iServe Africa alumna Esther Chebet reviews one of the set books in the iServe Africa apprenticeship year, John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life.
Many people think that a wasted life is a life of poverty or a life that does not indulge in the pleasures this world has to offer. We should start by asking ourselves why God created us to live in this world for a specific period of time. John Piper gives a very passionate plea for us not to waste our lives. Most of us have lived lives that have been wasted either by focusing too much on ourselves or being engrossed in the pleasures that the world offers. Believers are also victims of this by – perhaps thinking that by avoiding sin, providing for the family and working hard they are living the Christian life. As believers we must rise above this shallow mentality of avoidance ethic and be ready to make our lives count for the Kingdom of God.
Piper clearly states out the fact that treasuring life above Christ is a tragedy. We must be ready to carry our cross like Paul the Apostle did. He was ready to face humiliation, imprisonment and even death for the Gospel. Human beings have the inner tendency to avoid pain; however, life is wasted when we run away from pain. We should realize that we are faced with the danger of pain and death every day. Therefore, we should be ready to lose our lives so that we may save it at the end. Christians should be ready to die to comfort, security, reputation, health, family, friends, wealth and homeland. We should remember that God uses trials to intensify our hope for the glory of God.
We waste our lives by not pointing people to an all-satisfying God. We are satisfied and joyful in God when we make others glad in God. We love them by pointing them to Christ. We should realize that God gave up His Son so that we may be freed from the bondage of self and glorify God for who He is. Our ultimate happiness is found in Christ; when we behold Him and are satisfied in Him and make others to experience this joy. Piper also writes to the working believers especially in secular vocations. He speaks of making much of Christ from 8-5.They should make Christ look great in all they do. They should also partner in mission work with their substance so that more and more people may worship God.
It is therefore not enough for us to be nominal Christians but we must also be involved in God’s bigger purpose; to make all nations to worship Him at the end of time. Piper concludes by saying that missions exists because worship doesn’t. Missions are therefore very central in the life of the world and for the church. Our main aim then should be making others glad in God by fulfilling the great commission in which we have all been called.
I would recommend this book to believers of all ages in the world so that we may all be aware of what God is calling us to do in order to avoid wasting our lives. I believe that if every believer would live by this passion, many souls would be saved. I do pray that in the end we will not have wasted our lives but we will be glad that we made every effort to point others to Christ.