Day 8 | 21-Day Growth Challenge | "The Path Principle"

Monday, September 06, 2010 Bryan Hudson 10 Comments

Proverbs 7:6 (NLT) While I was at the window of my house, looking through the curtain, 7 I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense. 8 He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house…21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. 22 He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, 23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart.  He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life.


Solomon used various methods to communicate the same message of gaining understanding and wisdom. Chapter Seven uses a first person narrative to describe someone he saw out of his window.  He says, "I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense." 

What made this young man naive? The definition of naive is, "showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment." He also lacked common sense. What was it that cause Solomon to regard this young man in this manner? Answer: He was walking down a path that led past the dwelling of a well known immoral woman. This is called "The Path Principle," a term I first heard used by Pastor Andy Stanley.

Your path determines your destination. Your intentions and wishes do not determine your destination more than the path that has been chosen. The young man in the story did not know his day would end in sin and destruction because he was seemingly unaware of where his path led.

The message of the story is to recognize the necessity of choosing our paths well. For example, hanging out with people who are up to no good is not just "hanging out," it's a path! Spending time studying the Bible is not just reading. It's a path. Again, since every path has a destination, experiencing prosperity God's way begins with understanding our activities as paths leading to good or bad outcomes.

"Lord, help understand my activities as paths, not just something I'm doing.  Lead me by your Holy Spirit so that I can discern You path for my life.            

(Use comment section below to share your insights. Record sensitive items in your personal journal. You can login or simply use your first name.)
  1. What is the Path Principle? Provide an example?
  2. How have good/bad paths affected you?
  3. What actions will you take today related to this lesson?

Click on "Comments" to read others and add yours afterwards.


  1. 1.The path principle is that the path you choose determines where you arrive. An example is if you choose the path of debt free living you will free yourself to receive from the Lord a strategy for the wise use of financial resources that will cause you to arrive at a place of giving, saving, and spending according to Biblical principles, without a debt burden.
    2.During my lifetime I have chosen good paths and bad paths. Good paths that I have wisely and willingly chosen have affected the course of my life in ways that have blessed me and helped other people and gave glory to God. Bad paths that I have unwisely chosen have not lead to blessing, in that while God’s grace and mercy brought me through, and I repented, I forfeited the blessings I could have experienced and the good influence I could have had on people if the Lord had been exalted in fulfilling His plan and purpose.
    3.The actions I will take today related to this lesson is that I will pray to ask for the Lord’s help and strength to choose the path of love, obedience, and faithfulness to Him so that He can use me to be a means of blessing to my family, church family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and strangers.

  2. 1) I believe this principle is teaching us that we should always be about God business and not out for a monday walk in the park.

    2) Walking the good path is easy. While on the bad path we know when we are wrong,asking ourself should I or should I not.

    3) I will follow God led and not my own..cj

  3. 1.) The path principal tells us that our actions will determine where we end up... not our thoughts, hopes, dreams or intentions.

    2.) I decided in October 2008 that I was going to really try doing things Gods way 100% because I was just fed up with the life I had formed through my own choices. Since then God has promoted me many times, rescued me from bad situations, increased my understanding, granted every prayer request I ever had and blessed me so much more than I could have ever expected.

    3.)I will make sure I take the time to remember how my life was and to always thank God that he has allowed me to live under his shelter of provision, blessing, grace and favor 24/7!

  4. 1) The path principle is what brings us to our destiny. Our habits, relationships and behaviors are paths.

    2)Attending college is a path to higher education which leads to the knowledge necessary to achieve proffessional career goals.

    3)I will pray for myself and others regarding the path principle. I will pray that God will help us all choose only the things and relationships that are his will.

  5. 1. The Path Principle to me means, what ever path you choose will determine your end.
    ex.Choosing to drink one beer leads to another and another.That wasn't bad, lets try something stronger. Ten years later if not sooner , you wonder how you became an alcoholic. All you remember is drinking one beer. Maybe drinking one beer won't make you an alcoholic someday, but it's a path to becoming one.
    2. Choosing the wrong path has let me with some regrets. "I wish I had of...."
    Choosing the right thing to do has left me so grateful and thankful that I chose the right path,living with no regrets.I realize that some mistakes you'd rather not repeat. The cost is too great.I feel much better when I go God's way and receive the blessings that come with obedience.
    3.I will continue to ask God for direction even when it looks to me like the path is safe and the perfect choice.

  6. 1. What is the Path Principle? Provide an example?
    The Path principle is knowingly or out of ignorance making a decision and that decision leads to other decisions and then to a destination. Most decisions have a positive or negative out come. An example would be if you intend to go to college then you have to take classes that will prepare for college.

    2. How have good/bad paths affected you?
    Good paths have effected me by keeping me from some pain and undue trauma in my life. It has also allowed me to able to support myself and help others.
    Bad paths in my life have lead to debt, and not reaching the place God have for me as fast as I could.

    3. What actions will you take today related to this lesson?
    - Continue down the good paths I am on.
    - Continue to pray that God will provided insight to know the difference between a good and bad path

  7. 1)The path principal means that the activities in which you engage will ultimately lead you to a corresponding end result or destination, be it good or bad. An example of a negative path would be if you eat poorly, never exercise, and/smoke, you are on a path that leads to poor health. A positive example would be if you are diligent in your work, operate in integrity, and contribute to helping your employer solve problems, you are likely on a path to a successful career.

    2)Good paths, while not always easy, especially initially, have caused me to look back and be thankful that I chose that path because they have always led to a positive end (in an ultimate sense). The bad paths that I have chosen have caused unnecessary pain, difficulty, stress, etc. in my life. However, even in my experience while on bad paths, thankfully God’s mercy did not allow me to be utterly cast down.

    3)I will continue to ask God to help me identify the path he has for me because it will always be a good path. I will also ask for Him to continue to give me the strength to walk in the good path.

  8. 1. The Path Principle is comprised of thoughts, decisions, choices, desires, and actions that lead to a final end. In other words, our path is determined before we begin to take physical actions. We first consider or think about doing something. Then desires arise, followed by decisions or choices of which desire to act upon. Finally, we are acting on what first begin as a thought.

    2. Good paths have led to fruitful and productive success. Also, along the good path, I have learned principles that will help me in all areas of living. The blessing of obeying God's Word opens up multitude blessings in all areas of my life.
    The bad paths have led to frustration, disappointment and a sense of failure. Being on a bad path, even temporarily, causes me to reflect on my thoughts, desires, decisions, choices and actions that lead me on that path. Take note: don't go that way again.

    3. Ask God to give me grace to think on things that are good, lovely, true, honest, and holy. As I consider the right things, my desires, decisions, and choices will lead to actions that keep me on the good paths.

  9. An example of the path principal can be shown by traveling to a specific destination; like Detroit. If we do not plan and map out the route for our desired destination, we can end up on the wrong highway (path), headed to chicago or some other undesired destination.

    Good paths have affected us in a positive productive way; with a good marriage, a blessed home, and a family that loves God and people. Bad paths lead us to realized just how much we really need God to help us avoid making more mistakes that brought srife and termoil. Both good and bad paths in our lives have been instrumental in leading us to a positive outcome.

    We determine where we wamt to go; then we will carefully communicate and plan the best path to take in order to reach our desired destination.

  10. What is the path principle? its when you practice doing something that puts you on a future course you think is undercontrol or just a fun thing to do--but not! example: going with a friend or family member to the casino just to hang out with them, since you have no interest in's a path!
    2. How have good paths affected me. I first started going to the juvenile center because I was having problems with my step son. I only wanted to hear what was going through the mind of other his age. Little did I know it would be a path. I've been going for 12 years and its still deeply in my heart, its a path!
    3. Action taken: Ask God to direct me in the things I get involved in that it will be a good path in His will, not a path going down the road of chance.