RWN’s Favorite Quotes From Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life.


Rick Warren’s, The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For has sold more than 30 million copies world wide and I thought it was time that I gave it a read.

Long story short: it was a fantastic, truly wonderful book that lived up to its advanced billing. If you’re a Christian or curious about what Christianity is supposed to be all about, I’d strongly recommend that you give it the once over.

To give you an idea of what the book was like, here are my favorite quotes from it,

The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose. — P.17

Unfortunately, those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it. — P.29

It is impossible to do everything people want you to do. You have just enough time to do God’s will. If you can’t get it all done, it means you’re trying to do more than God intended you to do (or, possibly, you’re watching too much television. — P.31

It’s human nature to get distracted by minor issues. We play Trivial Pursuit with our lives. Henry David Thoreau observed that people live lives of “quiet desperation,” but today a better description is aimless distraction. Many people are like gyroscopes spinning around at a frantic pace but never going anywhere. — P.32

If you want your life to have impact, focus it! Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. Prune away even good activities and do only that which matters most. Never confuse activity with productivity. You can be busy without a purpose, but what’s the point? — P.32-33

When you fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now, and you realize that life is just preparation for eternity, you will begin to live differently. You will start living in the light of eternity, and that will color how you handle every relationship, task, and circumstance. Suddenly, many activities, goals, and even problems that seemed so important will appear trivial, petty, and unworthy of your attention. The closer you live to God, the smaller everything else appears. — P. 37

Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. You are always being tested. God constantly watches your response to people, problems, success, conflict, illness, disappointment, and even the weather! He even watches the simplest actions such as when you open a door for others, when you pick up a piece of trash, or when you’re polite toward a clerk or waitress. — P.43

The Bible is full of metaphors that teach about the brief, temporary, transient nature of life on earth. Life is described as a mist, a fast runner, a breathe, and a wisp of smoke. The Bible says, “For we were born but yesterday…Our days on earth are as transient as a shadow.”

To make the best use of your life, you must never forget two truths. First, compared with eternity, life is extremely brief. Second, earth is only a temporary residence. You won’t be here long, so don’t get too attached. — P.47

In order to keep us from becoming too attached to earth, God allows us to feel a significant amount of discontent and dissatisfaction with life — longings that will never be fulfilled on this side of eternity. We’re not completely happy here because we’re not supposed to be! Earth is not our final home; we were created for something much better. — P.50

It is a fatal mistake to assume that God’s goal for your life is material prosperity or popular success, as the world defines it. The abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance, and faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in a career or even in ministry. Never focus on temporary crowns.

Paul was faithful, yet he ended up in prison. John the Baptist was faithful, but he was beheaded. Millions of faithful people have been martyred, have lost everything, or have come to the end of life with nothing to show for it. But the end of life is not the end! — P.50

Living the rest of your life for the glory of God will require a change in your priorities, your schedule, you relationships, and everything else. It will sometimes mean choosing a difficult path instead of any easy one. Even Jesus struggled with this. Knowing he was about to be crucified, he cried out: “My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.” — P.57

Receive Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. Receive his forgiveness for your sins. Receive his Spirit, who will give you the power to fulfill your life purpose. The Bible says, “Whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever!” Wherever you are reading this, I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: “Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.” Go ahead.

If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God. You are now ready to discover and start living God’s purpose for your life. — P.58-59

How is it possible to do everything to the glory of God? By doing everything as if you were doing it for Jesus and by carrying on a continual conversation with him while you do it. The Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

This is the secret of a lifestyle of worship — doing everything as if you were doing it for Jesus. The Message paraphrase says, “Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around-life — and place it before God as an offering.” Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence. — P.67

Every human activity, except sin, can be done for God’s pleasure if you do it with an attitude of praise. You can wash dishes, repair a machine, sell a product, write a computer program, grow a crop, and raise a family for the glory of God. Like a proud parent, God especially enjoys watching you use the talents and abilities he has given you. — P.74

You may have had unpleasable teachers or parents as you were growing up. Please don’t assume God feels that way about you. He knows you are incapable of being perfect or sinless. — P.76

C.S. Lewis observed, “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become — because he made us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be…It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.” — P.80

Genuine surrender says, “Father, if this problem, pain, sickness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose and glory in my life or in another’s, please don’t take it away.” This level of maturity does not come easy. In Jesus’ case, he agonized so much over God’s plan that he sweat drops of blood. Surrender is hard work. In our case, it is intense warfare against our self-centered nature. — P.81

Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” The word friend in this verse does not mean a casual acquaintance but a close, trusted relationship. The same word is used to refer to the best man at a wedding and a king’s inner circle of intimate, trusted friends. In royal courts, servants must keep their distance from the king, but the inner circle of trusted friends enjoy close contact, direct access, and confidential information. — P.86

You will never grow a close relationship with God by just attending church once a week or even having a daily quiet time. Friendship with God is built by sharing all your life experiences with him.

Of course, it is important to establish the habit of a daily devotional time with God, but he wants more than an appointment in your schedule. He wants to be included in every activity, every conversation, every problem, and even every thought. You can carry on a continuous, open-ended conversation with him throughout your day, talking with him about whatever you are doing or thinking at that moment. — P.87

The reason God considered Job and David his close friends was that they valued his word above everything else, and they thought about it continually throughout the day. — P.90

In the Bible, the friends of God were honest about their feelings, often complaining, second-guessing, accusing, and arguing with their Creator. God, however, didn’t seem to be bothered by this frankness; in fact, he encouraged it. — P.93

Great opportunities may come once in a lifetime, but small opportunities surround us every day. Even through such simple acts as telling the truth, being kind, and encouraging others, we bring a smile to God’s face. God treasures simple acts of obedience more than our prayers, praise, or offerings. — P.96

Remember what God has already done for you. If God never did anything else for you, he would still deserve your continual praise for the rest of your life because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. God’s Son died for you! This is the greatest reason for worship. –P.112

Love should be your top priority, primary objective, and greatest ambition. Love is not a good part of your life; it’s the most important part. The Bible says, “Let love be your greatest aim.”

It’s not enough to say, “One of the things I want in life is to be loving,” as if it’s in your top ten list. Relationships must have priority in your life above everything else. Why? Life without love is really worthless. Paul makes this point: “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” — P.124

“I have been at the bedside of many people in their final moments, when they stand on the edge of eternity, and I have never heard anyone say, “Bring my diplomas! I want to look at them one more time. Show me my awards, my medals, that gold watch I was given.” When life on earth is ending, people don’t surround themselves with objects. What we want around us is people — people we love and have relationships with. In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about. — P.126

In heaven God won’t say, “Tell me about your career, your bank account, and your hobbies.” Instead he will review how you treated other people, particularly those in need. Jesus said the way to love him is to love his family and care for their practical needs: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” — P.126

It doesn’t matter whether you are the offender or the offended: God expects you to make the first move. Don’t wait for the other party. Go to them first. Restoring broken fellowship is so important, Jesus commanded that it even takes priority over group worship. — P.154

Longing for the ideal while criticizing the real is evidence of immaturity. On the other hand, settling for the real without striving for the ideal is complacency. Maturity is living with the tension. — P.162

God says, “Don’t think only of your own good. Think of other Christians and what is best for them.” — P.167

Every time you forget that character is one of God’s purposes for your life, you will become frustrated by your circumstances. You’ll wonder, “Why is this happening to me? Why am I having such a difficult time?” One answer is that life is supposed to be difficult! It’s what enables us to grow. Remember, earth is not heaven! — P.173

Many Christians misinterpret Jesus’ promise of the “abundant life” to mean perfect health, a comfortable lifestyle, constant happiness, full realization of your dreams, and instant relief from problems through faith and prayer. In a word, they expect the Christian life to be easy. They expect heaven on earth.

This self-absorbed perspective treats God as a genie who simply exists to serve you in your selfish pursuit of personal fulfillment. But God is not your servant, and if you fall for the idea that life is supposed to be easy, either you will become severely disillusioned or you will live in denial of reality. — P.173

Nothing shapes your life more than the commitments you choose to make. Your commitments can develop you or they can destroy you, but either way, they will define you. Tell me what you are committed to, and I’ll tell you what you will be in twenty years. We become whatever we are committed to. — P.180

To change your life, you must change the way you think. Behind everything you do is a thought. Every behavior is motivated by a belief, and every action is prompted by an attitude. God revealed this thousands of years before psychologists understood it: “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” — P.181

In the early years of his ministry, Billy Graham went through a time when he struggled with doubts about the accuracy and authority of the Bible. One moonlit night he dropped to his knees in tears and told God that, in spite of confusing passages he didn’t understand, from that point on he would completely trust the Bible as the sole authority for life and ministry. From that day forward, Billy’s life was blessed with unusual power and effectiveness. — P.187

Anytime you feel you are not learning anything from a sermon or a Bible teacher, you should check your attitude, especially for pride, because God can speak through even the most boring teacher when you are humble and receptive. — P.188

God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact, he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible. The reason is obvious: You face circumstances twenty-four hours a day. — P.193

God could have kept Joseph out of jail, kept Daniel out of the lion’s den, kept Jeremiah from being tossed into a slimy pit, kept Paul from being shipwrecked three times, and kept the three Hebrew young men from being thrown into the blazing furnace — but he didn’t. He let those problems happen, and every one of those persons was drawn closer to God as a result. — P.194

The secret of endurance is to remember that your pain is temporary but your reward will be eternal. — P.198

“If you are facing trouble right now, don’t ask, “Why me?” Instead ask, “what do you want me to learn?” Then trust God and keep on doing what’s right. — P.199

On the path to spiritual maturity, even temptation becomes a stepping-stone rather than a stumbling block when you realize that it is just as much an occasion to do the right thing as it is to do the wrong thing. Temptation simply provides the choice. — P.201

Many Christians are frightened and demoralized by tempting thoughts, feeling guilty that they aren’t “beyond” temptation. They feel ashamed just for being tempted. This is a misunderstanding of maturity. You will never outgrow temptation. In one sense you can consider temptation a compliment. Satan does not have to tempt those who are already doing his evil will; they are already his. — P.204-205

If God is waiting to help us defeat temptation, why don’t we turn to him more often? Honestly, sometimes we don’t want to be helped! We want to give in to temptation even though we know it’s wrong. At that moment we think we know what’s best for us more than God does.

At other times we’re embarrassed to ask God for help because we keep giving in to the same temptation over and over. But God never gets irritated, bored, or impatient when we keep coming back to him…P.207

Since temptation always begins with a thought, the quickest way to neutralize its allure is to turn your attention to something else. Don’t fight the thought, just change the channel of your mind and get interested in another idea. This is the first step in defeating temptation. — P.210

Satan wants you to think that your sin and temptation are unique so you must keep them a secret. The truth is, we’re all in the same boat. We all fight the same temptations, and “all of us have sinned.” Millions have felt what you’re feeling and have faced the same struggles you’re facing right now. — P.213

Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t just immediately take us to heaven the moment we accept his grace. Why does he leave us in a fallen world? He leaves us here to fulfill his purposes. Once you are saved, God intends to use you for his goals. God has a ministry for you in his church and a mission for you in the world. — P.229

Anytime you use your God-given abilities to help others, you are fulfilling your calling. — P.229

The mature follower of Jesus stops asking, “Who’s going to meet my needs?” and starts asking, “Whose needs can I meet?” Do you ever ask that question? — P.231

If you’re not involved in any service or ministry, what excuse have you been using? Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Samson was codependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds of family problems. Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least, Peter was impulsive and hot tempered, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Zacchaeus was unpopular, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health, and Timothy was timid. That is quite a variety of misfits, But God used all of them in his service. He will use you, too, if you stop making excuses. — P.233

We have all heard people say, “I took a job I hate in order to make a lot of money, so someday I can quit and do what I love to do.” That’s a big mistake. Don’t waste your life in a job that doesn’t express your heart. Remember, the greatest things in life are not things. Meaning is far more important than money. — P.239

If God hasn’t given you the ability to carry a tune, he isn’t going to expect you to be an opera singer. God will never ask you to dedicate your life to a task you have no talent for. On the other hand, the abilities you do have are a strong indication of what God wants you to do with your life. They are clues to knowing God’s will for you. If you are good at designing or recruiting or drawing or organizing, it is a safe assumption that God’s plan for your life includes that skill somehow. God doesn’t waste abilities; he matches our calling and our capabilities. — P.244

If you will remind yourself at the start of every day that you are God’s servant, interruptions won’t frustrate you as much, because your agenda will be whatever God wants to bring into your life. Servants see interruptions as divine appointments for ministry and are happy for the opportunity to practice serving. — P.259

“When God puts someone in need right in front of you, he is giving you the opportunity to grow in servanthood.” — P.259

John Wesley was an incredible servant of God. His motto was “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.” — P.259

Small tasks often show a big heart? Your servant’s heart is revealed in little acts that others don’t think of doing, as when Paul gathered brushwood for a fire to warm everyone after a shipwreck. He was just as exhausted as everyone else, but he did what everyone needed. No task is beneath you when you have a servant’s heart. — P.261

To be a servant requires a mental shift, a change in your attitudes. God is always more interested in why we do something than in what we do. Attitudes count more than achievements . King Amaziah lost God’s favor because “he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not with a true heart.” — P.265

Albert Schweitzer said, “The only really happy people are those who have learned how to serve.” — P. 270

Whenever you feel weak, God is reminding you to depend on him. — P.274

There are people on this planet whom only you will be able to reach, because of where you live and what God has made you to be. If just one person will be in heaven because of you, your life will have made a difference for eternity. — P.285

Begin asking the Holy Spirit to help you think of the spiritual needs of unbelievers whenever you talk to them. — 299

Of course, our lives must support and validate the message we communicate. Before most unbelievers accept the Bible as credible they want to know we are credible. That is why the Bible says. “Be sure that you live in a way that brings honor to the Good News of Christ.” — P.316

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