“He is a fool who keeps what he can give, and loses what he cannot earn.”
It might surprise some Millennials to hear that one of our generational battle cries is fairly old school.
The popular acronym YOLO (you only live once) has captured the hearts of many an emerging hedonist (and not the Christian kind). It wrests the minds of thousands with the tyranny of the urgent, motivating a kind of desperate restlessness to squeeze the last drop of pleasure out of these quickly fading days. YOLO is imprisoning a generation with a familiar lie, exposed by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:32: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
But YOLO is a mask worn by an ancient despot. Who doesn’t remember his previous disguises? He has had other aliases. You may remember him as carpe diem, or more recently, “the bucket list.” He has gone incarnate in figures like Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray or Robin William’s portrayal of professor John Keating in Dead Poets Society. He ensnares would-be servants of the true King by holding out fleeting satisfaction and vaporous rewards.
How should Christians respond to these lures? As adopted heirs to the throne over all creation, we can laugh in the face of such puny promises. How silly it must seem to be offered the thimble-sized cup of three score and ten years for worldly delights compared with oceans of full-joy pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).