Quotes from the book: “The Purpose Driven Life” by: Rick Warren

rick warrenYour life is worth taking the time to think about it. What on earth am I here for?

Many people try to use God for their own self-actualization, but that is a reversal of nature and is doomed to failure. You were made for God, not vice versa, and life is about letting God use you for his purposes, not your using him for your own purpose.

Self-help books usually offer the same predictable steps to finding your life’s purpose: consider your dreams, clarify your values, set some goals, figure out what you are good at, aim high, go for it, be disciplined, believe you can achieve your goals, involve others, never give up.

This book is not about how to cram more activities into an overloaded schedule. Actually it will teach you how to do less in life, by focusing on what matters most. It is about what God created you to be.

You have only two options. This is what most people choose. Their first option is speculation. They conjecture, they guess, they theorize….This is the best guess I can come up with….and others were honest enough to say they were clueless….Fortunately, there is an alternative to speculation about the meaning and purpose of life. It is revelation. God was thinking of you long before you thought about him. His purpose for your life pre-dates your conception. He planned it before you existed, without your input! You may choose your career, your spouse, your hobbies, and many other parts of your life, but you don’t get to choose your purpose. The purpose of your life fits into a much larger, cosmic purpose that God has designed for eternity. That’s what this book is about. {Morad: no room for human free will?}

Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life is no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did….God’s purpose took into account human error, and even sin.

Right now you may be driven by a problem, a pressure, or a deadline, a painful memory, a haunting fear, or an unconscious belief.

Many people are driven by guilt, they spend their entire lives running from regrets and hiding their shame. Guilt-driven people are manipulated by memories. They allow their past to control their future. They often unconsciously punish themselves by sabotaging their own success.

Many people are driven by resentment and anger. They hold on to hurts and never get over them. Instead of releasing their pain through forgiveness, they rehearse it over and over in their minds. Some resentment-driven people “clam up” and internalize their anger, while others “blow up” and explode it onto others. Both responses are unhealthy and unhelpful. Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent. While your offender has probably forgotten the offense and gone on with life, you continue to stew in your pain, perpetuating the past.

Many people are driven by fear. Their fear may be a result of a traumatic experience, unrealistic expectations, growing up in a high-control home, or even genetic predisposition. Regardless of the cause, fear-driven people often miss great opportunities because they’re afraid to venture out. Instead they play it safe, avoiding risks and trying to maintain the status quo. Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from what god intends for you to be.

Many people are driven by materialism. Their desire to acquire becomes the whole goal of their lives. This drive to always want more is based on the misconceptions that having more will make me happier, more important, and securer, but all three ideas are untrue. Possessions only provide temporary happiness. Because things do not change, we eventually become bored with them and then want newer, bigger, better versions. It is also a myth that if I get more, I will be more important. Self-worth and net worth are not the same. Your value is not determined by your valuables

Many people are driven by the need for approval. They allow the expectations of parents or spouses to control their lives. Many adults are still trying to earn the approval of unpleasable parents. Others are driven by peer pressure, always worried by what others might think. Unfortunately, those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it. I don’t know all the keys to success, but one key to failure is to try to please everyone.

There are other factors that can drive your life but all lead to the same dead end: unused potential, unnecessary stress, and an unfulfilled life….Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason. Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty and pointless.

Hope is as essential to your life as air and water. You need hope to cope….Purpose-driven living leads to a simpler lifestyle and a saner schedule.

You become effective by being selective….It’s human nature to get distracted by minor issues….There is nothing quite as potent as a focused life, one lived on purpose.—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 what which matters most. Never confuse activity with productivity….Purpose always produces passion. Nothing energizes like a clear purpose. On the other hand passion dissipates when you lack a purpose. It is usually meaningless work, not overworks, that wears us down, saps our strength, and robs our joy.

What people fail to realize is that all achievements are eventually surpassed, records are broken, reputations fade, and tributes are forgotten….Living to create an earthly legacy is a short-sighted goal.

Life on earth is just the dress rehearsal before the real production….You have an inborn instinct that longs for immorality….What is going to be like in eternity with God? You may feel it’s morbid to think about death.

Life is a carousel (merry-go-round): sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down….Life is a game of cards: you have to play the hand you are dealt.

If I asked how you picture life, what image would come to your mind? That image is your life metaphor. It is the view of life that you hold consciously or unconsciously, in your mind. It’s your description of how life works and what you expect from it. People often express their life metaphors through clothes, jewellery, cars, hairstyle, bumper stickers, even tattoos. Your unspoken life metaphor influences your life more than you realize. It determines your expectations, your values, your relationships, your goals, and your priorities. For instance, if you think life is a party, your primary value in life will be having fun. If you see life as a race, you will value speed and will probably be in a hurry much of the time. If you view life as a marathon, you will value endurance. If you see life as a battle or a game, winning will be very important to you.

You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism and even senseless tragedies…. In order to keep us from becoming too attached to earth, God allows us to feel a significant amount of discontent and dissatisfaction in life.{???}

Worship is as natural as eating and breathing. If we fail to worship God, we always find a substitute, even if it ends up being ourselves.

Few things feel better than receiving heartfelt praise and appreciation from someone else….As I would eat the great meal, I would rave about it and praise my mother…. God is not a cruel slave driver or a bully who uses brute forces to coerce us into submission.

In today’s competitive culture we are taught to never give up and never give in.

The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us. We aren’t God and never will be. We are humans. It is when we try to be God that we end up most like Satan, who desired the same thing. We accept our humanity intellectually but not emotionally. When faced with our own limitations, we react with irritation, anger, and resentment. We want to be taller (or shorter), smarter, stronger, more talented, more beautiful and wealthier. We want to have it all and do it all, and we become upset when it does not happen. Then when we notice that God gave others characteristics we don’t have, we respond with envy, jealousy, and self-pity.

Surrendering is not for cowards or doormats….Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships. You don’t edge others out, you don’t demand your rights, and you are not self-serving when you are surrendered.

Put God in the driver’s seat of your life and take your hands off the steering wheel. Don’t be afraid; nothing under his control can ever be out of control.

When you think about a problem in your mind over and over, that’s called worry. When you think about God’s word over and over in your mind, that’s meditation. If you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate!

Prayer lets you speak to God; meditation lets God speak to you. Both are essential to becoming a friend of God.

You must learn to honestly share your feeling with him….Genuine friendship is built on disclosure.

One thing worship costs us is our self-centeredness. You cannot exalt God and yourself at the same time. You don’t worship to be seen by others or to please yourself. You deliberately shift the focus off yourself.

Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other.

Once a group becomes larger than about ten people, someone starts participating, usually the quietest person, and a few people will dominate the group

Instead of an atmosphere of honesty and humility, there is pretending, role playing, politicking, and superficial politeness but shallow conversation. People wear masks, keep their guard up, and act as if everything is rosy in their lives. These attitudes are the death of fellowship.

Every time you understand and affirm someone’s feelings, you build fellowship.

We all need mercy, because we all stumble and fall and require help getting back on track

Will I use my energy and emotions for retaliation or for resolution? You can’t do both.

If you never been a part of a group or class like this, you really don’t know what you’re missing.

Often we know what needs to be said to someone, but our fears prevent us from saying anything.

Much small groups remain superficial because they are afraid of conflict. Whenever an issue pops up that might sense tension or discomfort, it is immediately gloss over in order to preserve a false sense of peace. Mr. “Don’t rock the boat” jumps in and tries to smooth everyone’s ruffled feathers, the issue is never resolved, and everyone lives with an underlying frustration. Everyone knows the problem, but no one talks about it openly. This creates a sick environment of secrets where gossip thrive.

In the end people appreciate frankness more than flattery. Frankness is not a license to say anything you want, wherever and whenever you want. It is not rudeness. Thoughtless words leave lasting wounds.

Better devastation and embarrassment than damnation…You pass it off as a small thing, but it’s anything but that…you should not act as if everything is just fine when one of your companions is promiscuous or crooked

Pride builds walls between people; humility builds bridges….Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less.

Courtesy is respecting our differences, being considerate of each other’s feelings, and being patient with people who irritate us.

In every small group, there is always at least one difficult person. These people may have special emotional needs, deep insecurities, irritating mannerisms, or poor social skills. God put these people in our midst for both their benefit and ours….The truth is, we all have quirks and annoying traits….Instead of thinking about how far they still have to go, think about how far they have come in spite of their hurts.

Real community happens when people know it is safe enough to share their doubts and fears without being judged. Only in the safe environment of warm acceptance and trusted confidentiality will people open up and share their deepest hurts, needs, and mistakes.

God hates gossip, especially when it is thinly disguised as a “prayer request” for somebody else. If you want to cultivate real fellowship, it will mean meeting together even when you don’t feel like it, because you believe it is important.

Group covenant: We will share our true feelings (authenticity), encourage each other (mutuality), support each other (sympathy), forgive each other (mercy), speak the truth in love (honesty), admit our weakness (humility), respect our differences (courtesy), not gossip (confidentiality), and make group a priority (frequency).

The benefits sharing life together far out-weight the costs.

Peacemaking is not avoiding conflict. Running from a problem, pretending it does not exist, or being afraid to talk about it is actually cowardice….Peacemaking is also not appeasement. Always giving in, acting like a doormat, and allowing others to always run over you.

Delay only deepens resentment  and makes matters worst. In conflict, time heals nothing; it causes hurts to fester….Focus on their feelings, not the facts. Begin with sympathy, not solutions. Nod that you understand even when you don’t agree. Feelings are not always true or logical. In fact, resentment makes us act and think in foolish ways. We all act beastly when heart.

Listening says, “I value your opinion, I care about our relationship, and you matter to me.” The cliché is true: People don’t care what we know until they know we care.

A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.

If you say it offensively, it will be received defensively. For the sake of fellowship, you must destroy your arsenal of relational nuclear weapons, including condemning, belittling, comparing, labling, insulting, condescending .

Peace always has a price tag. Sometimes it costs our pride; sometimes it costs our self-centeredness…. Cooperate instead of compare….Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution. It is unrealistic to expect everyone to agree about everything. Reconciliation focuses on the relationship, while resolution focuses on the problem. When we focus on reconciliation, the problem uses significance and often becomes irrelevant….We can disagree without being disagreeable….God expect unity, not uniformity….Reconciliation means you bury the hatchet, not necessarily the issue.

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.

It is always easier to stand on the sidelines and take shots at those who are serving than it is to get involved and make a contribution.

People who gossip to you will also gossip about you

In all of creation, only human beings, are made “in God’s image.”  This is a great privilege and gives us dignity. We don’t know all this phrase covers, but we do know some of the aspects it includes: Like God, we are spiritual beings, our spirits are immortal and will outlast your earthly bodies, we are intellectual, we can think, reason, and solve problems; we are rational, we can give and revive real love; and we have a moral consciousness, we can discern right from wrong, which make us accountable to God….Becoming like him doesn’t mean lose your personality or becoming mindless clone. It’s all about transforming your character, not your personality.

One answer is that life is supposed to be difficult! It’s what enables us to grow. Remember earth is not heaven

God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.You must make a counter-culture decision…otherwise. Other forces like peers, parents, co-workers, and culture will try to mold you into their image.

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 will tell you what you will be in twenty years. We become whatever we are commited to….Many are afraid to commit to anything and just drift through life. Others make half-hearted commitments to competing values, which leads to frustration and mediocrity.

You will need to let go of some old routines, develop some new habits, and intentionally change the way you think….The “work out” is your responsibility, and the “work in” is god’s role.

Culture (everyone is doing it), tradition (we have always done it), reason (it seemed logical), or emotion (it just felt right).

I have read the book from cover to cover….I cannot overstate the value of being a part of a small …study discussion group….Develop the habit of writing down exactly what you intend to do.

History is his story.

Many people become bitter, rather than better….If you look at the world, you will be distressed. If you look within, you will be depressed. Look at God, you will be at rest.

Even temptation becomes a stepping-stone rather than a stumbling block….God teaches us love by putting some unlovely people around us….You can’t claim to be good if you have never been tempted to be bad. You can’t claim to be faithful if you have never had the opportunity to be unfaithful. Integrity is built by defeating the temptation to be dishonest; humility grows when we refuse to be prideful; and endurance develops every time you reject the temptation to give up.

What began as an idea gets birthed into behaviour. You give in to whatever got your attention….Be realistic about the inevitability of temptation; you will never be able to avoid it completely….It is not a sin to be tempted. Temptation only becomes a sin when you give in to it.

Help! SOS! Mayday!: You may sometimes feel that a temptation is to overpowering for you to bear….The more you think about something, the strongest it takes hold of you. The more you focus on (I don’t want to do this,” the stronger it draws you into its web….Sometimes this means physically leaving a temptation situation. This is one time it is ok to run away. If you’re serious about defeating temptation you must manage your mind and monitor your media intake….you won’t get better on your own! You need the help of other people….Don’t carelessly place yourself in tempting situation. Avoid them. Remember that it is easier to stay out of temptation than to get out of it. don’t be so naïve and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else….Hiding your hurts only intensifies it. Problems grow in the dark and become bigger, but when exposed to the light of truth, they shrink. You are only as sick as your secrets. So take off your mask, stop pretending you are perfect, and walk into freedom….Let me ask you a tough question: what are you pretending is not a problem in your life

…How soon we revert to our old patterns of behaviour….The fear of what we might discover if we honestly faced our character defects keeps us living in the prison of denial….You must let go of old ways in order to experience the new.

Repetition is the mother of character and skill. Over time, a slow, steady stream of water will erode the hardest rock and turn giant boulders into pebbles.

One of life’s frustration is that God’s timetable is rarely the same as ours….Remember how far you have come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be….You were put on earth to make a contribution. You were not created to consume resources: to eat, to breathe, and take up space. God designed you to make a difference with your life. While many best-selling books offer advice on how to get the most out of life, that’s not the reason God made you. You are created to add to life on earth, not just take from it.

In my home, the most important light is not the large chandelier in our dining room but the little night light that keeps me from stubbing my toe when I get up at night. There is no correlation between size and significance.

What happens when one part of our body fails to function? You get sick. The rest of our body suffers. They cannot sit on the sidelines as spectators….We grow up in order to give out. It is not enough to keep learning more and more. We must act on what we know and practice what we claim to believe. Impression without expression causes depression. Study without service leads to spiritual stagnation.

Serving is the opposite of our natural inclination. Most of the time we are more interested in “serve us” than service….Stop asking, “Who’s going to meet my needs?” and start asking, “whose needs can I meet?”…At that point, all our excuses for self-centeredness will sound hollow.

Some animals run, some hop, some swim, some burrow, some fly….You’re God’s handicrafted work of art. You are not an assembly-line product, mass produced without thought. You are a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece….Not only did god shape you before your birth, he planned every day of your life to support his shaping process.

The first tell-tale (one who reveals secrets) sign is enthusiasm. When you are doing what you love to do, no one has to motivate you or challenge you or check up on you. You do it for the sheer enjoyment. You don’t need reward or applause or payment. The opposite is also true. When you don’t have a heart for what you are doing, you are easily discouraged….Passion drives perfection. If you don’t care about a task, it is unlikely that you will excel at it. In contrast, the highest achievers in any field are those who do it because of passion, not duty or profit. Figure out what you love to do.

Good wasn’t good enough. Don’t settle for just achieving “the good life,” because the good life is not good enough. Ultimately it doesn’t satisfy. You can have a lot to live on and still have nothing to live for. Aim instead for “the better life.”…Some people have a natural ability with words. They come out of the womb talking! Other people have natural athletic abilities, excelling in physical coordination. Still others are good at mathematics, music or mechanics. You have dozens, probably hundreds, of untapped, unrecognised, and unused abilities that are living dormant inside you.…Your abilities were not given just to make a living.—

Your uniqueness is a scientific fact of life. When God made you, he broke the mould. There never has been, and never will be, anybody exactly like you….He created each of us with a unique combination of personality traits. God made introverts and extroverts. He made people who love routine and those who love variety. He made some people thinkers, and others feelers. Some people work best when given an individual assignment while others work better with a team.

When you are forced to do in a manner that is “out of character for your temperament, it creates tension and discomfort, requires extra effort and energy, and produces less than the best results. This is why mimicking someone else’s doing never works.

Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you.

What you are is God’s gift to you; what you do with yourself is your gift to God

You must discover your shape, learn to accept and enjoy it, and then develop it to its fullest.

Don’t let another day go by….Make a list. Ask other people for their candid opinion. Tell them you are searching for the truth, not fishing for a compliment….If you want to know if you have the gift of leadership, just look over your shoulder! If no one is following you, you’re not a leader….Spiritual gift tests and ability inventories can have some value, but they are limited in their usefulness…The best way to discover your gifts and abilities is to experiment with different areas of service.

You will never know what you are good at until you try. When it doesn’t work out, call it an “experiment,” not a failure. You will eventually learn what you’re good at….Ask yourself questions: What do I really enjoy doing most? When do I feel the most fully alive? What am I doing when I lose track of time? Do I like routine or variety? Do I prefer serving with a team or by myself? Am I more introverted or extroverted? Am I more a thinker or feeler? Which do I enjoy more competing or cooperating?

. Extracting the lessons from your experiences takes time. I recommend that you take an entire weekend for a life review retract.

If my life is fruitless, it does not matter who praises me, and if my life if fruitful, it does not matter who criticizes me….We are to cultivate our gifts and abilities, keep our hearts aflame, grow our character and personality, and broaden our experience….Kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you. If you don’t exercise your muscles, they weaken and atrophy. Fail to use what you have been given and you will lose it. use the ability you have got and god will increase it.

If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done….Some people have fostered this myth by making “excellence” an idol, which makes people of average talent hesitant to get involved.

This is true humility: not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. It’s only when we forget ourselves that we do the things that deserve to be remembered….Some people try to use service as a bargaining tool with God: “I’ll do this for you God, if you’ll do something for me.

Insecure people are always worrying about how they appear to others. They fear exposure of their weaknesses and hide beneath layers of protective pride and pretentious. The more insecure you are, the more you will want people to serve you, and the more you will need their approval.

In fact, you have a bundle of flaws and imperfections: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.—Usually we deny our weaknesses, defend them, excuse them, hide them, and resent them….A weakness is any limitation that you inherited or have no power to change, it may be a physical limitation, like a handicap, a chronic illness, naturally low energy, or a disability. It may be an emotional limitation, such as a trauma scar, a hurtful memory, a personal quirk, or a hereditary disposition. Or may be a talent or intellectual limitation. We’re not all super bright or talented. Stop pretending to have it all together, and be honest about yourself. Our weaknesses also prevent arrogance. They keep us humble. Our weaknesses also encourage fellowship between us…. While strength breeds an independent spirit, our limitations show how much we need each other. When we weave the weak strands of our life together, a rope of great strength is created…We, like snowflakes, are frail, but when we stick together we can stop traffic. Most of all our weaknesses increase our capacity for sympathy.

Of course, vulnerability is risky, it can be scary to lower your defences and open up your life to others. When you reveal your failure, feelings, frustrations, and fears, you risk rejection. But the benefits are worth to risk. Vulnerability is emotionally liberating. Opening up reveals stress, defuses your fears, and is the first step to freedom….Vulnerability is an endearing quality; we are naturally drawn to humble people….Pretentiousness repels but authenticity attracts, and vulnerability is the pathway to intimacy….Our strengths create competition, but our weaknesses create community.

At some point in your life you must decide weather you want to impress people or influence people. You can impress people from a distance, but you must get close to influence them, and when you do that, they will be able to see your flaws….The most essential quality leadership is not perfection, but credibility. People must be able to trust you, or they won’t follow you. How do you build credibility? Not by pretending to be perfect, but by being honest….Instead of posing as self-confident and invincible, see yourself as a trophy of grace.

The best use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it. This will keep you from majoring on minor issues and help you to distinguish between what’s urgent and what’s ultimate.

You may think you don’t have anything to share,…You have a storehouse of experiences.There isn’t enough time to learn everything in life by trial and error….Imagine how much needless frustration could be avoided if we learned each other’s life lessons

Pass on what you know to others. I have passed on to you what others taught me about the purpose of my life; now it’s your duty to pass that on to others.

Regardless of your age, the rest of your life can be the best of your life….Living on purpose is the only way to really live. Everything else is just existing….Most people struggle with three basic issues in life. The first is identity: “Who I am?” The second isimportance: “Do I matter?” The third is impact: “What is my place in life?”…It’s easy to drift away from what matters most and slowly get off course….Goals are temporary; purposes are eternal….A life purpose statement not only spells out what you intend to do with your time, money, and life, but also implies what you are not going to do….Take your time writing out your life purpose statement. Don’t try yo complete it in a single sitting, and don’t aim for perfection in your first draft;just write down your thoughts as fast as they come to you. It is always easier to edit than to create.

It may take you weeks or months to craft your life purpose statement just the way you want it. Think about it, talk with close friends. You may go through several rewrites before you get to your final form. Even then, you will probably make minor changes as time goes by. In addition to writing a detailed life purpose statement, it is also helpful to have a shorter statement or slogan that summarizes the five purposes for your life in the way that’s memorable and inspires you. Then you can remind yourself daily