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Friday, May 13, 2011

The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

When Andy Stanley was young, he and his girlfriend drove along a shortcut on a road that was closed.  Suddenly a black Monte Carlo drove up behind them at great speed.  This scared them especially when the driver of the car stopped and got out, waving his hands around.  He told them that if they continued along that road they’d wind up on a half-finished bridge! He then helped them get to the right road.

This is what Stanley’s book aims to do – direct people along the right paths in life.  He points out that good intentions and even goals don’t matter that much if you don’t do anything that helps you achieve them.  If you want to have a happy and successful life, you have to follow the correct path.  He writes that following a certain path will always lead to a destination.

Stanley uses many Biblical examples and examples from life to show that this is true. For example, he cites cases of single men who’ve had affairs with married women only to be puzzled when this got them into trouble.  He also gives the memorable example of a couple who found themselves in financial difficulties.  It wasn’t sudden – they’d overspent and had problems with mortgages.  At one stage they saw a financial adviser.  They told Stanley that he gave them a good plan which was very ‘do-able’.  When he asked them what they did with the plan they replied that they’d put it in the drawer! 

Stanley writes that there are always signs that people are heading in the wrong direction.  For example, the couple should have acted on the financial plan.  Everyone knows where affairs with married people lead. 
His book is designed to help his readers follow the right paths or return to the right paths.  He provides questions to help you to make decisions and see whether you are on the right track.  He also has a useful chapter on how you can determine your motives for following particular paths.

This is a very helpful book and certainly one of the best ‘self-help’ books that I’ve ever read.  If I’d read it when I was younger it would have helped me even more. The questions at the back of the book which are designed to help people examine their lives and their directions in particular categories in their lives are especially helpful.  Although it will certainly appeal mainly to Christian readers, this book will help anyone searching for the right direction in life.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by Book Sneeze as part of their blogging programme.  The views expressed are my own. I was not required to write favourably about this book.

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