YOLO! Right?



We’ve all heard it and most of us are either fed up with it already or think it’s the funniest thing since Nyancat. YOLO. You only live once. Coined by the rapper Drake and used primarily by teenagers to justify a crazy or brash decision, the term reveals an all-out mindset. Go big or go home. Live young and free. Let loose a little! After all, you only live once, right?

When we realize the briefness of our own lives, we cannot afford to waste our time chasing the things of this world. We can adopt this YOLO mindset and do whatever makes us feel good. Or we can use what we have been given to love God by serving those around us. Therefore, when faced with our brief lives, we can either choose to be selfish or selfless.

As imitators of Christ, we’re called to serve others. Jesus says in Mark 10:44-45, “And whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Our Lord makes it very clear that the decisions we make now echo for all eternity. Our short life span on earth determines where we and our neighbors spend eternity. That’s why it’s not only important but crucial to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” as Paul revealed in Ephesians 4.

Wherever God plants us, He calls us to bloom, not to wither away only living once. If we’re young, that’s not a call to be wild and free, that’s a call to be a witness at school. Likewise, if we’re older, that’s not a call to spend money extravagantly or become obsessed with our careers but to use our workplace as a mission field. And that’s why I’m so excited for the opportunity that World Vision has given me to be on their study tour to Zambia this year. It is true that we only live once, and I intend to use my one life to serve others as Christ did.

What now?

It’s clear that we must shake off this YOLO mindset of living for ourselves but how do we start? Here’s a few things we can start with:

  • Think about your situation now. Are you living for God, for men, or yourself?
  • Reflect on our short time here on earth. How would you like to be remembered?
  • Find out what God’s purpose for your life is right now through prayer and Scripture.
  • Be bold and go do what you feel God is calling you to do, go where He’s calling you to go, and be who He is calling you to be.


Michael Chen, a student from Richmond, Virginia, is one of the students going to Zambia on the 2012 Study Tour! Michael loves playing tennis, watching the Washington Redskins play on Sundays, and reading the Bible. He also loves tigers, and peachy cool autumn days are his favorite. Everybody on the Famine team is so excited for him to be a part of the Study Tour this year!