Throw Off the Shackles of Conventional Coolness

Throw Off the Shackles of Conventional Coolness

 Life is Christ. (Philippians 1:21)

One of the great hoaxes of our time is that we’ve learned to worship posers. American heroes are mainly entertainers. Our heroes don’t have to do anything particularly great, they just need to look and sound great. Lewis was right in more ways than one: “we are far too easily pleased.”

My beef is not with skillful entertainers as such. Working hard to become skillful with the gifts God gave us is a good thing, if used for redemptive purposes.

My beef is with us. We’ve made them cultural gods. They dominate our t-shirts, bedroom walls, Facebook pages, and living room plasma screens. We listen to them in our ear buds and Twitter feeds. And we bestow on them our pop culture’s highest title of honor: “cool.” And all because they can skillfully compose 3-minute songs, stage-prance, pretend to be someone else, or throw a ball.

And this is the greatness we are teaching our youth to aspire to. We need a different vision.

In Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper writes,

…we [should] not use the word cool to describe true greatness. It is a small word. That’s the point. It’s cheap. And it’s what millions of young people live for. Who confronts them with urgency and tears? Who pleads with them not to waste their lives? Who takes them by the collar, so to speak, and loves them enough to show them a life so radical and so real and so costly and Christ-saturated that they feel the emptiness and triviality of their CD collection and their pointless conversations about passing celebrities? Who will waken what lies latent in their souls, untapped — a longing not to waste their lives? (129)

This book is such a loving grab by the collar. I keep going back to chapter seven to read paragraphs like the one above because I need to hear it. My 16-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter need to hear it. I want us to live lives that prove Jesus is more precious than life.

So we’re making cases of this book available very cheap not because we’re book peddlers but because we want thousands to join us in throwing off the shackles of conventional coolness. Take youth (as well as Boomers) through this book to help give them a vision of an unwasted life — a life captured by true greatness.

Life here is too short to waste on trivial coolness.

Jon Bloom (@Bloom_Jon) is the author of Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith and serves as the President of Desiring God, which he and John Piper launched together in 1994. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Pam, their five children, and one naughty dog.