Book Review: Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper

“Don’t Waste Your Life” is a brilliant challenge to hone in your purpose for living. While the word “waste” seems negative, Piper is anything but negative. He wisely declares that life is short and human pursuits will result in a waste of life, while pursuing God’s purposes will result in the satisfaction of a passion-filled life that in the end – standing before the Lord Jesus – will result in blessing and honor from Him.

Piper describes how the Lord’s supreme purpose for our lives is to display His supreme excellence in every sphere of life. God calls us to pray and think and plan and work to make Him a part of every part of our lives. Then, even if there is great tribulation, there will be great anticipation for an eternity of blessing and reward in the presence of the Lord.

None who pursue comfort, ease, entertainment, rest, things or pleasure will find true satisfaction, because none of that will remain in eternity. They will be a forgotten memory and a waste of a life. Piper challenges the reader to make life count and to live and die boasting in the cross of the Lord Jesus.

Piper uses excellent illustrations motivating the reader to set aside the unimportant and pick up the importance of the cross in order to influence the world around us and those who will follow the Lord Jesus. Most of us pursue the ladder to success and fail to nurture those around us in the gospel and sanctification. Too many of us make much of the 8 to 5 job and don’t realize work is not meant to only provide, but be a demonstration of the creative excellence that God formed in the world and continues to develop. We have too often become comfortable and passed off the mission work to others so that we neither are willing to go or support those who do go. Piper addresses each of these and more with the passion that will find true enjoyment in the presence of the Lord now and in eternity.

Piper calls us to not waste life on the temporal, but to press forward for eternal kingdom work. Nothing else matters does it? He quotes the verse over and over, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)  I recommend his urgency of using life wisely.


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