YOLO: Yes or No?
It means 'You Only Live Once', but is it an idea Christians should get behind?
YOLO is pretty much everywhere these days. It’s on your Facebook feeds, on images of cupcakes in Instagram, it’s hash-tagged all the time and it’s even been tattooed on some girl’s mid-drift (it’s true!).
It has become a phrase championed by youth, describing them doing random things, enjoying life, living it up.
But what really is the philosophy behind these four letters? What is meant when people say YOLO (You Only Live Once)? Is it: an excuse to be able to do whatever you want? to live in the moment without any consequences? or, even, an excuse to not think about the consequences on others?
YOLO, and after that ...
There is some truth to the idea of YOLO. Hebrews 9:27a says, “…people are destined to die once”. Hence, we only live once on this earth.
But, unlike the philosophy behind YOLO (of there being no consequences), the full verse in Hebrews says, “…people are destined to die once and after that face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27b).
This shows us that there are consequences to life. That we are judged and held responsible for our actions and for our response to God's love in Jesus. We cannot think that we are the masters of our own lives and that it doesn’t matter what we do. The truth flies straight in the face of YOLO.
Do you believe YOLO?
So next time when you say or tag something with #YOLO, take a second to think about why you’re saying or typing that. Are you thinking: I only live once - and what I do, and the consequences that result, don't matter? Because we’ve seen that it does matter! God does care about what we do - and he wants us to live our one life for him.
He has given us a life filled with good things to enjoy but it isn't to be delighted in without thinking about the bigger, eternal perspective.
So the next time you take a photo of your cupcake or yourself hanging with your friends, maybe you could tag it with #sothankfultogod or #livingforjesus. Because we do only live once on this earth, so let’s live life for the glory of God.