Book Review: Purpose Driven Life

The Purpose Driven Life by Pastor Rick Warren is a pretty popular Christian devotional book. It is meant to be read over 40 days so that you can really process and reflect on each chapter.

I decided to read this book because as a school counselor, I get students in my office all the time stressed out about trying to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives and I’m often unsure about my own path and purpose, so I thought it’d be good. I also like and listen to Pastor Rick Warren’s daily living podcast because his formula of speaking is consistent: Introduce topic, list reasons (usually 4-5 points), go through each point with examples and other sub-points (2-3), summarize. He is very clear, very scriptural-based in his teachings and he likes to use his own real life examples.

Prior to reading, I didn’t look up any information on the book and how it would go about helping you figure out your purpose driven life so I initially thought it would be like other self-help type books.

According to the book, we have 5 purposes in life given by God and they are:

  1. We were planned for God’s pleasure so your first purpose is to offer real worship.
  2. We were formed for God’s family so your second purpose is to enjoy real fellowship.
  3. We were created to become like Christ, so your third purpose is to learn real discipleship.
  4. We were shaped for serving God so your fourth purpose is to practice real ministry.
  5. We were made for a missionso your fifth purpose is to live out real evangelism.

I listened to the audiobook version of this book and as he talked about each point and how those things look on a daily basis, I reflected. Did I get to the end of the book knowing the exact thing I want to do with my life? No. It was a good reminder for me that I’m not just living for myself and if I am living my life as a Christian, I should be seeking out ways to serve God more in what I do each day: in my actions and words towards those around me.

Read this book if:

  • You’re a Christian, seeking practical ways that you can grow in your walk. The book is very practical and has free online resources.
  • You’re not a Christian but you want to figure out what you should be doing with your time here on earth beyond hustling and getting money.
  • You’re in a small fellowship group or plan to start one. Having your Bible on hand and taking notes while going through each chapter will be good for weekly discussion. You can set personal or group goals and hold each other accountable.

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