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Guardrails: Avoiding Regrets in Your Life

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In this in this six-session small group Bible study, Andy Stanley challenges us to stop flirting with disaster and establish personal guardrails.

Guardrails. They're everywhere, but they don't really get much attention ... until somebody hits one. And then, more often than not, it is a lifesaver.

Ever wonder what it would be like to have guardrails in other areas of your life-areas where culture baits you to the edge of disaster and then ...

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Guardrails Participant's Guide: Avoiding Regrets in Your Life

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In this in this six-session small group Bible study, Andy Stanley challenges us to stop flirting with disaster and establish personal guardrails.

Guardrails. They're everywhere, but they don't really get much attention ... until somebody hits one. And then, more often than not, it is a lifesaver.

Ever wonder what it would be like to have guardrails in other areas of your life-areas where culture baits you to the edge of disaster and then chastises you when you step across the line? Your friendships. Your finances. Your marriage. Maybe your greatest regret could have been avoided if you had established guardrails. In this six-session small group bible study, Andy Stanley challenges us to stop flirting with disaster and establish some personal guardrails.

This Participant Guide is designed for use with the Guardrails DVD (sold separately). When used together, they are a practical tool that can help strengthen your faith.

Sessions include:
1. Direct and Protect
2. Why Can’t We Be Friends?
3. Flee Baby Flee!
4. Me and the Mrs.
5. The Consumption Assumption
6. Once and for All

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310893998
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 8/30/2011
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 633,467
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Andy Stanley fundo North Point Ministries, Inc. (NPM) en 1995 con la vision de crear iglesias a las cuales les agradara asistir tambien a las personas que no se identifican con ninguna otra iglesia. Cada domingo, mas de 33.000 personas asisten a una de las siete iglesias que tiene North Point en la zona de Atlanta, Georgia. NPM tambien ha fundado tambien mas de 25 iglesias fuera de la zona metropolitana de Atlanta, con una asistencia semanal combinada de mas de 15.000 personas. Cada mes, mas de un millon de personas escuchan sus mensajes en los distintos portales de NPM en la web. Andy y su esposa Sandra viven en Alpharetta, Georgia, y tienen tres hijos: Andrew, Garrett y Allie. Puedes encontrar mas informacion y utilizar los recursos gratuitos que se ofrecen, entrando a su portal:

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Read an Excerpt

guardrails avoiding regrets in your life

By Andy Stanley


Copyright © 2011 North Point Ministries, Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-89399-8

Chapter One

Direct and Protect

Good fathers want to keep their children out of harm's way. So they set protective barriers, and they talk to their children about them. They establish rules and boundaries to keep their behavior from getting them too close to damaging consequences.

Isn't that exactly what a good father should do?

This fatherly approach is a big part of both the Old and New Testaments—just as we might expect, knowing how much God, our heavenly Father, loves us. He wants to keep his children away from life's danger zones. And in his goodness, he's done what it takes to help us do exactly that.

He knows the kinds of boundaries we need to set for ourselves. Are you willing to look at this with him, to hear the kind of help he wants to give you?


Have you ever been in a traffic accident (or seen one) where a vehicle hit a guardrail? If so, what function did the guardrail serve? What did it prevent?

How would you define a guardrail's purpose, in your own words?


For Session 1 of the DVD

We can think of a guardrail as a personal standard of behavior that becomes a matter of conscience. Whenever we bump against these guardrails, we receive an internal warning.

In our culture there are behaviors that almost everyone agrees are bad—serious mistakes and dangerous actions to avoid—whether relationally, financially, morally, ethically, or professionally. Nevertheless, our culture's warning system can be very weak.

In fact, our culture doesn't like the kinds of guardrails we're talking about here. They're seen as stupid, silly rules—too confining and restrictive.

In the book of Ephesians, as he addressed people living in a culture even more immoral than ours, the apostle Paul lists several things people needed to be on their guard about. And to help them do this, he also uses the concept of guardrails.

He urged them to "be very careful" how they lived, reminding them that "the days are evil" (5:15–16). They were living in dangerous times, as we are today.

Paul adds, "Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (5:17). He wants them to face up to God's will for their lives in every area.

The first illustration Paul gives of a guardrail concerns alcohol. He tells his readers not to get drunk, because it leads to debauchery—the kind of extreme indulgence that results in loss of control. Paul sets up the avoidance of drunkenness as a guardrail against something worse.

Throughout the Scriptures, we discover warnings to avoid whatever leads to this kind of loss of control in our lives—whether it's lust, drunkenness, greed, anger, gluttony, or whatever.

To emphasize his point, Paul presents a contrast. He says that instead of getting drunk, they should "be filled with the Spirit" (5:18).

Paul knows that our heavenly Father wants to be the preeminent influencer in our lives. And the Bible teaches that when we put our faith in Christ, the Spirit of God comes to live in us in a unique way, to prompt us, guide us, and direct us.

Paul is saying, When you sense that still, small voice warning you on the inside, then pay attention. Be careful! Because your life's too important and time's too short and the world's too dangerous not to.


______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________


1. Andy defines a guardrail as "a personal standard of behavior that becomes a matter of conscience." Why is it important that we think of these guardrails personally—as something individually for us and not necessarily for everyone?

2. In establishing guardrails, why is it important that they be linked to our consciences?

3. What are the kinds of disasters and danger zones that you especially want to guard against—in your marriage and family, as well as financially, professionally, morally, ethically, relationally, and in other areas?

4. How can establishing guardrails help open us to the protective love of God?

5. What kind of protection from God should we be able to count on? What kind of protection from him should we not count on?

6. In various areas of your life, how strong is your desire to live by God's will and God's plan? How well do you know his will and his plan in each of these areas?


Excerpted from guardrails avoiding regrets in your life by Andy Stanley Copyright © 2011 by North Point Ministries, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Design Your System 5

Session 1 Direct and Protect 9

Session 2 Why Can't We Be Friends? 19

Session 3 Flee Baby Flee! 31

Session 4 Me and the Mrs 43

Session 5 The Consumption Assumption 55

Session 6 Once and for All 67

Leader's Guide 75

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2014

    Excellent discussion generator

    In our Bible study time, we are using the shorter versions of the video segments to allow more time for discussion. The questions in the guide are challenging for individual preparation and for generating conversation in the group.

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