There is a built-in path of least resistance to behaving badly! In fact, mankind's pattern of behaving badly was well stated by Pascal.
The doctrine of original sin seems an offense to reason, but once accepted it makes total sense of the entire human condition. - Pascal
Since Pascal's statement is accurate when tested against God's word, it helps you understand the evil behavior worldwide and sometimes by you! Our society's strife, bitterness, and division are because of our fundamental human nature.
Sin, Desire, and ME
That is why you so easily follow this common path of least resistance:
- Temptation - you are attracted to something
- Inward commotion - turmoil in your mind about that something
- Increase in desire - you really want that something
- Desire wins - giving in to the desire
- SIN - resulting in pain, regrets, and even slavery.
Regardless, as a believer, you have a choice and don't have to follow that behaving badly pattern. It exists because of the structure and path of least resistance created by the sin nature. So, when you don't follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you naturally follow the behaving badly structure.
Structure Creates a Path
Read almost any of Robert Fritz's books (at least read Path of Least Resistance or Path of Least Resistance for Managers) to learn more about structures. He illustrates how structures demand behavior, meaning structures create a "Path of Least Resistance."
For example, physical structures like a chair demand our behavior to sit in them according to their design. Additionally, consider that rooms demand entry through doors rather than breaking down walls or breaking a window.
Robert's theory is that structures have three essential elements:
- Desired End Result
- Current Reality
- Tendency for Action
Adapting Robert's work, we refer to those three elements as...
THERE - HERE - PATH.
Consequently, when you are clear about your THERE and clear about where you are currently - HERE, there is an energy created to want to be THERE, not HERE.
That energy leads you to act in ways to try to get THERE.
The PROBLEM'S Path
Obviously, structure doesn't just help you do good things. Your selfishness, or "Flashing ME" as we call it, is part of the behaving badly structure. It is the "desired end result," the THERE, that is a natural part of everyday life. Your sin nature constantly calls you to focus on worldly things that promise to "SATISFY ME" and make you happy!
Take some time to reflect on the graphic above. Notice that your sin nature focuses your attention on something that promises to satisfy you – THERE. Then, it makes a false promise that it will provide the satisfaction that you want. (Side note, remember Satan is beautiful, not ugly! Sin has the same appearance but is a deception like Satan is a deceiver.)
Because you want to be satisfied and happy, you believe or become convinced that you will be satisfied if you can have "that"! Of course, that heightens the dissatisfaction and turmoil of your current reality – HERE. This means that you DON'T have "that" which you now believe will satisfy you.
Ultimately, you develop even greater focus and clarity on your desire (THERE). Finally, it becomes the most important thing - “Satisfy ME, NOW!” So, the more you look at THERE and reflect on HERE, your dissatisfaction increases about your HERE.
This simple structure creates energy for dissatisfaction because of the difference between THERE and HERE. That's what makes structures work - the clarity of the THERE and HERE. Once you have that clarity, you start walking the same PATH of actions that Eve and Adam walked in the Garden.
Obviously, the behaving badly pattern occurs because you are looking to the wrong place for satisfaction. Remember, "Where you look, you tend to go!" When you focus on ME (yourself), you will follow the Problem's Path of Least Resistance. The result, without the intervention of God, is sin.
But God has provided a better structure energized by His Spirit.
For all that is in the world, - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the world -- 1 John 2:16
PURSUING THEIR BEST - Freedom in Relationships