So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Relate: For all of June and a good portion of July I was on a mandatory vacation back in New York as I got my visa updated. I spent a bit of time in Istanbul and have now been back in Antep for a few weeks now. There is no question that this is my home and it is good to be back. One question I do tend to get both here and when I was back with my New York friends is some form of: “Which do you like better, New York City or Turkey?” In both cases, my answer is the same. That is a bad question. There are different things I love about both places 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 back in the States is the nauseating and 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 stump 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… let’s go sleep with that random stranger.
YOLO… let’s get so wasted we will have no idea tomorrow what or who we did tonight.
YOLO… let’s toke it, snort it, inject it. However we can, let’s get that poison in us.
YOLO… let’s do that recklessly stupid thing because everyone is watching.
YOLO… let’s 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 the context of community. Far 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 even rescued his drowning sister. I know for me the same ratio applies that I found in those students answers. 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… let’s 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.