Here are some questions for those who lead and teach high school and/or college age students. Are you looking for a book or resource that will be deeply challenging to both the students and yourself? Are you looking for a topic to discuss that covers the really big issues of living with purpose and making much of the time we have been given here by the Lord? Are you looking for material on these topics that are coming from a strong reformed and biblical point of view? Then I humbly recommend John Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life.
A word of warning right from the start, this will not be a quick or easy read. Piper, while aiming this book at mature high school and college age students, still writes in at an intense level that encourages the reader to dig for the richness of the thoughts being presented. This is not at all to say that’s bad. Rather, it is excellent and encourages everyone reading to stretch and grow by working through the pages and discussing these strong truths.
Piper gives plenty of stories from his personal journey to find the God-honoring purpose in life. If you have read other books by John Piper you will notice familiar phrases throughout the book, (“God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him”, “The Cross of Christ, the blazing center of the glory of God”, “Gladly making others glad in God”, etc.). However, these are presented in the context of communicating them to the rising generation of disciples. The book is quite solid overall, yet the chapters, “Living to Prove He Is More Precious Than Life” and “Making Much of Christ from 8 to 5″ are truly outstanding.
Piper closes the book with a seven-page prayer that I appreciate very much. Regarding sin, Piper prays, “Not only did it rob our souls of that one joy that you designed to satisfy us for eternity [worth], but worse, it robbed you of your honored place as Treasure of our lives.” On the purpose of writing and speaking truth, “But I have tried to probe your written Word and say what you have said. That is my only claim to truth-that I have echoed what you wrote.” And of the church he prayerfully writes, “Let love flow from your saints, and may it, Lord, be this: that even if it costs our lives, the people will be glad in God…Take your honored place, O Christ, as the all-satisfying Treasure of the world.”
While I do not agree with how much emphasis he places on some things, this is an exceptional book that the Lord can use to cause growth to happen in the lives of all who read and discuss it. Buy the book.