Bjorn Burrows, Groups Pastor, South Barrington | August 15, 2023

I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
1 Corinthians 15:31-34

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
Luke 15:13

Y.O.L.O. or You Only Live Once, was once a very popular acronym in pop culture.  The whole idea of the saying “YOLO” is that someone should live life to the fullest.  Do whatever you want to do because you only have today to live for.  Another way to look at it is thatY.O.L.O. means you don’t want to leave this earth without experiencing everything you possibly can. Therefore, many people would push the envelope and do even the wildest thing while screaming Y.O.L.O.! Unfortunately, this type of lifestyle can be a recipe for disaster because what you do today can shape your tomorrow. 

In Luke 15, we find the story of the prodigal son. The prodigal son demanded his inheritance from his father and squandered it on wild living.  It would appear that he had no preparation or regard for the future. It seemed that Y.O.L.O. was his mantra.  Unfortunately, the prodigal spent everything he had, and when there was a future need, he found it difficult to survive, as Luke 15:14 implies. 

In many cases, just like the prodigal son, people who scream Y.O.L.O. are really screaming on the inside for help. They want to live in the moment because seeing or dreaming of the future is actually painful, and they don’t want to go there. Their tendency then is to attempt to fill an internal void and escape to anything that will bring pleasure. These things can include but are not limited to drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity, overeating, and even binge-watching television shows. They only bring superficial and temporary satisfaction that does not satisfy the deep longing of the soul.

In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren says, “Trusting God completely means having faith that He knows what is best for your life. You expect Him to keep His promises, help you with problems, and do the impossible when necessary.”  One of the promises Jesus gave us is found in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  The life that “You Only Live Once” can be full of Godly purpose and all that God intended for us to have on this earth if we fully trust Him with it. Don’t let the thief take that way.

Next Steps 

  • Spend some quiet time and identify any aspects of your life where you think you are trying to fill a void. Surrender those aspects to God in prayer.
  • If you are engaged in destructive or addictive behaviors, check our resource site here.
  • Read Ephesians 6:10-17 and practice the Rooted rhythm of Breaking Strongholds. (If you have not experienced Rooted, register to join the upcoming semester. To see more about Rooted, click here.)