Dont Waste Your Life by John Piper (May 16 2003)

by John Piper

Paperback, 1994



Call number



Crossway (1994), Edition: 46334th


Millions of people are wasting their lives pursuing dreams of happiness that don't rise above a good marriage, nice kids, a successful career, a nice car, fun vacations, nice friends, a fun retirement, a painless death, and (hopefully) no hell. John Piper calls this a tragedy in the making. He argues that we were created for joy. We were designed to have one life-encompassing passion. In this book he describes his own journey in discovering this great, single passion. And He pleads that at all costs we pursue our joy in the crucified Christ, who is the glory of God. The cost is great. But the joy is worth any cost. Don't buy seductive, tragic promises of worldly joy. Don't waste your life.

User reviews

LibraryThing member sloDavid
Piper's challenge hits home yet again. We only have a few years to live our faith. God has called us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. God has called us to live a risk-filled adventure for His glory, not to live for the end goal of a retirement collecting seashells.

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stuff. Inspiring. Encouraging. A necessary pep-talk from a coach that's going to give it to you straight and not mince words. It's half-time and the game is on the line.
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LibraryThing member moorereason
Don't Waste Your Life was the first Piper book I ever read. Piper is wonderfully hard to read because every sentence is so blood-earnest and full of power that you have be fully engaged to keep up with him. Fortunately, Piper brakes all his chapters up into short sections to you can stop and ponder
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what you've read, and it makes for easy stopping points since I usually don't get through a whole chapter in one sitting (kids are great!!). Like many things in life, the most challenging books to read are often the most profitable. I've tagged it as a "life changer," and I highly recommend it.
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LibraryThing member Samer
Simple, but some good stuff, particularly for new Christians... Then again, I wouldn't want any new Christians to get into Piper and become seven-point Calvinists.
LibraryThing member jdrullard
Absolutely one of the best books ever! It is so simple, but it hits so hard! This book literally got the fire going for me. I recommend anything by Piper!
LibraryThing member lmathews
Piper is an extremely redundant author. I read "When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy" prior to reading this book and it contained about 40-50% of the material in here. The book contains a very good message in the sense of demolishing the American Dream, but to understand Piper, one just
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needs to read one of his books. I am not a big fan of him but others are absolutely crazy about him. I would say don't waste your money on this book
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LibraryThing member temsmail
This popular level devotional shows why the Christian should have hope and activity in their live of piety. To do or feel less is "wasting your life."
LibraryThing member nesum
Piper argues very convincingly for putting Christ first in your life. This is one of Piper's best works, and very much worth the read.
LibraryThing member Neeva_Candida
Wow! This was an eye-opening book for me. Why are we here? What are we to be doing? These are hard questions for anyone to answer. However, Christian's don't necessarily have much better answers than their unsaved peers. This book will help point you in the right direction. Plenty of scripture
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supports the various points presented.
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LibraryThing member Steve777
This book is very helpful to help one to discern what is good and what is best in how to spend ones life for God.
LibraryThing member perrigoue
Read this instead of Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life".
LibraryThing member chriskrycho
I wish I could hand a copy of this book to every professing Christian under the age of 20. (And quite a few under the age of 100.)
LibraryThing member l_millsaps
The world tells us that our ultimate goal should be the pursuit of our own happiness: a life of free of strife, struggle and pain. But does seeking this really result in fulfillment – or in the end, does it just leave us empty and longing for more? In his book, "Don't Waste Your Life", John Piper
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answers this question by explaining that a life spent focused on ourselves leaves us self-absorbed, self-centered, selfish and self-destructive. Instead, we should be focused on a passionate pursuit of God – on loving Him more, knowing Him better, and using everything we have been given to further His kingdom. Living for Him is the true road to joy, happiness and satisfaction – a life poured out, but never wasted.
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LibraryThing member dannywahlquist
What a great book on focusing on the war versus merely existing. Some of my favorite quotes:
"He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him."
"Because I was created by God & for His glory...My desire is to make knowing & enjoying God the passionate pursuit of my life." Louie Giglio
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exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples, through Jesus Christ."
"the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
No one ever said that they learned their deepest lessons of life, or had their sweetest encounters with God, on the sunny days. People go deep with God when the drought comes. That is the way God designed it.
There is more of God's glory to be seen and savored through suffering than through self-serving escape.
But when all is said and done, the promise and design of God for people who do not waste their lives is clear. "All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). And when persecution pauses, the groanings of this age remain. "We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Romans 8:23). We will groan one way or the other. As Paul said, "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Corinthians 6:10).
Paul had learned what love is. Love is not Christ's making much of us or making life easy. Love is doing what he must do, at great cost to himself (and often to us), to enable us to enjoy making much of him forever.
On the far side of every risk-even if it results in death-the love of God triumphs. This is the faith that frees us to risk for the cause of God. It is not heroism, or lust for adventure, or courageous self-reliance, or efforts to earn God's favor. It is childlike faith in the triumph of God's love-that on the other side of all our risks, for the sake of righteousness, God will still be holding us. We will be eternally satisfied in him. Nothing will have been wasted.
Affliction raised his sword to cut off the head of Paul's faith. But instead the hand of faith snatched the arm of affliction and forced it to cut off part of Paul's worldliness. Affliction is made the servant of godliness and humility and love. Satan meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.
Sometimes I use the phrase "wartime lifestyle" or "wartime mind-set." … It tells me that there is a war going on in the world between Christ and Satan, truth and falsehood, belief and unbelief. It tells me that there are weapons to be funded and used, but that these weapons are not swords or guns or bombs but the Gospel and prayer and self-sacrificing love (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). And it tells me that the stakes of this conflict are higher than any other war in history; they are eternal and infinite: heaven or hell, eternal joy or eternal torment (Matthew 25:46).
I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth "home."
when the trifling fog of life clears and I see what I am really on earth to do, I groan over the petty pursuits that waste so many lives-and so much of mine.
Oh, that young and old would turn off the television, take a long walk, and dream about feats of courage for a cause ten thousand times more important than American democracy-as precious as that is. If we would dream and if we would pray, would not God answer?
if your work creates a web of redemptive relationships and becomes an adornment for the Gospel of the glory of Christ, your satisfaction will last forever and God will be exalted in your joy.
Missions exists because worship 'doesn't. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. Worship, therefore, is the fuel and the goal of missions.
We are hypocrites to pretend enthusiasm for overseas ministry while neglecting the miseries at home.
Missions and mercy are inextricable because the very Gospel we take to the nations models and mandates mercy to the poor at home.
Help us to see that if we try to guard our wealth, instead of using it to show it's not our god, then we will waste our lives, however we succeed.
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LibraryThing member david__clifford
Seven years ago a paradigm shift took place in my life after reading this book. This book is one of the reasons that brought me to my current job.

LibraryThing member sparkleandchico
I'm not a huge Piper fan which in some circles is tantamount to blasphemy. I don't agree with his Christian hedonism principle--it seems to me to be self-focused rather than God focused.

However, this book is a helpful reminder that our lives should be used for the glory of God. We are always on
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duty in His service and cannot afford to waste our time.

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LibraryThing member kaitanya64
This is the first book of Piper's that I have read. In it, he works through what makes life worthwhile and rewarding. From the Christian perspective, there can only be one answer. "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever" (Westminster Shorter Catechism). Piper simply expounds
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this concept with example and explanation, considering the various ways in which one's life can be "wasted" if the focus is on pleasure or worldly success. I enjoyed the book, but I felt rather than developing new arguments, Piper tends to repeat similar ideas in different forms, esp. in the later parts of the book. An inspirational read, but not great logical apologetics. Still, theologically sound.
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LibraryThing member justagirlwithabook
This book is part of my collection that really focuses in on Biblical Commentary more than anything else (including some well known authors in the theological world). All of these books haven't been read cover to cover, but I've spent a lot of time with them and they've been helpful in guiding me
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through difficult passages (or if I desire to dig deeper).
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LibraryThing member davegregg
It's a great book. It does what it does well, but it doesn't deal with the possible (or even, likely) reaction that people might have to it. That is, to draw their sense of approval and validation from how successful they feel they are at "not wasting" their life. If they aren't what they consider
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to be successful at this, then they will feel less approved or loved by God (even if they know intellectually that isn't true). So if they aren't "successful," then they will be depressed. If they are "successful," then they will feel that all is well, but only because their identity and significance is attached to their performance. It can easily be a hidden lair of religion: a subtle snare of works-based righteousness. This is how "Don't Waste Your Life" almost ruined mine. I'm only now coming out of this myself.So, just remind yourself that your identity, significance, approval, validation, and justification come from Christ alone. You are loved and valued unconditionally. You don't have to justify your existence. You just have to live loved.
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LibraryThing member bell7
Since he was young, John Piper has been motivated by this idea of not wasting his life and time on earth - what has he been called here to do? In ten chapters, he explores the main purposes of a Christian: to glorify God by finding our joy in him, and to love others by making them glad in God.

I was
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really hoping I had a review from when I first read this book about eleven years ago, because it's hard to try to sum in for a review. Piper covers a lot of ground, and the first few chapters of this book were intellectually demanding and tough for my small group to take in. But in the end, he does get practical, using a lot of Scriptural support to talk about how we spend our time, money, what our witness should be like at work, and participating in missions. There's a lot here to challenge and convict, and we were glad we stuck with it.
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Original publication date

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