I haven’t written much about drinking, but there was an MSNBC article that brought that to mind – and an application to other areas in our lives. The article, “I’ll never drink again! Never mind. Cheers!” had an interesting lead-in:
According to a new report, the perceived social benefits outweigh the consequences.There’s a lot of information in that headline, and a great deal more with that lead, before even getting to the article.
First – both alcoholics and social drinkers will state those three sentences, usually at different times. “I’ll never drink again!” comes after an embarrassment felt after drinking. “Never mind,” comes when the drinker gets over the embarrassment, discovering it is survivable both physically and socially. “Cheers!” comes with the next social occasion accompanied by alcohol. Three sentenced, used by a large number of people.
Second – “perceived” indicates individual perceptions which are not based on fact and may not exist, therefore they do not outweigh consequences. Part of the problem is consequences. Drinkers can always find friends to assure them consequences aren’t real.
Most Christian denominations accept social drinking, holding up several verses speaking against excess. My personal recommendation is not drinking, having seen serious consequences for both alcoholics and for social drinkers.
Proverbs speaks about drinking and the consequences in several places, among them:
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1 KJV)
Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. (Proverbs 23:20-21 KJV)
Paul’s writing left no doubt drunkenness is found in the midst of sins of the flesh:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)
Isaiah understood that even those who say they serve God can fail in this regard:
But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. (Isaiah 28:7 KJV)
If you are able, please Comment and give me an example from personal knowledge of a decision made while under the influence of alcohol, or other mind-altering drug, which was done with good judgment. I don’t know of one. I know of several where the decisions were damaging. My Second Son-in-Law is missing a piece of his eyelid, thanks to a drunk driver. We feel fortunate he did not lose his eye.
I worked with a young woman who said she had fun on weekends and trips. She couldn’t remember all that she did, because of her drinking, but surely it was fun – people laughed when talking about her. Another dear friend, a social drinker, he said (of course), became a belligerent bore after a few drinks. He always apologized afterwards, when he learned of his actions.
Those aren’t your results? Never had to apologize for your actions when drinking? Excellent! How about those around you? Do you really consider consequences?