By: Tim Sader
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
When my parents grew tired of churches failing them they found fun and friendship in the worldly lifestyle. Somewhat taking their eyes of the Lord had a lot to do with their growing apart and getting a divorce. When this happened I was a little upset but not as devastated as some people get over their parents splitting up. For a while well things were spiraling out of control for them I started living right after the conviction of being a good example to the youth got to me. During this period of time I completely stopped using bad language, managed a Christian band and lead a bible study group. Before this I had experimented some with alcohol and smoking pot but decided to completely leave it alone for a while. I’m not real sure about what made me decide it was ok to start drinking again. My parents were surrounded by it, unchurched friends were doing it, I was out of school turning twenty-one and life between church and bible studies was boring. Throw in the emotions of the divorce, looking for a relationship, disability and no big plans for my future in the mix it’s easy to find reason to drink. I won’t say I was a steady alcoholic but when I took the notion to drink I was going to get my fix. Unless something spontaneous happened I would binge drink once or twice a week. In the beginning it only took four beers to have enough but before I quit again I was drinking up to a twelve pack at a time. I wasn’t big on drinking hard liquor but sometimes would switch up the beer for mixed drinks. I must admit I had some good times while binge drinking and have many funny stories from being stupid while intoxicated. On the flip side it was never fun waking with a hangover and not remembering what I did because I drank so much I blacked out. What I regret most is how I talked to certain people if they wanted me to stop drinking or if I felt hostility toward them for any or no reason at all. Though it wasn’t all bad I am missing moments from my memory that I will never get back and more than anything that bothers me.
It is not good when we let any substance control us the way binge drinking was controlling my life. Drinking and drugs makes us act foolish, it takes away inhabitants and makes people braver than they then they should be. If they want to fight chances are they will find one even if they are disabled and could easily be beat up (Pr. 20:1). Getting drunk leads to debauchery which is any kind of sin or wickedness we can get into. We may think we are having fun while intoxicated but is it really fun or just temporary satisfaction to our flesh. Very rarely did I accomplish anything good when I passed the point of losing inhibition. We must be careful about the decisions we make in life especially in matters of the heart. We don’t want to be full of carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life because those things will lead us directly into a trap (Lk. 21:3). It is only by the grace of God that the traps I set for myself never had greater consequences than embarrassment, hangover, bumps and bruises. Drinking didn’t put me there but I ended up in the hospital and seriously examined my lifestyle while fighting for my life. I decided positive changes needed to be made before it was to late for me to do so. The dark deeds we used to do in the cover of night we must set aside and put on the armor of light. We must behave right not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. The only way to do this is to clothe ourselves with Christ, and not worry about gratifying the desires of the flesh (Rom. 13:12-14). At times it may seem like we have to give up everything fun to follow Christ but really the great adventure only begins when we surrender all to Him.
The mistakes we have made in the past do not have to be a source of guilt and shame to us. If we are no longer in that place obviously it was an experience for us to learn and grow from. If we are still there than we can have hope because it presents us the opportunity to take a negative and make it a positive. We must walk away from the traps we set for ourselves or they will be our undoing. We pain the Lord more if we fall and stay that way but it makes Him happy when we rise from our own undoing.
Lord help us to learn and grow from the places in our past that we are not proud of so we can grow past it. We have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light so we want to let it shine for you. When we are tempted to only satisfy our flesh help us to remember the clothes we wear look a lot like Christ. In Jesus Name, Amen!
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16