You have life, one life which you can either make use of to benefit or you waste it. And if you take a critical look at the world at large, you would observe many to be in either of these two situations— some are living their lives in a carefree manner with the mindset of engaging serious stuffs in the later years while some others are regretting to have lived their lives (in the early days) with no focus on what really matters. Summarily, many people are wasting (or have wasted) their single, brief lives.
It’s even breaking the heart more at how agents of socialisation— the homes, schools, churches, the media and the civilised society as a whole have made people to believe the wrong things as what matters.
For instance, many believe that, all there is to the single life we have is to go to one of the best schools, graduate with good grades, make much friends, have a well-paying job, get married to humble spouses, bear kids and wait till old age and die. We have so lost the real essence of our being— our life. In as much as all these seem worth our lives, the factual truth is that, one can achieve a fatal success! (as John Piper puts it).
Don’t waste your life.
“Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalms 100:3
God created us for His glory and He will get to be most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. We would then loose touch with the real essence of life when our life endeavours do not acknowledge this singular purpose.
This means that, we must be ready to stay in wherever location God needs us, engage the right stategies in our secular jobs, make others glad, choose to boast only in the glory of the cross of Jesus and even ready to risk our very own lives so as not to lament at the end that, we have wasted our lives.
Christ saying this: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8:35) means that, we should be ready to do all it takes to glorify God. See how John Piper said it in his book: “You don’t have to say it like I say it or like Louie Giglio says it. But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.”
To achieve this, we have to “Know Christ, and gain Christ. Everything is rubbish in comparison to this.” Really, the cost of following Christ is real. And, to not coast through life without a passion (which we mustn’t), we have to be intentional about being steadfast in the Christian walk, get rid of the hindrances to an obsessed communion with our Father (such that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ) and walk in the grace that would set our faces to the hard tasks (yes, it’s hard) ahead of us.
For us not to waste our lives, we just must depend on God’s sufficient grace to sacrifice even the most cherished to witness the love which Christ has extended to us.
There must be a sacrifice.
“Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Psalms 50:5
You see, nothing good comes without a sacrifice made beforehand. John Piper mentioned Television in his book as one of those tools that blindfolds our eyes, ears and hearts from accessing the real deal— the countless hours spent with it, the junks (lies) which we are fed with.
But, if we can make the sacrifice of leaving our comfort zone all for the sake of ensuring that every breath of ours counts for what really matters, we would not waste our lives.
Risking our lives is a part of the sacrifice.
As humans, we live in the uncertainty of what tomorrow holds. So, we should not always expect our intentions to come as reality. Instead, we should prepare our minds to fix into whatever situation that would come our ways (even if it would mean, risking our lives through the narrowest).
If you don’t want to waste your life, you must be willing to do that which does not waste.
See how John Piper puts it: “Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain.” He also said, “The aim of the attacker is to destroy you, and cut you off from Christ, and bring you to final ruin without God. You are a conqueror if you defeat this aim and remain in the love of Christ. God has promised that this will happen. Trusting this, we risk.”
I have done my best in reviewing this awesome piece by John Piper. I sincerely urge you to get this book, read it and apply it. You’ve got just one, brief life, don’t waste it!