I recently asked volunteers from our high-school apologetics fellowship to write a chapter summary for Chapter 7: “Living to Prove He Is More Precious than Life” from the book Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper.
Our students were asked to read a book chapter and write about the fact, truth, idea, or principle they learned from the chapter which had the most impact on their understanding and why it affected them.
One of our students submitted the essay below:
Don’t Waste Your Life-John Piper Chapter 7
The truth about Jesus that we talk and sing about should change our lives. Our lives should have a noticeable difference as a result of the gospel. Piper opens the chapter by saying it this way, “To make others glad in God with everlasting gladness”. In other words, if we truly value Jesus Christ, then our decisions will reflect that value. Our lives and our possessions will not be our treasure (because Christ is), and others will see that we put our hope in something greater, namely Christ. The idea is that our lives should be an indicator of how great our God is. We should be pointing people to God. This means our lives will look different than the lives of our unbelieving friends.
How can we do this? What sort of mindset will it take to help us accurately view our money and possessions? Piper offers us the useful terminology of “Wartime Lifestyle.” He reminds us that we need to constantly revisit: “I need to hear this message again and again because I slip into a peacetime mind-set as certainly as rain falls down and flames go up. I am wired to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth “home.” Before you know it, I am calling luxuries “needs” and using my money just the way unbelievers do. I begin to forget the war. I don’t think much about people perishing. Missions and unreached peoples drop out of my mind. I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace. I sink into a secular mind-set that looks first to what man can do, not what God can do. It is a terrible sickness. And I thank God for those that have forced me again and again towards a wartime mind-set” (pg. 112)
This is a helpful mindset to remind us to be on mission with Jesus. It is all too easy to settle into routine and forget that Christ enlists us into His Kingdom work. “A wartime lifestyle implies that there is a great and worthy cause for which to spend and be spent” (pg. 114). Then Piper gives many illustrations to help us grasp the nature of the cause. He even points out that sinners give themselves devotedly to causes, so we should be all the more eager to give ourselves unreservedly to the greatest cause ever, the cause of Christ!
The other issue that Piper raises is how the youth view their clothes, which actually stems from a much larger issue of desperately wanting a noticeable self-identity… or wanting to be cool. “What a tragedy to see so many young people obsessed with what they wear and how they look” (pg. 126).Our desire is that you think through not only TV, internet, and clothing, but EVERYTHING you do. We want you to really evaluate whether or not your life points people to Christ.