thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Wednesday, March 23

Rick Warren on Larry King Live

Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, was on Larry King Live last night. I have to say that I was very, very impressed by how Rick handled people's questions and even his comments about his own life.

Here's a snippet of Larry King asking Warren how he keeps his life balanced as it pertains to success:

KING: So, the question is, how do you keep your balance?

WARREN: Well, you know what, when the book, Larry, and this caller, when it began to become a big success world-wide, I actually began to got to scripture to pray about what I called the stewardship of have affluence and the stewardship of influence. And that was, God, what do I do with me money, and what do I do with the notoriety. Because, I don't think God gives either money or fame for your own ego, certainly not a pastor.

And I didn't want it. And in fact, that's the whole reason why I never put our church services on television. Twenty Five-years-ago I made the decision to never be on television as a church service, because I didn't want to be a televangelist. I didn't like the lifestyle. And I didn't like a lot of the -- I think always being in the spotlight blinds you.

And Kay (ph) and I made two very important decisions, based on two passages of scripture. First Corinthians 9 and Psalms 72. First with the money, we made five decisions. First was, we weren't going to change our lifestyle one bit, no matter how much money came in. So, we still live in the same house. We didn't buy a bigger house. We don't own a guest house. We don't own a yacht. I still drive a 4- year-old Ford. And we're just are not going to let money change your lives, and I'm not going to use it to impress people.

The second decision we made was, I stopped taking the salary from my church about three years ago.

The third decision is, I added up all that the church had paid me in the past 25 years and I gave it all back. And I did that because I don't want anybody to ever think that I was doing this for money, because I don't. I would have done it for free from the start if I could have. And now the book made it possible for me to give all that money back.

And right after I did that, I was interviewed by a major news magazine. And the first question was, what's your salary? And I was able to say, well, actually, I've now serve my church for free for 25 years. Then we set up, No. 4, we set up three foundations, one of them called Acts of Mercy, which is used to help those who are infected and affected by AIDS globally. And then the fifth is, we actually became reverse tithers, which means that when Kay and I got married, we began to tithe 10 percent of our income to charity, and each year in the last 30 years we've raised it a percentage, and we're not actually reverse tithers, so we give away 90 percent and live on 10 percent.
There's something about Rick Warren that is very refreshing. It's not to say this "his way" is the right way or what everyone should do, but I would say that he has, so far, done a great job keeping his life and his wealth in perspective.

Link to Larry King Live Transcript