Rick Warren’s Interview with Paul Bradshaw

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Here is a good interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church in California and also author of the Purpose of Drive Life book (I got this in my email inbox).

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life?

And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.  One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body– but not the end of me.  I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity..  We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense.  Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.  We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.  This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.  I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore.  Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:
If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.  We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life!

Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.  It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.  So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.. We made no major purchases.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do. That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.

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Michael Aulia is a Christian blogger who lives in Australia. He is the owner of WriteForGod.com and also CravingTech.com

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  • Marsha

    Atlas Shrugged and then the Earth tipped on it's axis toward the Sun.
    All nine planets went out of alignment. So did the Stars. Unfortuneately, not everything was completely destroyed and Life started over again, only different this time. Somewhere at The End but in The Middle.

    And I was Alone All By Myself. Again.

    -The Last Time
    by: God, Martin, and Me

    cc: Wall-E

    P.S. I do not go to church. Christians sound rediculous, with the things they worry about and work on
    as if those are the things that are pleasing to God or what God would write about or say, at this late date. And it is much later than that, if you only knew.

  • Rob

    The problem with Rick Warren's message here is that he never actually address the reality of sin and it's enormous weight on life. He makes pithy comments like “You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems”. Well, we actually DO need to focus on our problems…. namely, our sin. The gospel is about belief in Christ Jesus and repentance of our many sins before God. This day and age, there are too many alter calls and “sinner's prayers” without a genuine conviction of the weight and burden of sin. A believer needs to fully understand and acknowledge sin's weight and turn to Christ seeking repentance.

    • michaelra

      That's what people say about his book too, Purpose Driven Life, that it doesn't highlight the importance of sin & Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

      I think when he meant “problems”, it's like the problems of our daily lives (he's not talking about sins here). Some people do focus on the problems and stop them to do the ministry for God, stop them in loving God, and lessen their faith

  • Rob

    Thanks for the reply. On the subject of Purpose Driven Life, I think of what Pastor spoke about this weekend in regards to Matt. 7 and false prophets. The warning from Christ isn't about the “obvious” false prophets, but rather the subtle wolves in sheep's clothing, who say “most” of the right things to sound like they are on the right path, but yet deceive with their teaching. This brought teachers like Warren to mind with his Bible dialog-minus-sin conviction. Sin is paramount in the life of everyone, and it is because of our sins that we turn to the cross of Christ alone. If Warren is just addressing “problems” then this sounds more like a post-modern, moralistic self-help guide more so than genuine spiritual guidance.

  • Yolande

    He died on the cross.. for our sins.. it is done.. then we should rejoice and just focus on giving praise and worhip in him…be a blessing to others rather than commenting on others.

    God bless

  • Yolande

    He died on the cross.. for our sins.. it is done.. then we should rejoice and just focus on giving praise and worhip in him…be a blessing to others rather than commenting on others.

    God bless

  • Shlomi Halevi

    Sorry to hear about his wife. I received the above text in an e-mail. So I went on a Google expidition because, except for the odd comment or two, this doesn’t sound like Rick Warren at all, it doesn’t ‘flow’ like an interview either. It just might be a copy and paste job. Rick Warren’s ‘The Purpose Driven Church’ is about watering down the Word of G-d in order to fill up church buildings, it’s not a Pauline type becoming all things to all men so that he might save some. It is about earthly kingdom building. Try to line up his verified writing with the scriptures, it doesn’t. His philosophy results in huge mega-churches filled with non-believers. Or people who don’t know what they believe. As for having a purpose driven life- Solomon tells us ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear G-d, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.’ And again in Micah ‘He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?’ We can only hope that in this affliction that Warren has learned G-d’s ways, and we should be praying as much also. If you have a moment, take a look at this article http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/warren/scripture.htmrn

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