Thursday, April 19, 2012

#YOLO (Or Do You?)

Recently, I have seen a lot of tweets, both among friends and famous people, with the hashtag "#YOLO," which stands for "You Only Live Once." In fact, here's a few examples from a random Twitter search for "#YOLO" (note: I do not recommend following any of these people on Twitter. I don't know them. They were selected from a search because they had funny or interesting #YOLO tweets):

Week old shrimp pad thai leftovers in the fridge....

Getting one wisdom tooth removed right now..

Leave your test blank and turn it in

But this tweet really captures what a lot of people seem to use YOLO for:

I guess when you say that means you can do whatever

McGlovin24 crystallized YOLO about as well as anyone could. It seems to have become the motto for for doing whatever you want, since you've only got one life to live. Don't waste it, right?

And I totally get that. I'm all about living life to the fullest extent possible. Who wants to get to be 70, 80 or 90 years old and realize that they did NOTHING worth note in their life? My question is: for what reason are you living your life?

When I went to the Passion conference in 2011, Francis Chan spoke on a verse that has become one my "life verses":

"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ"
     -Philippians 1:27a, ESV

This is my YOLO verse. It speaks to how we live our lives. Are we living lives that match up with being a Christian, as many claim to be? You see, if you are a Christian, you're called to a different live. You are called to life a life that radically reflects the amazing truth of the Gospel. Look at the Bible: Peter, Paul, James, and John are all examples of New Testament Christians that lived a life on the edge, giving their all to glorify Christ. Out of those four, three of them were killed for their radical, all-in life, which they gave to following Jesus (and they other one died in exile on an island, which isn't much better). You think they played it safe? Do you think they missed out on a full life for following Christ? No! They understood a truth, which Paul alludes to in 2 Corinthians 4:

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." -2 Corinthians 4:16-18, ESV

The fact is, we don't live only once. Yes, we all have an earthly death approaching, but that isn't the end of the line. Our current bodies are falling apart, but for the Christian, your inner spirit (given life by the Holy Spirit when you are saved and become a child of God) is growing. There will come a time when this earth will be completely remade, and those who are God's people will live again on this Earth. If you have Christ, you have been born again. You are on your second life, not the first.

And if you don't know Christ? Well, according to Ephesians 2, you are "dead in your sins." Your spiritual life, the second life, has not begun. If you remain in this life, and never turn to God to be born into the second life, a life of glorifying Him and following Him into eternity, then you will be judged by God and found guilty for the sins you committed in this life, even the ones you justified in the name of "YOLO."

The fact is: Christ died and rose again, allowing dead sinners to come to life in Him and live twice. So, live your life to the fullest, absolutely, but are your eyes on this life, living until this body dies, or are you focused on the second life, the things unseen, and a future with Him? What is your reasoning behind going for broke on life? I hope and pray that it is the name of Christ that you live for.

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