A young boy asked me what was wrong with drinking alcohol if you didn’t get drunk. Well, I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t smoke and I don’t do drugs. I hardly ever take pain killers or prescription drugs. I try to follow a healthy diet. I don’t know if all these things are linked – for example, I don’t need meds because I live a healthy lifestyle. I hope so, or I’d like to think so. I have also forgiven everyone I could think of who has ever offended me, or rather, who I have taken an offence from. I never started smoking, I didn’t even try once because the smell of smoke has always been offensive to me.
I used to drink the occasional glass of wine, maybe when we went out for a meal. When my husband, who had never been a heavy drinker, stopped drinking ten years ago I had a decision to make. Would I stop or would I still have a glass of wine now and again? I opted to stop out of respect for the decision he had made. I kept to my resolve, but for different reasons.
I don’t see anything basically wrong with drinking a little alcohol occasionally, but because alcohol can be addictive it can easily cause problems that I don’t want to handle. Therefore it was an easy decision for me to make.
The other reason is that I do not want to lead others astray.
Romans 14:13, Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
Say, I drink one glass of wine once a week. That’s all. That’s my limit. But, what if the only time an impressionable young person sees me is when I am drinking that glass of wine. What is he or she going to assume? It’s easy to say that they shouldn’t be making assumptions and that they should find out the facts. Unfortunately that’s not how life works. People make assumptions. You and I make assumption. All the time! This person could very plausibly think that I drink one glass of wine every day, but he could just as easily assume that I drink multiple glasses of wine daily. Then he could say, “She is a Christian and she drinks wine, which means I can drink wine too.” So this young soul embarks on a journey of consuming alcohol, becomes addicted, abuses his wife and causes a death because of driving under the influence.
It it my fault?
That is a question I never want to have to answer. Ever!
Do I think that I am important enough to be an example to others? Of course I do. I am the Kings daughter that makes me important. It also makes me an ambassador for the Kingdom of God. Obviously people are going to be looking at me.
1 Peter 2:5, And now God is building you, as living stones, into his spiritual temple; what’s more, you are God’s holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please him because of Jesus Christ.
If not drinking alcohol is what I can do to please God and to be an example and not to lead others astray, then it is a miniscule sacrifice compared to the mercy God shows me every day.
We have to wear the crowns we have been given, and anticipate those we will be given at judgement and live a life of love.