Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper is a heartfelt call to live out the Christian life with passion. John Piper does not advocate a “good” life, or an “ok” life, but a life devoted to enjoying God and making others happy in Him.
Don't Wate Your Life is full of the biblical themes that should define our lives: the Creation Mandate, the Great Commandment, and the Great Commission. Piper shows the way that all are essential to the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. He achieves a refreshing and essential integration of them in his call for devotion to Jesus Christ.
An entire chapter is devoted to “secular” work and its worth in the Kingdom of God. This chapter provides fresh perspective on what it means to be creative human beings who aim to exalt and enjoy God through daily work. I am going to dip back into this in order to apply it better to my approach to work at home.
John Piper draws all things into the centre of loving and enjoying God. He calls for us to love the cross, the gospel, and the beauty of God Himself. Piper shows the way love for God leads to love for others. This is expressed beautifully in part of a long prayer that makes up the final chapter:
“There is a quiet kind of joy, O Lord, that Jesus did both save us from our sin and show us how to love. His life, as you have said, was both a purchase and a path. He died for us, and now calls us to die with him. He took our poverty upon himself that we, in him, might have the riches of his heaven, and he calls us now to use our riches for the poor.”
This path of love that Jesus showed us leads us directly into the midst of the Great Commission. If we love people, we will want them and to be happy in Christ. If we love God, we will want every life and culture and nation in this world to glorify Him. Piper devotes much space to a call to take risks for the sake of the gospel, and to explaining the worth of frontier mission.
So often we can spend our lives on the “ok” things. The things we may be free to do, but which God has never said should be priorities in our lives. Piper critiques many of these things, including our culture’s entertainment obsession. In recent months, I’ve been reconsidering many of the things I do. Even “good” things can keep us from opportunities to obey Christ and show that we treasure the same things he does.