Drinking; January 23, 2022


1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

This verse is the perfect follow-up to verse 23: “‘Everything is permissible’ – but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’ – but not everything is constructive.” God’s rules are always for our good, but the devil does all he can to convince us otherwise. Back in the Garden of Eden there was only one prohibition, and our ancestors blew it, with the enthusiastic encouragement of the devil. The particular issue here is actually witness to others, whether non-believers or immature Christians. These days, at least in most countries, we don’t have the issue of meat that has been sacrificed to idols, but the issue of alcohol, and for that matter, cannabis, is very current for many. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) The guiding principle should be exactly as this verse states: Does this action on my part bring glory to God? If we ask ourselves that with frequent regularity we will be protected from all sorts of snares of the devil and will live lives of peace, joy, and satisfaction.

This particular issue hasn’t been so difficult for me. Going to a Baptist college, the idea of alcohol had an exciting ring of the forbidden to it. I never have liked the taste of beer, but bourbon Coke tasted pretty good to me. One day I decided to try getting drunk, which I had never experienced. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself in public, so I drank the first quarter of a bottle of Coke, filled it back up with bourbon, and then went to my dorm room and drank the whole bottle in about 15 minutes. I didn’t even feel a buzz. Either the Lord intervened directly, or He gave me a very efficient liver! Whatever the reason, I never felt any compulsion to drink. In the Army, I was one of only four people, I think it was, that didn’t smoke weed, but I discovered, courtesy of one of the mess hall cooks, that cannabis seed makes a very delicious seasoning for beef gravy. (He was later discharged for that sort of stunt.) Likewise, I certainly inhaled plenty of second hand pot smoke, because of all the guys around me. (Of course, that was 50 years ago, and what was grown on Oahu where I was stationed was much less potent than what is available today.) However, I was never particularly tempted to smoke it for myself. That has been a huge blessing to me. Now, people around me are amazed that I don’t drink or smoke at all, but I feel no urge to do so. I explain to them that, whereas I have a very efficient liver, many do not, and with my position in society, were I to drink, those watching me would consider it a license for them to do so also, and their results would probably be very different from mine. I don’t drink or smoke because I feel no need for it, and I want to be a wholesome influence on those around me.

Father, thank You for Your grace to me in this area, as in every other area of my life. I am so blessed! Help me indeed so live as to give You glory in all I do, drawing those around me to know and love you, for their salvation. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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