June 29 “Christians & alcohol”

drinking alcoholShould Christians drink alcohol? What does the Bible say? How do you decide what’s right?

Today’s Readings:
1 Chronicles 21 & 22
Psalm 78.34-39
Proverbs 20.1-2
Acts 9.1-21

 

1 Chronicles 21 & 22:

Praying for our children

Chapter 22.12-13, “Only may the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the LORD charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

prayer

This was the blessing that David wanted for his son Solomon. I was reminded of Paul’s prayers and how his primary focus was on praying for spiritual growth for those in his care, something to consider as we pray for our children.

Psalm 78.34-39:

A God of compassion

Verses 38-39 But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity,
And did not destroy them.
Yes, many a time He turned His anger away,
And did not stir up all His wrath;
39 For He remembered that they were but flesh,
A breath that passes away and does not come again.

Oh the depth of His mercy and grace!

But … we cannot let that be an excuse to sin. Romans 6.1-2 says:

“’What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?’ Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

 

Proverbs 20.1-2:

To drink or not to drink?

Verse 1, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”

I’m frequently asked what the Bible says about drinking. I usually explain that the Bible does not condemn all drinking, but it does condemn drunkenness, specifically. And it gives us other passages to guide our decisions in this area. Here are 3 from Paul’s epistles:

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify” (1 Cor. 10.23).

 

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Cor. 6.12).

 

“It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak” (Rom. 14.21).

alcoholSo we need to ask ourselves several questions as we consider whether or not we should drink:

Is it edifying, not just to me, but to those around me? My children or others?

Could I be brought under its power, either temporarily or in the long term?
Temporarily, will my behavior be influenced by it?
Long term, could I become addicted to it?

Is it the loving thing to do? Are there others around me who struggle in this area and who could be wrongly influenced or tempted?

What about the unbelievers that God has placed in your life? Perhaps even strangers who are watching from a distance? One of the excuses unsaved people used to keep God at arm’s length is that believers are hypocrites. Is your freedom worth being a stumbling block to someone? That’s what Paul was referring to in Romans 14.21.

In many ways, it would be easier if Christianity was just a simple list of do’s and don’ts. Instead, He asks us to choose and to do whatever we do out of a desire to please Him (2 Cor. 5.9) and love others (Matt. 22.37-40).

May God grant you His wisdom.

Acts 9.1-21:

The fruit of repentance

Notice when Paul was saved by coming to faith in Jesus Christ, there was a complete and dramatic change. He went from persecuting believers and participating in arrests and murder to preaching Christ in the synagogues. A genuine conversion experience will bear fruit!

Matthew 3.8, “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.”

Blessings,
Donna

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7 thoughts on “June 29 “Christians & alcohol”

  1. Excellent points. I don’t personally drink, but I don’t condemn others who do. I appreciate your balanced perspective on the matter. It’s too easy to get judgmental about this subject, even when someone is only imbibing moderately and not getting drunk. After all, even Jesus drank wine… I can’t believe they called Him a winebibber for nothing. 🙂

    • Jamie,
      I agree. We need to be careful with this area since the Scriptures allow for liberty.
      Blessings,
      Donna

  2. You hit the nail on the head as far as how to answer this tough question. I used to work at a Christian University, where they asked the staff to refrain from drinking, just to guard our reputation. We all had to make that decision for ourselves, and those were the very scriptures I used to decide for myself. Great post!

    • Michelle,
      Thanks for your comments. In many ways, non-believers hold us to a higher standard than the Scriptures, but when you consider their eternity could be at stake, it’s really a small sacrifice to make.
      4th of July blessings, Donna

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