Ten Reasons I Don't Drink AnymoreSeries: 10 Good Reasons...
Ten Reasons I Don’t Drink Anymore
I grew up around alcohol. My parents “drank responsibly”, probably because they were continually dealing one on one with the train wrecks of my alcoholic relatives: bar fights, philandering, divorces, even suicide. I started drinking with my friends at the age of 16. From the beginning of the 5 years I spent drinking, I would drink until I passed out. I even rolled a Volkswagen Beetle in 1975 driving home drunk after a party. Then I met my wife in the summer of 1979, a girl who would have none of it, and I figured I could either completely destroy myself physically and spiritually, or I could do a 180 degree turn. I quit cold turkey, and never took another sip, and that decision has made a world of difference in the life of our family. Even if I could dabble, I don’t. Here’s why:
# 1: I want to be Wise
The Bible repeatedly reminds me that I need to have my wits about me on a moment by moment basis. Obviously, I will tempted (1 Peter 5:8; 1 Corinthians 10:13) and tested (James 1:12). Some will even try to deceive me (Romans 16:18). Moment by moment I need to vigilantly test everything I hear (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22), and to do that, I must remain sober-minded and clear-headed (1 Corinthians 15:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 1 Peter 1:13). It is common knowledge that “Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination” (https://niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body). And of course, the Bible always agrees with unbiased science: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, it is not for kings to desire strong drink, lest they drink and forget what is decreed, and pervert the rights of all the afflicted” (Proverbs 31:4-5). Alcohol immediately goes after our good judgment. No one who lives in a world where Satan is roaming about can afford to have their senses dulled when eternity is literally at stake.
#2: Alcohol will Stunt My Spiritual Growth
The Bible urges us to bring our worries and troubles to God to there alone find our peace and refreshment in a relationship with Him (Philippians 4:6). I am only preventing my own personal, spiritual, mental and emotional growth if I instead depend upon alcohol to relive the stresses of the moment. It is sad that even some professed Christians will say, “I really need a glass of wine right now”, rather than, “I really need some time alone with God in prayer”, “I really need some time to soak in the light and comfort of His word”, or “I really need to have a good long talk with a brother or sister in Christ to clear my head”.
3#: Alcohol Creates What is Not Authentic
The relaxation that alcohol brings is not authentic and it does not last. Couples that depend upon alcohol to put them a romantic mood are opting for romance that is not entirely genuine. People who drink so they can find the courage to say or do something are not being truly courageous. When I choose to give my worries to God, I leave stronger. When I decide to speak the truth in an uncomfortable situation, I actually walk away a better man (2 Timothy 4:2). Alcohol may bring the feeling of instant courage, romantic feelings or stress relief, but such is only temporary. Alcohol only gives a false, chemically induced sense of peace, courage or happiness.
#4: I Don’t Know Where the Line of Drunkenness Is
- The Bible repeatedly condemns drunkenness. “Do not get drunk with wine”: (Ephesians 5:18). God says that drunkenness will prevent us from an eternity with Him (Galatians 5:20-21; Romans 13:13; 1 Peter 4:3). Too many people see the term “drunkenness” and assume that the Bible is only condemning someone who has consumed so much alcohol that they cannot even function or have passed out. The problem with this interpretation is that the term drunkenness includes much more than that.
In Ephesians 5:18 “do not get drunk”, in the Greek, the tense means “do not grow drunk”. Drunkenness is obviously a progressive state that has a much wider range than just being passed out. The problem with drinking while attempting to stop just short of drunkenness is that alcohol keeps working toward a state of drunkenness even after that last drink. Trying to drink “with judgment” is almost impossible, because the first thing that is impaired is one’s discernment. Why drink something so dangerous that I can become addicted for life starting with this first drink? Why drink something so dangerous that anything beyond one drink can get me into trouble both physically, but also spiritually for all eternity?
I know that blood alcohol limits among various States vary, yet it is foolish to think that these limits are also God’s definition of drunkenness. In fact there are many alcohol related accidents that happen when a person’s blood alcohol content is far below .08 percent. The information I see published is that if one is planning on drinking at all, do not drive, and that even driving with a buzz is considered drunk driving
#5: Who Has Woe? Proverbs 23:29
If alcohol really adds to the quality of life, then why the following:
- One in every three families is disrupted by alcohol.
- Alcoholics outnumber other drug addicts 10 to 1.
- One in ten social drinkers will become an alcoholic.
- Alcohol is the number one drug problem in this country.
- Alcohol is the number three cause of all deaths, and the number one cause of death by drugs. It outnumbers other drug deaths 33 to 1.
- Alcohol causes at least 50% of all traffic deaths.
- Every day 28 people in the United States die in alcohol related vehicle accidents. That is one person every 58 minutes.
- Men who have two drinks or more a day have a 70% higher death rate.
- Alcohol is responsible for 70% of drownings and chokings.
- Thirty percent of all suicides are alcohol related.
- 85% of all murderers are drunk when they kill.
- Over 50% of spousal abuse, falls, and fire deaths are alcohol related.
- 50% of rapes are committed under the influence of alcohol.
- 70% of robberies are related to alcohol.
- A Michigan study showed alcohol was involved in 55% of child abuse cases, 20% of all divorces, and 40% of all court cases.
- The cost of alcohol abuse to taxpayers is 11 times that of revenues collected from alcohol sales.
(Statistics from To Drink or Not to Drink, A Sober Look at the Question, Norman L. Geisler).
#6: I Will Be Judged by Every Word
It is challenging enough controlling my tongue when I am clear-headed (James 3:6-9). If God takes note of every careless word that we utter (Matthew 12:36), then consuming something that I know is going to remove some restraints of my better judgment would be an incredibly unwise move on my part. Long ago, Solomon noted “Your mind will utter perverse things” (Proverbs 23:33).
#7: The Foolishness of the Recreational Use
Satan doesn’t care if we are drunk in private or while socializing. But I really don’t like the term “social drinking” because it masks what is really going on: the recreational use of a drug. Timothy was told to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake and his frequent infirmities (1 Timothy 5:23). We may also take cough medicine containing alcohol for a chest cold, or some other medication that causes drowsiness. Note that he is never told to take a little wine to relax, although he, as a First Century Christian living during a time of persecution, was often under a tremendous amount of pressure. It is so easy to go to chemicals when we are discouraged, stressed, depressed, or just plain bored. But whenever we take any medication that can cause drowsiness, and start using it for recreational purposes, we are only asking for trouble.
#8: I Want To Take Heed Lest I Fall: 1 Corinthians 10:12/Proverbs 20:1
In my lifetime I have seen overconfidence ruin a number of people. One of the last professed Christians who attempted to justify his alcohol use by appealing to Jesus making wine in John 2, Paul’s instruction to Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:24, is no longer a faithful Christian and is now, in fact, an alcoholic. I have seen a number of professed Christian couples who started drinking and are now no longer married. How many examples of this are we suppose to shrug off? If someone seeks to argue that drinking some wine now and then has made them a more spiritual person, remember that anytime we lower our standards we can, at least for a little awhile, think we are doing better than we really are. The lukewarm Laodiceans thought they were doing great as well (Revelation 3:17). We need to wise up to this tactic of the enemy of our soul.
#9: I Want To Use My Money In More Fulfilling Ways
Alcohol is not cheap. With so many needs around us, spending money on something that brings no benefit, but instead, expensive consequences is anything but an example of good stewardship.
#10: I Want To Be A Good Influence: Romans 14:21
“It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles”. You never know who will be addicted from their very first drink. Do you really want to be party to that kind of example? God wants us as a spiritual family, to instead, sharpen one another by being filled instead with the Spirit.
Mark Dunagan | firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaverton Church of Christ | 503-644-9017