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The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren—A Synopsis (continued).

Chapter 5—Seeing Life from God’s View (pages 41-46)


A person’s view of “life” (one’s physical existence upon earth) will determine his values, his expectations, his relationships, his goals and his priorities (the investment of time, money and energy) upon this earth. Therefore, it is most critical that one sees “life” correctly. To avoid faulty concepts regarding life, one must challenge conventional wisdom. To arrive at the correct (biblical) view of “life,” the Bible details three aspects of “life,” two of which will be outlined in this chapter and are as follow:

1. Life on earth is a test.

The Bible employs words like temptations, refining and testing hundreds of time throughout it. There are countless real-life examples of individuals that God has put through various tests for the sole purpose of revealing (to them—God always knows everything intimately) and developing their character.

Every person is tested continuously, even in the smallest of detail, by God. Tests involving “major changes,” “delayed promises,” “impossible problems,” “unanswered prayers,” “undeserved criticisms,” and “senseless tragedies,” are common in everyone’s life.

A very important test is how one acts when he cannot feel God’s presence. This is an important test of one’s faith in God and His Word—revealing more than anything else one’s character and core beliefs.

By understanding that “life” is a test, one may then be certain that every moment, every day and every circumstance is a growth opportunity to deepen and mature one’s character—to demonstrate love and yield oneself to God. But no matter the severity of the test, God will not permit a person to be tested beyond his ability to meet the test as long as one submits to God—a manifestation of God’s grace to everyone. And for the Christian, each successful passing of a test accrues for him eternal rewards.

2. Life on earth is a trust.

God, who is the Owner of everything and everyone on earth, gives to each person various gifts of time, energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships and resources. God expects each person to realize this and to be a good steward of His gifts. Every person should realize that his stay on earth is temporally brief, and all that he is and has is on loan from God. Even the earth itself is God’s property, on loan to human beings.

The God-given role to human beings to “take care of His stuff,” has never been rescinded. It is part of God’s multifaceted purpose for each person. This conveys a higher standard of care than what is taught by earthly wisdom, which normally results in close and personal care for only things that are “owned.” To employ earthly standards of care will equate to fewer eternal rewards, since how a person takes care of the things God entrusts to him matters greatly.

When a Christian properly takes care of his trust, God in eternity will give to him (1) affirmation—by saying, “Good job! Well done!” (2) promotion—by allowing him greater responsibility, “I will put you in charge of many things,” and (3) celebration—“Come and share your Master’s happiness.”

Money is both a test and a trust from God. For many it is the greatest test of all. The Bible indicates that there is a direct correlation between how a person uses money (another loan from God) and his spirituality. But in all things, the more God gives a person, the more responsible He expects the person to be.


“The way you see your life shapes your life. How you define life determines your destiny. Your perspective will influence how you invest your time, spend your money, use your talents, and value your relationships.” (pg. 41)

“Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. You are always being tested.” (pg. 43)

“A very important test is how you act when you can’t feel God’s presence in your life.” (pg. 43)

“When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life. Even the smallest incident has significance for your character development. Every day is an important day, and every second is a growth opportunity to deepen your character, to demonstrate love, or to depend on God.” (pg. 43)

“The good news is that God wants you to pass the tests of life, so He never allows the tests you face to be greater than the grace He gives you to handle them.” (pg. 44)

“We are stewards of whatever God gives us.” (pg. 44)

“We never really own anything during our brief stay on earth. God just loans the earth to us while we’re here.” (pg. 44)

“Our culture says, ‘If you don’t own it, you won’t take care of it.’ But Christians live by a higher standard: “Because God owns it, I must take the best care of it that I can.’” (pg. 45)

“. . . everything you do, even simple daily chores, has eternal implications.” (pg. 45)

“How I manage my money (“worldly wealth”) determines how much God can trust me with spiritual blessings (“true riches”).” (pg. 46)


And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)

However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart. (2 Chronicles 32:31)

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

The earth is the LORD'S, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1)

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

. . . And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7b)

Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)

His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:21)

Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon [worldly riches], who will commit to your trust the true [spiritual] riches? (Luke 16:11)

. . . For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:48b)


Looking at one’s existence upon this earth from a self-centered or “worldly” (wisdom) point-of-view, will lead one to emphasize all the qualities of life that will result in detrimental consequences, both here on earth and in eternity. But if a person will understand and adopt the biblical point-of-view for one’s earthly sojourn (understanding that life on earth is quite brief, and that all pertaining to life while on earth is a gift from God and entrusted to him), he will (1) realize all of life’s circumstances, no matter how insignificant, are tests to reveal to him and to develop his character. He will then come to the truth that all things within his life and how he reacts to them will have eternal ramifications. This (biblical) view will change his life on earth; but, more than this, will matter most significantly in eternity.