We live in a time when EVERYTHING goes (except faith, morals, good character, Truth etc.) and we are constantly hearing how we are in control of our happiness and making the kind of life that we desire. We are free to do whatever makes us feel good and feel accepted by others. If you believe that, you are living in deception! And deception is alive and well, even in the Church. The Church has become a place to entertain people and maybe slip a loose bit of truth in there somewhere. The Church is more and more reflecting the ideals of the world, rather than being the powerful image of Jesus Christ that it should be. Twenty years ago there was hardly a believer that drank alcohol regularly. Today probably the majority of those who profess to be believers drink regularly – that is a slight progression of deception.
In Biblical times, a main issue for the Church was eating food that was presented to idols as a sacrifice. We don’t really have much of that going on in today’s culture, but if we were to take an honest look at what would be the comparable issue in today’s culture and the Church – it’s alcohol. Drinking. Go ahead and roll your eyes! Say I am being judgmental etc. – nope not in the least! I don’t need to judge. God is well able to handle that all on His own. I will tell you that He laid this issue before me a few years ago, even though I have never really been much of a drinker, there it was laid out on the table for me to choose what was more important to me – Him or something like drinking, which is actually a desire of the flesh. I chose Him of course! He is my motivation in everything. So, He is my motivation not to drink alcohol. His Word is my motivation to not drink alcohol. We don’t need alcohol in the times we live, we have tons of other choices of things to drink in place of alcoholic beverages. In the day and culture of the Bible, they didn’t have the choices we do and wine made from different fruits was common. Alcohol for us really comes down to preference. Most people who drink as believers also drank alcohol before coming to Christ or they grew up in a Christian home and when they had the opportunity to drink they did. Ephesians 5:18 – “Don’t be drunk with wine (alcohol), because it will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Other versions of scripture use words like ‘debauchery’ or ‘dissipation’ or ‘rebellion’…I obviously chose a translation that just says it plain and simple! I’m not sure who said this, but it is right on! All human behavior has motivation behind it… as followers of Jesus Christ, what is motivating us to drink alcohol? It isn’t Jesus. I will tell you. It’s our FLESH! In the scripture I posted above, the Apostle Paul wasn’t trying to prove that Christians shouldn’t drink, but more to point out that when a person says ‘Yes’ to Jesus their life of drinking, the ‘partying’ lifestyle no longer has a place in the NEW life of that person. Yep! I can hear you saying back to the screen, “The Bible doesn’t say that drinking is a sin.” You’re right. Have you ever considered that why you (personal for the ones talking back to the screen) chose to drink alcohol might actually be where the sin issue lies? I didn’t think so. Let’s look at some of the most common reasons people, Christians and non-Christians alike, choose to drink-
Stress, Worry, Anxiety are reasons people choose to drink, but as believers we are told in God’s Word what to do when we are worried, weighed down by stress or anxious. Philippians 4:6-7 we are told not to worry about anything, not to be anxious, but to PRAY about everything. To tell God what we need and to thank Him for all He has done. Why, to experience His peace. His peace guards our hearts and minds as we live for Him. Another scripture – 1 Peter 5:7 we are told to give ALL our worries to God. (Matthew 6:25-34) Drinking to deal with worry, stress, anxiety might just be sin!
Fitting In/ Friendship are other reasons people drink alcohol, even if they don’t typically drink they will drink to feel as though they fit in, to be accepted. (just so you know, this is peer pressure so if we are the ones causing the pressure to drink, we are definitely in the wrong!) If we as Christians are drinking so that we will be liked, to feel accepted or anything else along those lines…ouch. We are not suppose to fit in with the world. If drinking with non-believers is the only way you fit in with them guess what YOU are not suppose to fit in. Romans 12:2 tells us straight up, do not conform to this world. If you study on the usage of ‘conform’ it is saying, “Do not let the world squeeze you into its form.” or 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us that bad company corrupts good character. We are also told that friendship with the world makes us an enemy of God. That should motivate us to choose wisely! Galatians 2:20 tells us that our old self has been crucified with Christ, it is no longer us who live, but Christ lives in us. We can not live for the flesh and walk in the Spirit – we have to choose! Again, this may be where drinking is causing us to sin.
So, drinking may not be pointed out as sin in the Bible, but the reasons we are drinking just might be the sin issue. So, what is your motivation in drinking? That’s it. StraightUp!