So I cannot get Jaime Foxx's song "Blame It" out of my head ever since my Pastor did his remixJ. Blame it on the alcohol…that could've been my theme song in and after college! I started drinking wine coolers in high school and by the time I graduated college, I had graduated to Jack Daniels - straight. I never would have said I had a problem with alcohol I only drank socially (I think that's the first sign there is a problem when you quantify how much or often you drink). So even though I had 3 family members who had had issues with alcohol, I didn't see anything wrong with drinking and occasionally being drunk.
In 1994 my grandmother died and my "social" drinking became "I miss my grandmother" drinking;"I had a hard day at work" drinking; "I'm bored" drinking; "I just need to relax" drinking…you see the pattern. Then one day, drunk, I decided to remove my contact lenses and the next morning they were pink. I must have run my hands through my newly dyed Matador Red hair and then removed them. This sounds like no big deal, but my lenses were custom and cost me $600! I was done…well mostly; it was 1996 when I had my last drink. So this is not just a true confessions post, I recalled this whole period when I heard a Pastor say; "Christians should not drink." Now, I had made a decision I would never drink again, yet I thought if others did and not in excess (the point of being drunk) then no big deal. I'm studying Proverbs 20 and there is a cross-reference to Hosea 4:11 which read:
Harlotry and wine and new wine take away the heart and the mind and the spiritual understanding. (Amplified Bible)
This really struck me, and I thought about my personal progression with alcohol. It wasn't days or weeks, it was years before I said "this is getting out of control." So, no your occasional wine will not take away your heart, mind and spiritual understanding, but it will make you more apt to say: "I'll try this Cosmopolitan, Fuzzy Navel, Margarita, Mudslide…" whatever cute name you choose to imbibe. Certainly everyone that drinks will not become an alcoholic. However, if you find yourself drinking to manage life…you're in danger of losing your heart, mind and spiritual understanding. We're to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength (Luke 10:27). If we lose our heart, mind and spiritual understanding to drink, what happens to our love relationship with God? He will never stop loving us, but will our love towards Him be affected?
God has given us the ability to choose and no one can take away another's choice. My personal decision is still not to drink, and when someone asks if I mind if they drink around me, my answer will be yes. If they don't ask, I'm not going to jump up on a soap box and declare the evils of alcohol. I just want my brothers and sisters to understand that the thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy…he has no other agenda. Don't open the door for him by letting your guard down in this area and then blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol.
Here's some more scripture references: Ephesians 5:18 and Proverbs 23:29.