute. He doesn’t see the down side to his decision. He feels like a rock star in a club but Proverbs says, “…he followed her like an ox led to slaughter”…like a deer stepping into a noose…like a bird flying into a snare…he has no idea it will cost him his life.” (Proverbs 7:22,23)

Why Do We Choose to Blow Up Our Lives?

Any casual observer can see the foolishness of his decision. Why can’t he see his fate? There are a few reasons:

  • He lacks experience. He doesn’t have the wisdom to connect the dots.
  • He minimizes and justifies his behavior, rationalizing why it’s not that bad. Why he deserves it.
  • He is proud. He thinks he’s the exception. Only fools are led astray. That won’t happen to him.
  • He tells himself it’s a one time event. He’ll just do it this once and be over it.

Do these excuses look familiar?  Have you used them in the past or are you using them now?

I write this blog to help people reclaim their life. My hope in reviewing The Principle of the Path is that you will use the wisdom to not just reclaim your life but hopefully prevent you from losing it in the first place.

Question: Which of the excuses above have you used? How many years did you decision keep you lost? Leave your comments below. Thanks.


2 thoughts on “The Principle of the Path on Getting Lost

  1. Nancy l.

    Remy I used the second excuse. I justified my actions. I deserved to do what I did. Go we’re I went. After all look what I have been through. But God. I have lost everything except my children. Praise God and with his help I am rebuilding. Thank you. I am now reading your bok Stuck.

    1. F. Remy Diederich Post author

      Thanks for sharing. It takes courage to admit your failure. But you see the truth that God is restoring you. That’s a beautiful thing.

      I’m glad you are reading STUCK. Let me know what you think.

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