The Road to Hell Isn’t the Only Road Paved with Good Intentions

Leave it to a country song to tell it like it is. Here’s the chorus to the Randy Travis song, Good Intentions.

“And I hear tell the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  And mama, my intentions were the best. There’s lotsa things in my life I just as soon not mention. Looks like I’ve turned out like all the rest. But mama my intentions were the best.”

Desire and intention are good things. They’re what New Year’s Resolutions are made of. The problem with resolutions is they’re easily broken. And then we invariably set ourselves up for failure and the guilt that follows.

Is your #1 desire to pursue the destiny God has for you, whatever that entails? Mine, too. We want to stay on track with God. And we have every intention of doing so. But is that enough? Not according to Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Church in Atlanta. He says the path we choose in life determines our destination.

Most of us know from experience intent is not the means to fulfilling our desires. I don’t know if the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But I do know the road of life is paved with good intentions.

Most of us want God’s best, don’t we? How then are we to choose the path God has laid out for us? In Jeremiah 6:16, the prophet told the Israelites to do four things.


  1. “Stand at the crossroads and look.”
  2. “Ask for the ancient paths.”
  3. “Ask where the good way is.”
  4. “Walk in it.”

Good advice for us, don’t you think? Later, Jeremiah told God’s people to set up road signs, put up guideposts and to take note of the highway. They were to do this in order to find their way back to Judah. Perhaps if we take Jeremiah’s advice, we can find our way forward on God’s highway.

God’s Word says when we choose God’s way, we’ll discover God’s will. God’s Word also says His will is good, pleasing and perfect. Do you agree the road paved with God’s will is a wiser choice than the one paved with good intentions? And who knows? If we put up road signs and guideposts along the way, perhaps those who come behind us will be able to find God’s way, as well.

Questions to ponder or discuss with a friend:

Have you ever stood at a crossroad in your life and looked both ways before you decided which way to go? What was the result?

What does it mean to you to ask for the “ancient paths?”

Are you willing to stop and ask directions for the “good way” in your life journey? Who would you go to for counsel?

Have you counted the cost of walking in the good way? If so, what did you discover?

What kind of road signs and guideposts are you putting up for those who come after you?

I’d love for you to share some of your thoughts. Pick a question and leave a comment, okay? I’m all ears!


4 Responses to “The Road to Hell Isn’t the Only Road Paved with Good Intentions”
  1. Harriett Salley says:

    Who would I go to? Besides prayers to God, YOU!!, trusted minister friends, trusted friends, and the Bible can lead you as well.

    Had a wonderful day yesterday as we bid our cousin, Billy, on his safe journey. He was buried at the cemetery where his and my folks are buried. Lots of family and friends came. A childhood friend, a minister, of his did the service. You may know them. Mel and Lois Davis. they live in the bounty land area. He said he visited him in Anderson at the nursing home and they had a long conversation about his faith and when he left he felt sure Billy would be with God! You can’t imagine how comforting that was to his family who hadn’t seen him for a long time. He called me “Billy Graham Jr” as I was always after him!! I sang a lot to him, even tho he was asleep a lot of the time. I feel sure he could hear tho! After tv being on the golf channel when he woke up one morning, he told the nurse to hurry as he had a tee time and he was late. we are no sure he ever played golf!!! Will talk soon. Love, Harriett

  2. Love this post, Liz. Jeremiah has always been one of my favorites. One thing I learned from him about counting the cost – we’re only responsible for being obedient to what God calls us to do. The results are His business.

    Thanks, Liz!

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