When I was 12, I remember learning the song “Seize the day“ from the broadway Newsies. I suppose it was our teacher’s way of subtly indoctrinating us on carpe diem since we were about to enter high school the following year. It was her way of saying to go out into the world and live life to the fullest.
This brings me to YOLO. More than a decade later, rapper Drake popularizes the YOLO line in his single The motto. You only live once – sounds pretty harmless. Isn’t it the same thing as “carpe diem” and “seize the day”? Not the way it has been interpreted by the vast majority. Carpe diem is often associated with noble intentions while YOLO is often the closing punctuation for the description of some thoughtless, reckless, irresponsible or stupid behaviour. For example:
Just volunteered at the animal shelter and took one of the wards home - carpe diem!
Just slapped my neighbours pit bull in the face – YOLO!
Well, what does the Bible say about YOLO?
The Bible speaks about living with love, humility, selflessnesses and obedience to God. Further, the connotations of YOLO will never give us peace, but depending on what you’re YOLOing about, may give you a life of regrets.
… And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you,
so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid.
MC Jin released a response to Drake’s motto, YOGO = You obey God only. He raps:
You only live once?
Had to ignore the trend.
I died to the world
But now i’m born again
In other words, if you only live on Earth once, live with obedience to God.
Community Bible Church’s article YOLO
MC Jin’s full track YOGO MC Jin – YOGO (You obey God only)