Millions of people are wasting their lives pursuing dreams of happiness that don't rise above a good marriage, nice kids, a successful career, a nice car, fun vacations, nice friends, a fun retirement, a painless death, and (hopefully) no hell. John Piper calls this a tragedy in the making. He argues that we were created for joy. We were designed to have one life-encompassing passion.
In this book he describes his own journey in discovering this great, single passion. And He pleads that at all costs we pursue our joy in the crucified Christ, who is the glory of God. The cost is great. But the joy is worth any cost. Don’t buy seductive, tragic promises of worldly joy. Don’t waste your life.
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- This is your everlasting soul; this is your everlasting soul watching TV. Any questions?
A book that reminds me that any activity that moves me farther away from Christ is a waste to my life, and all activities must serve to move us closer to Christ, learn more about Christ, spread the Good News and therefore moves me closer to Christ is, well, NOT a waste to my life.
- Don't Waste Your Life by John...
Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper was an absolutely amazing book.
He begins the book with a little bit of a personal back story to the topic of the book. He goes into detail about one particular event from his childhood regarding the conversion of an older man and the tears that man shed as ye cried, "I've wasted it, I've wasted it!"
Though there is great joy in the salvation of any soul, and in many ways the soul that is in its last days on this earth, there is still that sorrow from a wasted life.
The reality of a wasted life leads to the question of, "What is a wasted life?" and "How can I keep from wasting my life?" These questions became important to John Piper, they are important to me, and they should be important to you.
I highly recommend this book as it shares Pastor Piper's unraveling of these questions in his own life and his compassionate explanations for the sake of the reader's life.
- Many of the themes present in...
Many of the themes present in Desiring God resurface in Don’t Waste Your Life. Piper sums up a non-wasted life early in the book:
“God created me—and you—to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion—namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life.”
But don’t think this is it. Piper is a man of one passion, but he is not limited to a small topical set. The book is well rounded and he doesn’t leave out the parts other authors would have left out because he is so well rounded. Perhaps the most rewarding chapter for me in my present situations was “Making Much of Christ from 8 to 5.” The pleasure and joy of working for Christ instead of just working for “the man” makes all the difference between a good day at work and a bad day. Living in a culture that values leisure time and disdains work, it was a helpful reminder to live in such a way as to glorify God and enjoy him in all the spheres of life.
Lloyd James’ narration is a joy to the ears. His voice is calm, steady, and thoughtful. He adds the right sort of inflection and never lost my interest.
In all, I highly recommend the book. If you’re not sure about it, download the PDF and scan a few chapters for yourself. Or download and listen to the preview on Crossway’s product page. If you’re familiar with Piper at all, this one is certainly worth space on your shelf. It’s already on mine (and not just the free review copy).
- This review first appeared on my...
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café.
John Piper is a prolific writer who people seem to either love or hate. In December, I had the opportunity to review his latest book (in audiobook format), which made me into a non-fan of Piper. I cross-post my reviews on other sites, including Amazon. It was quite interesting to see how passionately people defended Piper in response to my review. And how they review the usefulness of a review and people's comments based on their agreement with them.
Another of Piper's books became available in christianaudio's reviewers program (with a complimentary copy), so I decided to take the opportunity to give Piper another chance. Don't Waste Your Life is actually an older book of Piper's (from 2006), and it definitely gave me a more positive view of Piper.
I'm still not a Piper fan, but he presented a much more balanced view of life in this book. As the title suggests, he is encouraging people to not waste their lives. In short, we need to live for Christ and not for the materialism of the world in order to not waste our lives. He gives an excellent story from his childhood that his father would frequently tell people about an older man who died feeling like his life was wasted on "worldly" endeavors.
I agree with this viewpoint. We need meaning and purpose in life, and the only way to get true meaning is by loving others through Christ (or more accurately, letting Christ love others through us). I also appreciated that Piper acknowledged the various ways people can enhance the Kingdom--not always through explicit ministry. He did an excellent job of supporting an incarnational view of spreading the Gospel, as he noted the critical need of people to do "mundane, secular" jobs.
He illustrates these points with nice stories, anecdotes, and metaphors. At the same time, it would have probably been easy to make a more concise version of the book.
In his eagerness to emphasize the tragedy of a wasted life, Piper also invalidates other life tragedies. He explicitly states that people getting cancer and dying in accidents are not tragedies. I greatly and passionately disagree. These are all tragedies; just different types.
Further, there was still too much emphasis on sin and leading a holy (meaning morally pure) life. From my post Wednesday: "While we do need to combat sin and move toward moral purity, this is something that is impossible in this world. And it's not the primary goal of the Gospel or what God wants, in my opinion. He wants a relationship with us. And battling sin can get in the way of that. If we are always beating ourselves up in order to repent, we are ignoring God's redemption and therefore ignoring God."
Different Christian traditions emphasize the roles of repentance and redemption to varying degrees. Piper clearly comes from one that sees the role of continual repentance as central. I think we need to emphasize redemption more.
- It is refreshing to read from...
It is refreshing to read from the heart of arguably one of the most prolific writers and preachers in America today. What is more, I am convinced we are seeing the fruit of his passion for Christ in the writings and ministries of men like David Platt, Kevin DeYoung, and Mark Dever.
Having been written in 2003, coupled with my just now reading/listening to this book, I have the ability to see how this book in particular has helped to change a Christian sub-culture (poor choice of words?) and has led them to seek to serve Christ with their lives. Piper does not write Don’t Waste Your Life to the pastor, the missionary, or the believer in the pew. Rather, he writes to everyone who calls on the name of Christ as Lord and Savior. Much like David Platt’s Radical, Piper challenges all to be so enraptured with the glories of Christ, that your every waking (and possibly sleeping?) moment is captivated by Christ so that you cannot help but seek to worship and serve Him.
I recommend to anyone looking at what it means to be “sold out for Jesus” to read Don’t Waste Your Life. Even better, you can download the audiobook and listen to it in your car and listen to it on your drive. Who knows, this might be the perfect catalyst to get you to redeem even the time in your car. His chapter on making much of Christ from 8-5 is much needed for the Christian who is in the work place daily. The grind at the office can sap you of energy and drag your spiritual mindedness down to the pits of Sheol. Allow John Piper to show you how to not waste your life.
- I greatly respect John Piper’s ministry,...
I greatly respect John Piper’s ministry, and one of his key mottos which has impacted me has been ‘Don’t waste your life’. The idea that I could sit on my deathbed and regret my time here is a thought that plagues me, and I think Piper’s theology hits the nail squarely on the head. Through a variety of carefully picked chapters John Piper puts forward the idea that we will be most fulfilled, and most satisfied, when we are living every ounce of our lives to the glory of God.
The writing style is extremely logical, but includes many well-told stories so to my mind anyone would enjoy reading this book, and the audio presentation is also good. I have heard many tell me before that their lives have been radically changed through reading this book, and I have to say I join those ranks.
My only concern with this book would be that a reader/listener could take the message ‘too far’, so I’d thoroughly recommend this book with a ‘chill out’ warning. That said, Piper is well aware of this tendency so a careful read of this would be a good thing for absolutely anyone.
In short, I’d recommend this to every Christian regardless of spiritual maturity, and every seeker. In particular I think this would be invaluable to someone whose faith had started to become stale. If you’re not sure, check out the free version of this available online for download: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/online-books/dont-waste-your-life
I got this audiobook for free from christianaudio.com. I’m not required to give a positive review.
- John Piper is one of the...
John Piper is one of the few preachers today that can transcend generations. He is able to speak to multiple generations because he does one thing really well. He proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ. DWYL is a worthy way to spend your time. John Piper is really speaking out against wasting your life for things that don't matter.
Here is a quick quote:
"Oh, how many lives are wasted by people who believe that the Christian life means simply avoiding badness and providing for the family. So there is no adultery, no stealing, no killing, no embezzlement, no fraud - just lots of hard work during the day, and lots of TV and PG-13 videos in the evening (during quality family time), and lots of fun stuff on the weekend - woven around church (mostly). This is life for millions of people. Wasted life. We were created for more."
This book is along the same line as Radical by David Platt.
Be warned - you will be challenged, and you may not like what he says. However, what he says in the book is what needs to be explained today.
One of my favorite sections of the book is the section on rethinking retirement. It made me question and wonder, what does a Biblical retirement look like?
Piper is the leader of an emerging generation that says Jesus is enough and I want to spend my life making much of Him.
I am a reviewer for christianaudio.com
- John Piper encourages Christians to eschew...
John Piper encourages Christians to eschew seeking worldly joy and instead to live lives dedicated to Christ. Piper is writing at his most humble and transparent, and Lloyd James brings home his message like a trusted friend, the words soothing, encouraging, and inspiring. Fully capturing the tone of the piece, James reads it the way it should be heard, never rushing or forcing a point. Together Piper and James give listeners a sense of intimacy and propriety, treating the material as the precious information it is. S.M.M. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
- This is an excellent audiobook, and...
This is an excellent audiobook, and it is very challenging. John's passion for Christ and for your soul are evident throughout!