Purpose Driven Life – Day 3

“Driven” is the big word for Rick Warren. First he had The Purpose Driven Church. Now we’re looking at The Purpose Driven Life. His assumption is that every church and every person is driven by something. He lists several things people are driven by:

  • Guilt
  • Resentment and anger
  • Fear
  • Materialism
  • Need for Approval

The alternative he proposes is – not suprisingly – a purpose driven life, a “life guided, controlled and directed by God’s purposes.” When we live this way, he claims, our lives will have meaning, be simplified, have focus and motivation, and we’ll be prepared for eternity.

Let’s take apart this whole concept.

“Driven” is a metaphor used to describe that which makes something happen. What is the best explanation for the way we live our lives? Why do we do what we do? What motivates us? When we rephrase and ask these questions we can get beyond the passivity of the “driven” metaphor. My car is driven. It has no choice where it goes. It responds directly to my action, although limited by its environment (wind, rain and ice affect ist performance). But we humans aren’t cars.

Knowing our purpose isn’t enough. We can know our purpose and still be “driven” by those other features: fear, guilt, etc. It is truly a good thing to know God’s purpose for our lives, but we must engage with those purposes intelligently. We must actively obey God. Again – we are not cars – not even to God. We are being made in his image. He doesn’t “drive” us. When we say we’re living a “purpose driven life” we’re saying that we are responding faithfully to what God made us for, whether that fits with our environment or not. Our environment may induce us to do what we do based on fear, guilt, need for approval, etc. We all have to deal with these motivations. Living the Purpose Driven Life doesn’t make these other motivatiosn unreal – it just makes it so that we chose to be motivated by something else – by God’s purposes.

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