Main Point: We can’t surrender to fear at every turn. We have to know how to face fear in life, and push past it by trusting in God for help and security.
The Discussion Starter: YOLO (By Lonely Island featuring Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar)
YOLO, the abbreviation for “you only live once” has been a popular expression for some time now, but the guys from Saturday Night Live recently put their heads together to reinvent the meaning of the phrase. They produced a song entitled YOLO in which they parody the term’s original meaning. The clip aired on SNL in 2013, and has been viewed millions of times on YouTube since then. Not only is it hilarious, but it’s clean – which is somewhat surprising considering some of the other “tunes” these guys have produced. Take a look at the advice they give to young people.
The video can be found at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5Otla5157c
- [Adam Levine:] YOLO
[Andy:] YOLO, you only live once.
The battle cry of a generation.
This life is a precious gift.
So don’t get too crazy,
It’s not worth the risk.
You know that we are still young.
So don’t be dumb.
Don’t trust anyone,
Cause you only live once.
[Kiv:] Ugh, you only live once,
That’s the motto.
So take a chill pill,
Ease off the throttle.
[Jorm:] Never go to loud clubs
Cause it’s bad for your ears.
Your friends will all be sorry
When they can’t hear.
[Andy:] And stay the hell away from drugs
Cause they’re not legal.
Then bury all your money in the backyard
Like a beagle.
[Kiv:] Cause you should never trust a bank
They’ve been known to fail.
And never travel by car, a bus,
Boat or by rail.
[Jorm:] And don’t travel by plane.
And don’t travel at all.
Built a bomb shelter basement
With titanium walls.
[Andy:] And wear titanium suits
In case pianos fall on ya.
And never go in saunas
Cause they’re crawlin’ with piranhas.
[Kiv:] And never take the stairs
Cause they’re often unsafe.
You only live once,
Don’t let it go to waste.
You know that we are still young,
So hold off on the fun.
Cook your meat ’til it’s done,
Cause you only live once.
And here’s another piece of advice:
Stay away from kids
Cause their hair is filled with mad lice.
[Andy:] There’s no such thing
As too much Purell.
This a cautionary tale,
Word to George Orwell.
[Kiv:] So don’t 1980 force
Any plugs into sockets.
Always wear a chastity belt
And triple lock it.
[Jorm:] Then hire a taster
Make him check your food for poison.
And if you think your mailman is a spy
Then destroy him.
[Andy:] No blankets or pajamas
They can choke you in your sleep.
Two words about furniture:
[Kiv:] Board your windows up
The sun is bad for your health.
And always wear a straight jacket
So your safe from yourself.
Take no chances (no chances)
Stop freelancin’ (right now)
Invest in your future,
Don’t dilute your finances (uh huh)
401K, make sure it’s low risk
Then get some real estate (how much?)
4.2% thirty year mortgage,
That’s important, that’s a great deal
And if you can’t afford it,
Don’t forge it on your last bill
Renting is for suckers right now
A dependable savings,
And you’ll retire with money in your account.
YOLO, say no no.
And just roll solo
You oughta look out
Also stands for YOLO.
You know that we are still young.
Burn the prints off your thumbs.
Then pull out all your teeth,
So you can’t bite your tongue.
Only on this earth for a short time, time
So don’t go outside, cause you don’t want to die, die.
Just take our advice and hide
And scream YOLO to the sky.
[Andy:] You oughta look out.
So, we’ve all said YOLO at some time or another, but these guys put a different twist on it, didn’t they? Instead of YOLO meaning “give it all you got” “go big or go home” they’ve made into something like cowering to fear. These guys’ funny take on the famous expression would have us living in fear, isolating ourselves from every possible thing in the universe because we might get hurt. The truth is, you and I cannot surrender to fear at every turn, no matter what this song said. We have to know how to face fear in life, and push past it by trusting in God for help and security. Let’s take a look at the Bible to see how that can happen.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and whether or not we’ve ever shouted YOLO.
- ASK A FEW: Which piece of advice in the song was your favorite? Why?
- ASK A FEW: The phrase YOLO was invented as a way of saying “seize life” “capture the moment” and “live life to the fullest” because you only live once. How did this group twist the meaning of the phrase YOLO?
- ASK A FEW: The opening line of the song was “YOLO, the battle cry of a generation.” Do you agree with them? Is that the battle cry of our generation?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think the phrase YOLO got so popular in the first place?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think that most of your friends live safely or dangerously? How do you know?
- ASK A FEW: What would your life be like if you lived it YOLO like the song says to? Is that a good idea or not? (Leaders – No, it wouldn’t be good. Get rid of your teeth? Burn off your thumb prints? We have to know how to face our fears and live fully in spite of them.)
- ASK A FEW: How do you normally handle fearful situations?
Read the following passage:
Psalm 27:1-14 (NIV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. 4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. 7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. 8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. 9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. 10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. 11 Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. 13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
The video clip we watched was a funny one…unless you actually live by it. Then, it’s a nightmare. The motto of that clip was “duck” “watch out!” “stay in your bubble” “never take chances” “avoid risk at all times” and “in general, live like a coward.” Nobody wants that lifestyle.
But too often, we actually chase that kind of life by cowering to our fears. Yeah, there are lots of things in life that can hurt us, break us, damage us, and even kill us, but that’s always been the case. And in spite of those things, there are people who still manage to live a courageous life.
One of those guys was King David. Across his life, he faced down bears, lions, giants, armies, and even his own mutinous people at times. The guy was like a real-life action figure! When we look back at David, we mostly see “hero,” and there’s a reason for it. He put his trust in God, totally.
In the passage we just read, David tells us why he was able to defeat Goliath, take out a bear and a lion with just his hands, defeat army after army that rose against him, and even deal with betrayal in his own household: he put his trust in God.
When you realize that God holds the future, and that He loves you even when things are going wrong or when we make mistakes, it’s very liberating. Then we can have the confidence that David had. He was able to say “bring it on!”
I want to go over a list of things from our everyday lives; some of them were even mentioned in the song a moment ago. As I say them, just raise your hand for a second if that’s a concern of yours.
- (You may want to add or delete from this list, but here’s a start.)
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.