Not too many years ago he and I were watching our sons at football practice. We started talking about work and football, specifically how the Jr. High Team, the High School Team, and Bama were going to do that year. As we continued to talk, my new friend invited me over for the season opener. He said they always had a group over and during half time the kids could swim while we sat on the deck having “adult beverages.”
“I love coffee,” I replied with an air of sarcasm, he knew I was a minister.
He chuckled, and answered, “That’s not what I meant. Why don’t you drink?”
Why don’t I drink?
I don’t remember exactly what I said. I probably said, “If children can’t drink it, neither should I.” Thinking back, I know what I could have and maybe should have said.
I could have told him about a man who was so intoxicated that he was threatening his wife. She left and hid at her daughter’s home. He found her. He threatened to break in and hurt anyone who tried to stop him. I could tell you about his granddaughter crying, frightened, while hiding in a dark closet as her mom tried to calm her grandfather down.
I could have told him about one who would as a college student go out with friends to somewhere like the lake or river to fish and drink all night. I could tell him about the time this young man came close to losing his life on the road home. After a few close calls, he turned his life around.
I could talk about a high school senior on graduation night, going out with friends to the beach with others and “celebrating” the end of high school. I could tell his story of not remembering the next few days until he woke up in a puddle of vomit three days later still feeling sick to his stomach.
I could have told about an event 30 years ago and that friend who talked with me about church, God, and Christ but jokingly said he was not ready to quit drinking “screwdrivers.” Days later the highway patrol found his VW van after it rolled over a few times. He was pronounced dead on the scene. They found and empty carton of orange juice and an empty vodka bottle among the debris.
Yes, there are reasons from scripture I do not get drunk;
Romans 13:13 – “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.”
In Galatians 5:21 the works of the flesh include, “envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.”
1 Peter 4:3, “For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.”
I know, you don’t drink to get drunk. You drink to take the edge off, to calm your nerves, and to help you relax. “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:5-6). Helping you relax, calming your nerves, and taking the edge of is the God’s job through Christ and the Spirit. “Casting all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7). Using alcohol to do God’s job is replacing God with an idol.
But what are the reasons I don’t drink?
- It is not necessary
- I have seen too many people I know (all of the stories above) hurt or killed by alcohol.
- Oh, and Sweet Tea or Coca Cola tastes a whole lot better.
image via: Why You Should Quite Drinking Alcohol.