Book Review: Don’t Waste Your Life

“Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper

I guess you could say that, for me, this is the book that started it all. That is to say, for all the reading I do now of books relating to faith and theology, this is a relatively late addition to my life. I’ve always been a big reader, but prior to 2003, I pretty much stayed in the realm of fiction, with the occasional history book thrown in.

In June of 2003, however, the man who was discipling me challenged me to dedicate two of my greatest loves — music and reading — to the Lord. He told me that I ought to read books that would cause me to focus on the Lord, and the first book he handed me was John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life, which had just come out the previous month.

The book changed my life. Of course, it was God who changed my life, but he used the words of John Piper to do it. It was a huge wake-up call for a guy who had always coasted through life, piddling away my time and talents and taking faith for granted. Piper’s strong language convicted me of my apathy and wastefulness, and helped me see that I was indeed wasting my life. I realized that I had never fully grasped the magnitude of the gospel, and that what I called “faith” had no roots. I needed to devote my life to the pursuit of God, which included a serious study of theology and a lifestyle of active obedience to the Word.

I recently “re-read” this book by listening to the audio book (which for the next 8 days you can still download for free at ChristianAudio.com). I was once again challenged and convicted, but also encouraged. By no means have I “arrived”, but as I listened, I remembered where I was when I first read those words. I can see the vast difference Christ has made in my life, and how He has walked with me every step of the way. I see that life can have meaning. It doesn’t have to be a waste! And my life is so much more fulfilling knowing that I am no longer a slave to my own selfish desires, but a slave to Christ and His perfect purpose for my life.

I could go on and on about this book, but I’d rather you just read it yourself (even if you’ve read it before). Buy it here.

For a preview of what you’ll find in the book, check out the passion John Piper has when preaching this same message!

Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae has written a song based on this book. Here’s the music video, with the excellent lyrics posted below:

Lyrics

Verse 1: (Lecrae)
I know a lot of people that scared they gone die
couple of em thinking they’ll be livin in the sky
while Im here livin man I gotta ask why, what am here fo I gotta figure out
waste my life no I gotta make it count
if Christ is real then what am I gone do about
everything in Luke 12:15 down to 21
you really gotta go and check it out
Paul said if Christ aint resurrect then we wasted our lives
well that implies that our life’s built around Jesus being alive
everyday I’m living tryna show the world why
Christ is more than everything you’ll ever try
better than pretty women and sinning and living to get a minute of any women and men that you admire
it aint no lie
We created for Him
outta the dust he made us for Him
Elects us and he saves us for Him
Jesus comes and he raises for Him
Magnify the Father why bother with something lesser
he made us so we could bless Him and to the world we confess him
resurrects him
so I know I got life
matter fact better than I know I got Christ
if you don’t’ see His ways in my days and nights
you can hit my brakes you can stop my lights
man I lost my rights
lost my life
forget the money cars and toss that ice
the cost is Christ
and they could never offer me anything on the planet that’ll cost that price.

Verse 2: (Dwayne Tryumph)
Armed and dangerous
So the devil jus can’t hang wid us
Christian youth them a stand wid us
Livin’ n driven/ given a vision/ fullfillin the commission he handed us
London to Los Angeles
Da rap evangelist
Ma daddy wouldn’t abandon us
“I gotta back pack fulla tracts plus I keep a Johnny Mac”
So are you ready to jam with us
So lets go, gimme the word an lets go
Persecution lets go
Tribulation lets go
Across the nation lets go
Procrastination lets go
Hung on the cross in the cold
Died for da young and the old
Can’t say you never know
Heaven knows
How many souls are going to hell or to heaven so we gotta go in and get em
Whaaaaat!

Verse 3: (Lecrae)
Suffer
Yeah do it for Christ if you trying to figure what to do with your life
if you make a lot of money hope you doing it right because the money is Gods you better steward it right
stay focused if you aint got no ride
your life aint wrapped up in what you drive
the clothes you wear the job you work
the color your skin naw you Christian first
people living life for a job/ make a lil money start living for a car
get em a house a wife kids and a dog
when they retire they living high on the hog
but guess what they didn’t ever really live at all
to live is Christ yeah and that’s Paul I recall
to die is gain so for Christ we give it all
he’s the treasure you’ll never find in the mall
See your money your singleness marriage talent yo time
they were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
that’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes
That’s why it’s Christ all the time/
see my whole world is built around him He’s the life in our lives
I refused to waste my life
he’s too true ta chase that ice
heres my gifts and time cause I’m constantly trying to be used to praise the Christ
If he’s truly raised to life
then this news should change your life
and by his grace you can put your faith in place that rules the days and nights.

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