So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Relate: For a couple weeks back in July I had the joy of being able to briefly go back and visit New York. I returned to Turkey over a month ago but just this week found my way back to my home in Istanbul. A common question from both my New York friends and those here in my city is: “Which is better, New York City or Istanbul?” In both cases my answer is the same. That is a bad question. There are different things I love about both cities and there are also some other things that, eh… not so much.
One of the things that I have been more than glad to leave behind me is hearing the frequent use of the phrase YOLO. Never in the history of mankind did four letters so eloquently sum up all that is wrong with a generation. Speaking of history, I am willing to bet that if humanity is still around five hundred years from now, “YOLO” will be one of those things that stumps anthropologists and historians. Think about it. “YOLO” means “you only live once” and the implication is that you should make the most out of the short time that you’ve got. In reality, every time I used to hear someone say, “YOLO” what they were really announcing was, “Hey everybody! Come watch me make a very stupid and idiotic life choice that I will most likely regret until the end of my days which, if this doesn’t go right, might be almost instantly!”
YOLO… lets go sleep with that random stranger.
YOLO… lets get so wasted we will have no idea tomorrow what or who we did tonight.
YOLO… lets toke it, snort it, inject it. However we can get that poison in us.
YOLO… lets do that recklessly stupid thing because everyone is watching.
YOLO… lets waste our lives living for ourselves.
React: Did anyone take a mental step back on that last one? When I was a youth pastor I once asked my kids to write down five things that were their greatest memories or things that they were very proud of. When they were done I had collected over seventy memories. Almost all of them, (all except two, I think) were memories of things that happened in community. Well more than half of those memories were of moments when they were doing something for someone else. They were things like: sticking up for that bullied kid, helping build a habitat for humanity home, and one boy eve rescued his drowning sister. I know for me the same ratio those students demonstrated applies. Well more than 90% of my best moments happened in community and far more than half are times I was serving someone else. If I had you write out a similar list of your own best memories and moments, would you see a similar trend?
Today’s verse says, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” How do we do that? Well, look at the context of Paul’s writing it. A few verses earlier he wrote, “No one should seek their own good but the good of others.” Just two sentences after today’s verse, he personalizes the exact same statement. “For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many.” I have heard since I was a kid that you spell JOY “Jesus first, Others second, then Yourself”. Since I was a kid there was a part of me that has rebelled against the concept of putting others first. That is because since I was a kid there has been a part of me that is incredibly stupid. God isn’t a killjoy. He wants you to have the best life possible and He also knows that this happens through servanthood. Let me redefine joy: “Whey you glorify Jesus by serving Others, You reap the benefit.” Life is short, so let’s go make those types of memories we will cherish till the end of our days.
YOLO… lets go serve.
Please help me to bury that stupid selfishness that keeps getting in the way of a good life. Help me to escape that me first mentality that keeps my life so boring. Help me to always remember that the best investment I can make with my one short life is to spend it on others. Whether eating or drinking or whatever else I am doing with my life, help me to glorify You by serving the ones You love.