Wasting Your Life?

So I’ve been having thoughts that I’m positive are unpopular.

I read a book a few years ago by everybody’s favorite Calvinist (or not), John Piper. The book is provocatively titled Don’t Waste Your Life.

Piper’s premise in Don’t Waste Your Life is simple – all of us were created in the image of God and bought by Jesus’ blood to bring glory to God. You’re either a Christ-follower, or God is calling you to be one. Those who accept that calling will live lives that glorify God, and those who don’t will waste their lives chasing after things that don’t ultimately matter.

Words etched into a plaque that hung above his mother’s kitchen sink when he was young shaped his thinking from an early age:

Only one life,
‘Twill soon be past.
Only what’s done,
For Christ will last.

So here’s what I’ve been pondering: when Christ-followers inhabit the New Heaven and New Earth, what will we reminisce about?

Will our thoughts be dominated by past headlines? Will we reminisce about the deeds and policies of former politicians, kings, and princes? Will we debate which technological advancements played the greatest role is shaping past society?

Or could it be the only things we will judge worthy of remembrance were those things done in the name of Jesus Christ? Could it be that those are the only things that will, in an ultimate sense, have a lasting impact?

I like Apple products. I appreciate being able to reap the benefits of the technological revolution spawned by the inventions of a brilliant mind. I am a fan of creativity, and believe it to be a characteristic of God infused in a humanity created in His image.

But will any great inventor’s inventions, in themselves, amount to a hill of beans in eternity?

Will we reminisce about them in the New Heaven and New Earth?

Or did the architect behind Apple Computers, despite his great impact on everyday life, waste his own?

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10 thoughts on “Wasting Your Life?

  1. Awesome insight and questions! Just how do we guage our lives? For the Christian of course it simply must be Christ! But this rings differently in this fallen world, Jobs was a Buddhist, and he called his LSD experience one of his life’s greatest! But the Christian simply/profoundly lives in and before Christ, alone.

  2. Jen says:

    wes, what would you deem as things “done in the name of Jesus Christ” ? (outside of the obvious– preaching, evangelism, etc). if creativity is a characteristic of God infused into humanity as you say, and i would 100% agree with you, then… what is the difference? what does it matter that Jobs was a buddhist? his creative talents were a gift from our creator, regardless of how *he* “proclaimed” them. right?
    there are a lot of things that i can think of that are evidence of the Lord dwelling within us, regardless of religious affiliation, or even by someone who outright denies Christ. i can also think of many things “done in the name of Jesus Christ” that are assuredly not so.

    just my 2 cents.

    j

    • Jen says:

      also worth mentioning– all the bible apps/sermon podcasts/video/unlimited resources used by nearly all of us on a daily basis. that we have easy, immediate access to.. right on our iphones/ipods/mac books.

      • irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert says:

        I think the point here is not much our so-called talents, but our existential life and faith ‘In Christ’. The question then would be what is it to be a Christian, and be ‘In Christ’?

      • WesWoodell says:

        “What does it matter that Jobs was a buddhist?”

        Do you really think it doesn’t matter, Jen, or are you just being argumentative?

        And glad to have you here, Robert. Thank you for the comments 🙂

  3. Gerald says:

    I remember Bible studies from my undergrad years that talked about the backdrop of eternity. Some things when placed against that backdrop disappear; others stand out, become more visible when perhaps they were hidden. Material things (including technology) burn up, but the good works we were created to do before the world began will live on.

  4. Cary says:

    Outside of the questions of faith and eternity, Jobs life was one of incredible significance not because he birthed great gadgets and tools but because he truly had a vision to change the culture of the world and how it worked. To him, his life and work was deeply spiritual and driven by a philosophy far beyond technology and business. On this level, he was successful. I think Christians who seek to “dent the universe” (in the words of Jobs) can learn a few things from him, despite his lack of Christian faith.

    • greg blevins says:

      The whole point presently is that God is redeeming Man and if someone does not believe in Jesus by faith for salvation, they are condemned for eternity. The churches seldom if ever teach doctrine so that Christians can grow Spiritually and be transformed by the renewing of their minds, and not be deceived by every wind of doctrine that is pressed into the churches as though it were truth. Christians need to Stop thinking with their feelings and live by the Word of God which comes from his mouth as the Holy Spirit explains in the Word of God. We are to worship in Spirit and Truth. Believers are in Christ and live under Grace not law. We all have emotions but are never to be driven by them, we are to walk in the Spirit.

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