Christian Life · temptation

Why I Choose Not To Drink Alcohol

Recently while exercising and watching some You Tube videos, I saw a favorite Christian comedian’s routine.  She was describing her relationship with her mother and the phrases she used to say while raising her children.  She said,

“Mother thought everything led to beer.  ‘Don’t dance – that leads to beer! Don’t watch that movie – it leads to beer.'”

The crowd was laughing along as she teased her mom for the strict guidelines and principles she adhered to in mothering. As I listened to her, though, I sadly remembered that the comedian’s spouse died an early death, and most of the decline of his health was caused from alcohol.  The use of alcohol did lead to something more, just as her mom had warned.

My heart breaks for this dear lady.  I respect her for her tenacity and am saddened with her at the grief of losing her mate.  But as I continued listening to the routine, I realized that he had allowed a little bit of drinking, as is anyone’s liberty to do, to become a master in his life.  In other words, he eventually lived to drink.  He was a slave to it.  Did he start out that way?  Of course not.  He made the choice to have a beer or drink wine, but soon it replaced the need for dependence on Christ, and he became dependent on the alcohol. I choose not to drink because I want to stay committed to a dependence on Christ alone – not a substance.

Scripture gives us the liberty to make choices as believers.  In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul quotes a popular slogan in Corinth. The slogan was: “All things are lawful for me.” All things are lawful for me. And Paul says, “Yes, but, I will not be enslaved by anything. Yes, I can do—as a Christian—I’m free to do whatever God gives me the direction to do, but I’m not going to be enslaved by anything.” We may decide to “take wine for our stomach’s sake,” but have no desire to become an alcoholic.  But it does happen.  I choose not to drink because I don’t want to give myself the opportunity to become a slave to alcohol.

Don’t taste what you don’t want to hunger for.

`Ravi Zacharias

Sadly, I also have seen the terrible affects alcohol can have on others.  It happened several years ago when my daughter and son-in-law were hit head-on by a drunk driver going the wrong way on the Interstate. The pictures above show the results of the cars – what you don’t see is the horror of that night and the terror it left in their hearts for months afterwards.  I choose not to drink because I don’t want to destroy someone else’s life because of alcohol.

It’s said that what we do in moderation, our children will do in excess.  In other words, if I moderately drink, my children will do more than that.  That’s scary.   I choose not to drink because I don’t want to destroy my testimony as a believer and lead someone else away from God.

Yes, you have the right to choose to drink, but you can’t choose the consequences.  Those are too steep for me.   I choose not to drink because the consequences can be severe.

This is my opinion – my standard – my conviction.  I’m sharing it because it has been heartbreaking to see the devastation of alcohol very near me.  I realize there are many vices aside from alcohol, and I want the Lord to keep me moderate in those areas, too.  I write this because I care.  If you choose to use it, be careful…it might lead to more than you anticipated.

Denise Signature 150 px

 

temptation

Take the Next Exit!

Interstate travel is a very popular route for people who don’t want to travel the backroads and be slowed down by small towns and stop lights.  However, it can be tricky to watch the signs that enable you to take the correct exit so you will actually get to your destination, rather than “timbuktu”.

There have been times that I’ve been driving on the interstate, then realized, with a sinking heart and a backward point of my finger that the exit we just passed was the one I was supposed to have taken. After a long speech from Nigel, (the voice on my GPS) who repeats over and over that I need to “make a U-turn”, I finally find myself turned around and headed to the place I should have been much earlier.  It’s a frustrating situation, to say the least!

But you know, there is another experience of missing to take an exit that’s not only frustrating, it’s downright dangerous!  Proverbs 16:;17 says,

The highway of the upright is to depart from evil.
Here’s my paraphrase of that verse –
If you’re traveling life’s highway and you encounter evil, take the next exit!
Evil is usually in the form of temptation first.  This verse is a reminder that a godly person won’t keep cruising along with evil lurking – they get away from it!  They know that they must get off the interstate of temptation and make a fast exit! 
One way to do that is to simply get away from whatever is tempting you.  Be like Joseph who ran out of the room where Potiphar’s wife was tempting him.  He ran so fast he didn’t even bother gathering his coat!
Another way to do that is to set up hedges of protection so that you will avoid the temptation that could be lurking.  Think ahead of time of what you must avoid.  For instance:
  • I will never be alone with a man, other than my husband.  This will include being alone in a room, a car, office, or home.
  • If I send an email, Facebook message or text to a man, I will include my husband’s address as well so that it is not a private message.
The list could go on, of course; those are just a couple of examples.  The reason we would set up hedges like these is to avoid temptation.  You may say, “Oh, that’s silly!  It’s only so-and-so!  I would never fall for a sin like that!”  That’s when we are most at danger.  I Corinthians 10:12 – Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
After these previous precautions are taken, we must be on the alert for evil that could present itself when we’re unprepared.  On the recent broadcasts of Revive our Hearts this week, the guest, Julie Peterson, said that a male friend of hers gave her a two-second hug that sent off an explosion of emotions inside her.  Rather than fleeing, she allowed the feelings to continue, allowed the contact with this man to increase, and soon found herself in an adulterous relationship.  If she would have “taken the next exit” and removed herself from him and the temptation, she wouldn’t have the regrets she has today.  We must be on the alert, then distance ourselves, if we are to remain on the highway of the upright.

Have you set up hedges that will protect you from potentially sinful situations?  Will you be wise and flee temptation when it is at your door?  Don’t be foolish and think you can play with sin.  Instead, remain upright and take the next exit!

With love,