Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Principle of Path by Andy Stanley

We all have dreams. We all want to get to that place where we will feel fulfilled. But how do we know we are on the right path? We’ve been hiking and taken a wrong turn, ending up somewhere we didn’t want to be. How do we find the right path to our destination?
Stanley says the same principles for hiking apply to life. There are paths with known destinations. We might think we are going in the right direction but the path will take us somewhere else. Some of us are stuck. We know where we want to be but we have no idea how to find and then stay on the right path. We might have the best of intensions but Stanley reminds us it is direction, not intentions, that determines destination.
Stanley says it is no surprise people end up where they do. It was evident from the path they were on. “Today’s decisions create tomorrow’s experiences.” Others can see where the path is leading. But we deceive ourselves as to why we choose what we do and why we’re on the path.
So, how do we choose the right path? Stanley says first we must know where we are. That means we have to be honest with ourselves. Next comes submission to God. Stanley offers three questions to apply to every option that comes our way.
1) Does this option violate God’s law? 2) Does this option violate a principle? 3) In light of the story I want to tell, what is the wisest thing to do?
Stanley advices we seek the counsel of others. If the results of our decisions are going to be seen by many people, why not ask many people to help us make them? We never outgrow the need for wise counsel.
What do we do when our dream is unreachable (either by our bad decisions or the decisions of others)? Some get mad at God. Some despair. Some panic and make more bad decisions. Stanley advises we trust God.
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