Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wasted Life?

I have been reading "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. If any of you have ever read anything from Piper you know that the act of reading becomes less like a leisure activity and more like getting hit in the face with a 2x4, enjoying it, and asking for another. God is truly using Pastor Piper and his words to ignite souls for HIm and His kingdom. As I read Piper's words in this book, I can not help but feel that I have wasted a large portion of my life. I have spent countless hours in front of the TV in the name of rest. I have chosen to use my money to purchase the biggest and the best, when the "regular" version would have been more than I needed. I have convinced myself that it is better to keep my money for my family rather than give it away for the furtherance of God's kingdom. I have also taken very few risks for the gospel's sake. I think there were times during college and a few sprinkled around through adult life where I truly made life decisions with nothing but God's glory in mind. I have become great at convincing myself that praying about a decision once or twice means that I have made it with God in mind. I think a great majority of the Church, especially in America, has become this way. We pay lip-service to God in the form of prayer and the occasional seeking of guidance to make someone else knows that we "sought" God. Only to make the decision that makes us feel good, or that we feel is "best" for our family. Rarely do we face life's opportunities, struggles, or decisions with the same mindset as Paul, "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I [and those around me] may gain Christ." (Phil 3:8 extra phrase added based on Paul's other writings)

When we come to faith in Christ it is not a call to come, get your fire insurance and life how you choose with a little God and church sprinkled in. It is a call to come a DIE. To come and die to ourselves, to our dreams, and to the world around us. This is not to say that our thoughts and dreams our tossed out the window, but that we hold them from now on with an open hand. We then choose to pursue them only after answering these question: "Is this dream/decision/job opportunity/purchase/etc going to help me make much of Christ? Will this _______ show people around me that Christ is my Treasure above all else?"
This kind of thinking goes against everything we have been taught. We have learned from society, the media, even our parents, that we must go after everything we want and it doesn't "really" matter who get hurts in the process. We need the biggest and the best of everything.

I pray that the Church and I will begin to take great risks for God and His kingdom. May we not waste our lives in the pursuit of things that will not last, only to find out that the God that we set aside would have brought us the greatest joy and happiness we could have ever imagined.

1 comment:

Ethan said...

hey man, i read, "don't waste your life" a few months ago and it has plagued my thoughts ever since. after finishing it, i remember thinking of ways in which i've wasted my life so far, and then asking God for His grace in helping me not to waste anymore of it. i've found that all to often, i say i want to see Christ glorified in every area of my life, but only if it doesn't cost me anything. what a challenge to read the words of Paul when he says, "i consider everything a loss, compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord...". that's the kind of mindset i want to have, but further, the kind of life i want to live! i agree with your thoughts on Piper in saying reading his stuff can be compared to being "hit with a 2X4...". i've been reading, "desiring God" since September and am only to page 160 or so...takes a while to digest. keep posting bro...good stuff! glad y'all are back in town.

be encouraged!