Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Purpose Driven Life

"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about discovering who God created you to be."
(Evan Carmichael)

It sat on the New York Times Bestseller List for over 90 weeks.  It sold 30 million copies in its first five years.  NFL legend Ray Lewis gave it to Michael Phelps to read when he entered rehab.  It became and remains the bestselling non-fiction hardcover book of all time.  Why?  According to its author Rick Warren, it speaks to people, to their "spiritual emptiness".

The Purpose Driven Life poses the $64,000 question "What on earth am I here for?"  Rick Warren says that you are not an accident.  That God put you here for a purpose.  It's not a self-serving purpose.  Warren starts his book with the simple phrase:  "It's not about you."  No, it's about your "stewardship of influence".  For example, one of Rick Warren's stewardship of influences is his commitment to care for the environment, to leave this planet a little bit better for his children and grandchildren.  

The author, also a pastor of an affluent church in California, made a substantial amount of money on his book.  It would have been easy to start living the good life.  However, Rick Warren and his wife, who used to tithe, decided to start re-tithing.  Rather than giving 10% of their income to charity, they now give 90% of their income to charity.  He also set up numerous foundations to help those in need around the world.  He explains:  "Every time I give, it breaks the grip of materialism on my life.  Living the good life means being good, doing good."

In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren says that everyone has a world view.  It governs our behaviour, our relationship, every area of our lives.  Our world view is only truly tested when we go through the valleys, not when we're on the mountaintop.  God calls us to look after the widows and the orphans.  

The pastor mentions the story of Moses and his staff, which God turns into a snake and then returns it to its original form.  Moses staff was everything to him:  it represented his identity (a shepherd), his assets (his job) and his influence (his status in society).  Moses' staff was similar to an NBA player's basketball; again, it represented his whole world.  Rick Warren's question to you is:  "What are you going to do with your "staff"?  What are you going to do with what God has given you?  You don't have to be rich.  You don't have to be powerful.  God rejoices when he sees you do what he wired you to do.  Are you going to fulfill your God-given purpose?

Note:  To watch Rick Warren's TED talk about The Purpose Driven Life, visit

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