The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

Title:  The Purpose Driven Life

Author:  Rick Warren

Published:  October 1, 2002

Page Count:  334

Genres:  Nonfiction, Inspirational

My Rating:  2.5 out of 5

You are not an accident. Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind, and he planned you for his purposes. These purposes will extend far beyond the few years you will spend on earth. You were made to last forever!

Self-help books often suggest that you try to discover the meaning and purpose of your life by looking within yourself, but Rick Warren says that is the wrong place to start. You must begin with God, your Creator, and his reasons for creating you. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.

This book will help you understand why you are alive and God’s amazing plan for you—both here and now, and for eternity. Rick Warren will guide you through a personal 40-day spiritual journey that will transform your answer to life’s most important question: What on earth am I here for? Knowing God’s purpose for creating you will reduce your stress, focus your energy, simplify your decisions, give meaning to your life, and, most importantly, prepare you for eternity.

The Purpose-Driven™ Life is a blueprint for Christian living in the 21st century—a lifestyle based on God’s eternal purposes, not cultural values. Using over 1,200 scriptural quotes and references, it challenges the conventional definitions of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism. In the tradition of Oswald Chambers, Rick Warren offers distilled wisdom on the essence of what life is all about.

This is a book of hope and challenge that you will read and re-read, and it will be a classic treasured by generations to come.

These are the kinds of reviews I really hate writing.  I am trying to come up with the correct words to describe how the book made me feel and I am literally coming up empty.  It is sort of like a completely neutral feeling – didn’t really like it, didn’t hate it either (hence the 2.5 rating).  I think the issue for me is that I really didn’t get anything new out of The Purpose Driven Life. I am here for God’s purpose, not my own, okay I get it.  No need to devote forty chapters to that same idea.  Not to sound harsh, I just didn’t get what the big deal was about this one.  I don’t see what made it such an international sensation.  To me, the book was an incredibly simple message which was spelled out very clearly in the introduction and then repeated a zillion times throughout the book.  So, I just don’t know what all the hype is about.

That said, I can see how Warren’s message would be welcome and necessary in many lives.  So many people, Christians included, go through life striving for power, or for money, or wander through life striving for nothing at all.  I can see the appeal of changing ones’ thinking to live life only for God’s glory – this would be a welcome change for many people.  As for me, well, I get it.  No need to beat me over the head with it for forty chapters.

So, yeah, this one was pretty eh for me.  Anybody have thoughts on this one?  Did it change your life?  Do you even agree with Warren’s proclaimed purpose for all of our lives?  I’d love to hear your input.


8 thoughts on “The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren”

  1. It’s been awhile since I read this one, but I did like it. Yes it was 40 chapters of similar ideas taken from one theme, but read as devotional book I thought that was okay.
    I’m not sure it changed my life, but I did take some things from it that I still appreciate.
    Too bad it didn’t work for you as well.

  2. I felt pretty much the same way you did — I didn’t get anything out of it at all. In fact, I couldn’t finish the book. My mother, however, absolutely loved it. Maybe it depends on how you feel about yourself. After her death, I realized my mother had piles of books that I would call “Reassurance Lit” — books that told her she was okay, God loves her, she had value, etc. Apparently, it was the kind of book she needed.

    1. Thanks, Nancy, I am not the only one! Yep, like I said in my review, I can see the allure of a book like this. Just not my cup of tea.

  3. I actually enjoyed this book and did a lot of the exercises in it. In fact, my copy has my notes all over it. It did help me when I really needed it!

  4. I tried to read this one several years ago when I saw it at my then-fiance’s house. I read about 50 pages and decided that it was not a book I wanted to continue reading. I, too, thought that it was a great idea, but why the big fuss over it? I did not think it was worth devoting that much time to either.

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