Book Review: The Principle of the Path

The Principle of the Path
The Principle of the Path

The Principle of the Path:
How to get from where you are to where you want to be

I’ll read just about anything by Andy Stanley – he’s that good. And this book was no exception. It’s not really anything new – Andy admits that in the first chapter. But his approach is simple and clear, showing how the “principle of the path” applies to everyone, in every situation. Here’s how he puts it:

Direction – not intention – determines our destination.

That’s it – that’s the principle of the path. As I read, I marked several sentences that bring out the essence of this book. Here are some of my favorites (followed by their page numbers):

  • “Recognizing the distinction between a solution and a path is the first step in understanding the principle of the path.” (11)
  • “To get from where we don’t want to be to where we do want to be requires two things: time and a change of direction.” (11)
  • “Intentions are of little consequence. Direction is everything.” (33)
  • “When the inevitable becomes the unavoidable, it is not unusual for us to start pointing our fingers at God.” (43)
  • “Forgiveness and consequences are two different things. One does not override the other.” (43)
  • “When happiness points in one direction while wisdom, truth, integrity, and common sense point in another, that’s when really smart people start doing really stupid things.” (59)
  • “The challenging aspect about picking the right paths is that the choices are now. The outcomes are later.” (80)
  • “One never accomplishes the will of God by breaking the law of God, violating the principles of God, or ignoring the wisdom of God.” (109)
  • “If you are willing to ask for directions when you can’t find a movie theater, why would you hesitate to ask for input when you are making a big relationship or financial decision?” (125)
  • “Pride is hard to see in the bathroom mirror. But it is awfully easy to see in the rearview mirror.” (129)
  • “When it dawns on you that your dreams can’t come true, the best response is to lean hard into your heavenly Father – even when it appears that he is responsible for your disappointment.” (169)
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Daniel Goepfrich

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