How Not to Waste Your Life

How Not to Waste Your Life

How not to waste your life, written by Mari-Anna Stålnacke
Photo by Soul devOcean on Unsplash

Nobody wants to waste his or her life, don’t you think? We all know life is precious because it is so short and fragile. So we are to embrace it and make every moment count, right? If you ask different people how not to waste your life, you get varied answers depending on their values. How would you answer?

I would probably have said something along the lines of Jesus “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it” (Matthew 16:24-26). Losing in gaining, you know. That is how you live for Christ after all.

This quote by John Piper got me to think this even a bit deeper: “Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us—a crucified God—must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.”

This is as countercultural as you can get. Actually, believing in God and following Christ are ways of wasting your life according to the world. Just like Paul stated in his first letter to the Corinthians: “For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18, AMP)

How not to waste your life

Piper points out that if we do not grasp the glory of the cross and cherish it and cleave to it both in pain and pleasure, we waste our precious lives. I agree with him. How about you? For there is nothing in this world that matters more than Jesus and being saved by grace through faith in him.

I understand this might sound foolish and too strict. But that is only if you have not found the brilliance of God’s ways. They’re not just theories or traditions, they’re so much more. So do not waste your life by not seeking and finding out the life-giving mystery in them.

We have a living God who loves us deeper than we can imagine. He wanted to be united with us so bad he sent Jesus to die for our sins. And now he desires intimacy with us so bad he sends his Spirit to invite us and empower us to be holy like he is holy. So we would not waste our lives but would surrender to God and his plans for us so he could use us for his glory, to the benefit of our neighbors, and for our blessing.

Because a life lived with God really is a blessing everlasting. Not painless but full of meaning, purpose, and hope. And then we can be certain we are not wasting our lives. Instead, we are making them count for eternity. Talk about lasting impressions, right?

Gracious God,
We don’t want to waste our lives,
so we surrender to you.
Show us how we can be holy like you are holy,
help us to grow in your grace, love, and joy.
Use us for your glory, to the benefit of our neighbors, and for our blessing.
In Jesus’ name,


You are so loved, my friend. God wants to interact with you so he invites you into a deeper relationship with him. Do not let anything hinder you from this. There’s nothing more amazing than being in God’s presence and sharing both pains and pleasures with him. Whether we need comfort or guidance, God’s got us. Nothing compares to the treasures we find in Jesus. So keep digging. Keep praying and trusting. God’s wisdom, power, and joy are yours in Jesus. And that, my friend, is amazing.

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