The Path PrincipleHouse of Wisdom 30-Day Devotional. Sign up to receive your copy of the devotional resource]
Proverbs 7:6, 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. Why did Solomon regard this young man in this manner? This young man 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.
Reflection Question: What “good intentions” have you mistaken for a good path? What path(s) are you actually on?