“Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper

From spending my time at Grace On Campus, I have been continually reminded of and convinced to not waste any precious time that God has bestowed unto me. The time that God has graced me with is a stewardship and, like every other stewardship I have been blessed with, is one not to be taken lightly.

Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life has been a blessing in reminding me of that stewardship that I have been granted. The overarching theme and message of not to live anything less than a wasted life is described in so many unique ways and thus made clear to the reader what encompasses and constitutes such. The encouragement that Piper offers is to live nothing less than a life that is fully committed to living in the light, recognition, and declaration of Christ in His full glory and majesty. He then offers several applications to the believer while consistently tying his message back to Holy Scripture and relating it to the grace that has been granted to us through Jesus’ saving work on the cross.

When we make much of Christ and feast on Him and His goodness in the midst of trial and suffering, putting our ultimate faith and trust in the promises that Scripture offers, we place God in the highest priority of our lives. The resulting full satisfaction in our Savior (not His gifts or His promises, but He Himself), revealed and proclaimed brings Him the utmost glory. In fact, living life for the proclamation of His glory and majesty in our world is the highest calling for any life. Not that He needs us to increase His glory (for He and His glory is self-sufficient and self-dependent on His self-existence as God Almighty), but radically pursuing the life that professes the holiness of God is pursuing the life that will not be wasted. Only by chasing after the highest and most satisfying call for our lives can our lives not be wasted. And that one calling is to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9 NASB).

The most relatable and practical portion of the book for me involves a section of the book where Piper delves into the necessity and significance of Christ-followers in the secular workplace. Secular here simply means not involved with the church, and says nothing about its importance (or lack thereof). Even in our work, which may seem irrelevant to the gospel, we can bring further glory and magnification to our Savior. By living out the true implications of Phil. 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (NASB), we glory in the full sufficiency of Christ and value Him more than anything else in this world. That in turn we can reflect to the rest of the world to show where our true heart and motivation lies, and point others to the gospel through our works.

There is no place for believers who do not live every moment to magnify Christ in his own life and consequentially in the lives of those around them. Every other life,  lived any other way, forsakes the highest call of proclaiming the glories of the sovereign Savior. Every other life is wasted.