24 March 2006

Rick Warren Interview

In an interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren,
> author of The Purpose
> Driven Life, Rick Warren said:
> People ask me, what is the purpose of life? And I
> respond: In a nutshell,
> life is preparation for eternity. We were 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 trillion 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 got
> 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 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 you to 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,
> 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, equ! ip 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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