For those of you who have Facebook accounts or have much knowledge of the internet, you may have seen a phrase that has floated around that a lot of young people are using. That phrase is “YOLO.” Many of you read that and may have though, “What does ‘YOLO’ mean?” and quickly rush to the Webster’s Dictionary to look it up only to see that it is not in there. “YOLO” is the acronym for “You Only Live Once.” It is often used whenever someone does something not very bright, such as run a stop sign or speed down the highway. They also often say it when they do something very unwise such as drink and drive, have premarital sex, or experiment with drugs. They use the excuse of “YOLO” as a reason to do whatever they want. But is this an accurate way of thinking?
We find in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die,…” so you can say that yes, it is true that you only live once (“YOLO”). But does that give us an excuse to do whatever we want? The verse I just mentioned continues to say, “…but after this the judgment.” Oftentimes, when someone uses the excuse of “YOLO”, they aren’t thinking of the consequences of their actions. They aren’t thinking of the earthly consequences such as death, unwanted pregnancies, diseases, etc., and are most certainly not thinking about the eternal consequences of their actions. A lot of the time they think, “Oh I’ll do such-and-such now, and ask forgiveness later.” This is not the attitude a Christian should have (1 Cor. 6:12; Gal. 6:3).
Oftentimes when someone has the attitude of “YOLO”, they are only thinking of themselves; they are “in the moment” if you will. They are thinking of the excitement of breaking the rules and running the risk of getting caught. For many the thrill of danger lures them in and captivates them. I mean, how many of us have seen that red button with the sign above it saying, “Don’t push this button!” and have not been tempted to push it? Many get caught up in the excitement and adrenaline rush and throw “caution to the wind.” But is this the attitude that Christ would have us wear? Certainly not!
When someone has the attitude of “YOLO,” they are usually only thinking of themselves. They are usually not thinking of how their actions will affect others around them or people in the future. Again, this is a destructive attitude for one to have (Matt. 19:30). When someone does something with such reckless abandon, they typically are just thinking of making a name of themselves or advancing their personal status. As Christ said in Matthew 19:30, “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”
Like I said earlier, so many of our young people today use “YOLO” as an excuse to do whatever they want. But is it really worth it? Is it really worth it to sin and risk other souls because after all, “You Only Live Once.”
Erin is the wife of Jordan Blair and lives near Tyler, Texas. Erin teaches Bible class, helps with Ladies Days, has helped to coordinate teen activities and young women's activities.