You probably heard someone shouting “YOLO” while jumping off a cliff. Maybe, you have seen the #YOLO attached to photos on social media. Some photos are just ordinary, while others show-off once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
So what is YOLO? Well, it’s an acronym for “You Only Live Once.” According to Wikipedia, YOLO “implies that one should enjoy life, even if that entails taking risks, as if there would not be another chance for it.”
Now, as a Christian, should we live life according to the YOLO culture? Is there a danger to this belief that you only live once, so you do what you got to do even if it is risky, dangerous, and stupid? Should we really get into the YOLO hype?
The good and bad of YOLO
When you look at the principle behind YOLO, it seems not too bad. At the surface, it sounds like a great motto to live by just like the Nike’s “Just Do It” line. After all, we only live once, so why not do the things that we love?
If you have take look into what people are saying about YOLO and the things they post on social media in line with this motto, you will find myriad of things. Some are harmless as taking a two-week vacation by the beach or undertaking an adventure. In this case, there is really nothing wrong with doing what you love and enjoy the things this life has to offer. We can also learn a lot of things when we do something new.
We read in Ecclesiastes 11:9;
Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,
And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;
Walk in the ways of your heart,
And in the sight of your eyes;
But know that for all these
GOD WILL BRING YOU INTO JUDGMENT.
Here’s what the wisest king has to say about the YOLO principle. He was telling the young people to enjoy their youth and do their pleasure. However, he provided a word of caution. He said that in all that you do, you should remember that there will come a time when God will bring EVERYTHING into judgment. There will come a time when you have to give account to everything that you did during this life.
The downside of YOLO is that it has become a motto of young, reckless, and irresponsible people. These people believe that since you only live once – you only have one life – you must do the things that you enjoy the most even if that means not caring about the future anymore and the consequences of your actions. They disregard the physical and spiritual law in the name of the YOLO lifestyle.
Is it true that you only live once?
The truth is, you don’t live only once.
You live every day of your life. You can’t simply think that you only live in the now and disregard how your actions today affect your future self. I’m not saying that you should not enjoy life, but you should enjoy life according to God’s will and purpose. Jesus said:
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it MORE abundantly” (John 10:10).
So many people experiment their way to happiness not knowing that the blueprint towards a life of real pleasure and blessedness is already laid out one the pages of your Bible. So many people want to be happy, but they run to the EXACT opposite direction. That’s why we so see much pain, suffering, and confusion in this world.
Now here’s something that you should consider: there is more to life than meets the eye. The YOLO principle teaches us that we must enjoy life because this is the only thing that we have. When we die, it’s over. It tells us that life is nothing but a cosmic accident in the vast and infinite universe. There’s no purpose in all this.
But that’s not what the Bible say. We read:
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and WE SHALL BE CHANGED. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality (I Corinthians 15:52-53).
There you go! The Bible reveals that there is LIFE AFTER DEATH! It shows that what we do today will AFFECT our reward in the future. Jesus said, “those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:29).
We need to live this life as if we are training to be part of God’s kingdom in the future! We don’t live life foolishly and do whatever we want because YOLO. We need to fix our vision to the Kingdom of God.
If not YOLO, then what?
If you live this life according to the YOLO principle, you will just end up feeling empty, stupid, and even depressed. So many people who have done wild things in the name of the YOLO god later regretted their actions. Some even didn’t have a chance to repent of what they did because YOLO ultimately took their physical life.
King Solomon continued his admonition and gave us the right attitude and mindset that we should have. He said in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS,
For this is man’s all.
At the end of our lives, the only thing that really matters is whether we live by God’s commandment or not. God gave us His spiritual laws not because He does not want us to have fun and pleasure. Instead, he gave them so that we can have a more fulfilling, blessed, and happy life. God so loved us that He wants to make sure that we know the way to life and how to get there.
So instead of screaming YOLO, why not tell yourself, “I live for God?” Only then you will discover the best way to live this life!