By Josh Weisbrod on 6/21/12
Lately we have seen a rise in the use of the phrase #YOLO. I would have assumed that this twitter and lifestyle trend would have burned itself out by now, but it seems to have found a rebirth of a sort. For those of you that don’t know, YOLO stands for You Only Live Once, and we can thank the combination of a Canadian recording artist’s lyrics and social media for it’s spread through-out popular culture. Though I think the phrase could be a clever way to seize the day, it has always seemed to be the cry of people in my generation as they make life changing mistakes. For the most part YOLO is the visual and verbal picture of how a generation lives. The goal is to spend 5 days a week on the couch achieving nothing, and then spend two days a week making horrendous decisions under the guise of “you only live once so you better fill that life with a collage of poor decisions”.
Now I know I certainly must not be the only person who finds this trend to be unfortunate, and I doubt that this is the first blog ever written on YOLO, but I would simply like to add a thought to the general debate. To live your life to the fullest, you must pursue wisdom first. This does not mean that I advocate the removal of spontaneity or acting a little crazy. In fact, my wife would probably tell you that I border on a little too spontaneous. But what I wish is that my generation would be known for seizing wisdom, and through that we could be known as a people who lived fantastic lives.
Proverbs 3:13-18 says,
Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
The reason for wisdom is simply that the life we live is not merely a physical one. Sure, we live an earthly life in this body; but for those who have a relationship with God, there is an eternal life to be lived as well. So the short physical life we live, in comparison to eternity, should be lived in relationship with Jesus and in regards to wisdom. Like Proverbs says, nothing is more precious than wisdom. If we gain wisdom then it allows us to live this life to the fullest. If we chose other things first over Godly wisdom, then we are choosing something less valuable and not really living life to the fullest anyways. When you live a “YOLO” lifestyle, you have already fallen short before you have a chance to live like “you only live once”. If YOLO is simply a justification for living life foolishly then I would counter and say that a life with true wisdom means working hard, showing love to others, growing a relationship with God, having a tremendous purpose, experiencing the beauty of life, having fun, and leaving behind a legacy that would be honoring to God.
The goal of this blog is not that we would become anti-YOLO vigilantes, but that instead we would inspire a generation by living out a life of wisdom that only comes from a relationship with the one true God.