How many times have we heard that, as Christians, we are to be “in the world, but not of the world.” It is pretty obvious that it means that we are to live counter-culturally, living our lives decidedly outside the societal norms and storing “treasure in heaven.” The question is: what does that look like on a practical level? What does the Bible teach about the life that we are to live in light of Christ’s death and under the power of the Holy Spirit?
As the title suggests, in his book Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper answers this question simply and profoundly: we live at the good pleasure and glory of God. Everything we do, no matter what we do, should be done in order to magnify the name of our Savior and to proclaim his good news to all people. Therefore a sign of the “wasted life” is that which is centered around our pleasures, desires, and not grounded in what God wills for our lives.
Why, might you ask, should my life be centered around what God wants? We live for God because Christ first lived, and died for us. We live for God because we were helpless to save ourselves and he not only rescued us from ourselves, but lived the perfect moral life in our place. Why, then, would we want to live in such a manner as to live the life that Christ saved us from?
With autobiographical examples and challenging stories, Piper paints a vivid picture of a life lived in light of the gospel, in the aftermath of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. He shares his passion for God’s glory and seeing his good news shared with everyone all over the globe.
John Piper does in this book what others have failed to do: present the Christian life as a response to the completed work of Christ on our behalf, lived for God’s good pleasure and glory. We are not to live the Christian life to “make the world a better place,” but to share God’s message of salvation and hope for the resurrection and the new heaven and new earth, when everything will be set right by the only one who has the ability to do it: God himself.
Don’t waste your life; instead let your life sing and shout the glory of God and the good news of his salvation!