I read this book last year – I’m so far behind in writing reviews, haha.
The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For? by Rick Warren
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book has a lot of great points and I enjoyed the writing style and the writing style overall. But there were a few things I wanted to specifically point out.
“Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love.”
Fear is a prison. I’ve seen some reviews (on Goodreads) tear this apart because of the odd comparison with faith and love being weapons. I really don’t have a huge problem with this imagery, but I wanted to go ahead and see what the bible says. I didn’t find a place where faith and love are weapons, but in Ephesians 6:16 where it talks about the Armor of God, faith is a shield. (Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.) Along with Faith, these others are also mentioned as different pieces of armor: Truth, Righteousness, Gospel of Peace, and Salvation. Only one is a weapon: The Sword of the Spirit, which is The Word of God. So I think it would actually be more appropriate to use the shields of faith and love (and I don’t have a problem with those two together because Paul used them together often, such as in Ephesians 6:23). But I still appreciated this. 🙂
“Nothing matters more than knowing God’s purposes for your life, and nothing can compensate for not knowing them.”
At first, I wasn’t sure, but I think he is stating the same thing that came to my mind – that the most important thing is God’s will. His purpose and will are the same, right? However, I do think that knowing Jesus period is the most important thing. Not just His will for your life. So I liked this reminder.
“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 for you to do (or, possibly, that you’re watching too much television).”
…or browsing too long on the Internet. Guilty. X) Putting my will before His. It’s not just doing everything everyone wants. Its also doing too much that I selfishly want. This part resonated with me.
“You don’t bring glory or pleasure to God by hiding your abilities or by trying to be someone else. You only bring him enjoyment by being you. Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you. God says, ‘You have no right to argue with your Creator. You are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter. The clay doesn’t ask, “Why did you make me this way?” ‘ “
This, I have problems with. The Bible does say that, but I think this is out of context. So, here is the verse in context:
“What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’ So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.’ Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?’ On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” (Romans 9:14-20)
The way Rick comes across is that we should be unapologetically ourselves. This verse is NOT talking about the moment when God created us. It talks about resisting God’s will. I could go on a rant about being ourselves, but I already did that here: (https://followinghimbesidestillwaters…)
Think about it. “Anytime you reject any part of yourself…” Does this mean I am not to reject the sinful parts of myself? Jesus said we should die to ourselves daily. We must give up flesh like a caterpillar gives itself up to become a butterfly. To not give up sinful parts goes against Scripture. I’m not saying Rick meant it this way. I only think he should have clarified this part of the book because it could be taken the wrong way. 🙂
“I read that book a long time ago, and I don’t remember Rick ever suggesting that we should not try to overcome our sins. If that is so, why read into this quote what he did not mean to say? The way I read this is, if I have irreparably crooked teeth, or freckles, or shortness, or difficulties understanding certain subjects, or illness, or disability, or poor eyesight, or hearing loss, or any other number of genetic problems, it would be extremely prideful of me to be angry with God and very disrespectful to argue with Him for how He made me. Also, coveting the abilities God has given to others instead of appreciating and using the abilities that He has given me to serve Him would be another way to be the clay arguing with the potter.” — Ruth, in the comments of this post
**Clarification – I realize this is needed after Ruth’s comment. 🙂 When I was a teen, I used the excuse that God must have wanted me this way (depressed, gothic, must want to suffer emotionally) when I was younger because He didn’t take away the pain and didn’t seem to care if I was on the darker side. (I thought if He didn’t like it, He would stop me. He IS God after all.) So that’s why I was so harsh on this point of rejecting parts of yourself. If I had read this when I was younger without a little clarification, I would have used it as a “well look He made me like this so there is no point in changing.” If Rick is speaking about disabilities, physical challenges, illnesses or things like that, then I can agree with this. I think my personal struggles clouded my thoughts and I added meaning into it that Rick didn’t mean. After much consideration, I really don’t think the intention was that it’s okay not to give up sin. I just want to be careful that anyone who was of the same mindset I was doesn’t take what he said here as an excuse.
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