The Purpose Driven Life — Book Summary

The Purpose Driven Life Book Cover

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?

by Rick Warren

Published: 2013 | 368 pages
Rating Amazon:  stars rating 4.8 
Rating by reviewer:  stars rating 4.8 
Author of the article: Oriana Gorrin
Date of the summary: Mar 12, 2021

An interactive book about God’s love for us, the Purpose Driven Life invites you to wholeheartedly find and embrace your God-given mission on Earth.

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The Purpose Driven Life Book Cover

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The Purpose Driven Life is a 40-day journey providing a spiritual guideline to acknowledge our God-given purpose. Written by Christian pastor Rick Warren, this book will help you to achieve a clear sense of purpose while giving you Faith-based reasons to live a more meaningful life.

Interesting quotes from the book

We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.

— Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record.

— Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.

— Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

Summary of the book The Purpose Driven Life

You Were Created for More

In this Bible study book, pastor Rick Warren explains how to realize and accomplish your life's mission through God's word. Emphasizing the significance of the number 40 in the Scriptures, he introduces these devotional's 40 chapters as planned to be read one a day. Additionally, these forty sections are contained within five major divisions, the 5 main purposes to live your life.

Warren initiates this personal conversation with the reader by stating that each chapter encloses a unit to "think about your purpose". There, you will find a space to contemplate and reflect on your learning and its implications. Also, Warren offers a covenant (an agreement) so the reader commits to the study in an accountable manner.

A Life to Glorify God

In an attempt to prepare the reader beforehand, Warren unlocks the book's opening with an essential truth. He states that "it's not about you". Presenting this counterintuitive fact from the very beginning, he clarifies that the purpose of our lives is far greater than anything that we can ever imagine. And, in this vastness of thought, is God's purpose that prevails.

Warren starts teaching that there is a reason behind us being alive on this planet. To understand this vision, we have to embrace that we exist for a key reason. We find the original intention of God for us is to love him passionately. And, to achieve this, self-centeredness has to be eradicated.

A Beloved Member of a Treasured Family

Also, Warren argues that relationships have a high value in God's eyes. According to him, throughout the Bible, God is telling the story of His family. Therefore, it seems that learning to be a loving member of His community is vital.

As stated by Warren, there are many benefits from belonging to a wider Christian community. One of the most important privileges is our "rich inheritance". In the end, "life is all about love". So, learning how to love well, as God does, should be our top priority in life. Additionally, he continues, one of the best expressions of love is time. Then, investing time in others applying 'focused attention' is the best gift possible.

Becoming a True Disciple

According to Warren, having been created to God's image, we should seek to be more like Christ. He implies giving up on a "self-absorbed" attitude and letting God use our circumstances to transform us into more Christ-like beings. This process is not meant to be easy. But God's Spirit is working within us during this journey.

Although God is in the business of growth, He doesn't expect perfection from the start. He would rather have your complete honesty, frankness, and obedience so He can help you to develop and mature your character into something new. This process takes time since "there are no shortcuts to maturity". However, it's worth it.

A Selfless Approach to Generous Serving

A generous approach is at the center of your assignment on Earth. We are here to do our part, to serve, and to contribute. Warren defends the idea that each one of our talents has an underlying intention. These skills that shape us are gifts given by God, which help us to serve Him and His kingdom efficiently.

Serving adds "significance" to our lives. It's not a waste of time because this is also part of the bigger picture. We are shaped to function and operate under this agenda. In His system, nothing is wasted, and everything counts. As Warren explains, when we use our gifts, we all benefit. God urges us to share them with others by using our experiences and personality to make a difference.

Unlocking Your Mission

"God is at work in the world", confirms Warren. Like Jesus understood his mission, we also need to comprehend that we're alive to continue what already began with Him. It's our "wonderful privilege" to tell others about the good news of the gospel and the eternal life.

Finally, it's imperative to integrate all these lessons into our lives in a balancing way. In this sense, Warren encourages us to persevere when fulfilling our mission.

Key Lessons

Lesson 1: We're here to make a Christ-like difference.

Our mere existence is not an accident and we are part of God's hopeful plan for humanity. We are called to become more like Christ and act like Him.

Lesson 2: We're loved Children of God with an innate purpose to fulfill through our personalities, circumstances, and experiences.

Our talents, skills, and even life experience can be used to gain not only spiritual knowledge but also to help others to get closer to God.

Lesson 3: We're part of a bigger community and a bigger picture.

As followers of Jesus, or as potential supporters of His cause, we belong to a wider community of worshippers that are called to live an abundantlife.

Review of the book The Purpose Driven Life

I found this book to be a precise tool to renovate my worship and spiritual life. Encouraging and hopeful, it has provided me with a framework to continue strengthening my faith in God. Also, I've learned to have a more holistic and intentional approach to my Faith, increasing my determination to persevere in the face of adversity. Finally, it has contributed to teaching me to be more proactive and positive about having a powerful impact on the lives of others.


After finishing this book, I think that its concise, actionable teachings will allow believers, and non-believer alike, to learn to have a greater impact in the world while growing spiritually. Although the study is aimed to help Christian believers to improve their relationship with God, many other non-believers may benefit from the book's teachings by realizing their God-given purpose. I would recommend this book to all those inquiring souls who are curious to find their place in life.

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