Monday

10 Reasons I Don't Drink

This post might make you mad.

I’m OK with that. 

I’m willing to risk making some people angry if I make other people think. Because I’ve been thinking—a lot--about drinking. Not personally, as in let loose and crack open a cold one, but thinking about why Christians drink alcohol.

In my pondering, I’ve read just about every argument for and against Christian drinking. I’ve listened to strong believers on both sides of the discussion. I’ve read every verse pertaining to wine and strong drink in the Scriptures. It hasn’t been an exhaustive study, but it’s been a thorough one.

And the subject just won’t go away. Everywhere I turn, I stumble across it. In blog posts. In sermons. In Bible study. In conversations I didn’t initiate. It continues to burn in my belly like the proverbial shot of whiskey. 

And like whiskey, there are two ways to get rid of the burn—absorb it, which I’ve tried to do through study and meditation, or vomit it back out. I hope this blog post is the purge.

My goal is not to condemn or condone you; only God has the right to do that. My goal is not to make a biblical defense for or against drinking. More learned scholars than I have already tackled this. You can access their thoughts freely via the internet and other resources. My goal is not to compel or persuade you. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job.

My goal for this post is simply to share why I don’t drink.

1. I don’t drink because I don’t need to put something into my body to be happy, relax, drown my sorrows, loosen up, or unwind after a long day. It may sound overly simplistic, but my relationship with Christ does this.

2. I don’t drink because I don’t want to become addicted. I don't think I have a tendency toward addictive behavior, but I can never know for sure. No one chooses to become an alcoholic. It begins with the first drink. If I don’t drink, there’s no way I will ever become addicted. It's better not to take the chance.

3. I don’t drink because others who see me drink may follow my example. Unlike me, they may be prone to addictive behavior. If they drink because my behavior condones it, then my example has contributed to their destruction. I want my example to spur them on to actions and habits that will enhance their lives and draw them closer to God.

4. I don’t drink because there are little eyes watching me. What I do, good or bad, they will imitate. How will I feel if my controlled, moderate social drinking in the privacy of my home invites those I love to explore a habit that ultimately destroys their lives?


5. I don’t drink because I don’t like the taste. Some people do. They say that wine makes a great accompaniment to steak or lobster, or that beer goes great with pizza. I maintain there are plenty of other delicious beverages that aren’t addictive or intoxicating.

6. I don’t drink because I don’t want to become intoxicated. It’s easy for one drink to lead to two, which leads to three or more. Before long, someone is drunk who never intended to be. Scripture is very clear that it is a sin to get drunk. Furthermore, intoxication lowers one’s inhibitions and causes them to say and do things they would never say or do if they were sober.

7. I don’t drink because I’ve seen alcohol destroy lives, families, marriages, careers, and ministries. My husband’s family was destroyed by alcohol. Were it not for the grace of God, he would have been, too. Our community is mourning the death of a young mother and her 6-week old baby who were killed by a drunk driver. The young father survived the crash, but will live the rest of his life as a paraplegic, without his wife and baby girl.

8. I don’t drink because, at best, drinking is a neutral action; at worst it is a destructive one. I’ve never seen alcohol make someone a better person. Ever.


9. I don’t drink because there are better things on which to spend my money. Better is subjective. Maybe more lasting  are better words. At the end of a bottle of wine, what do I have to show for it? A buzz tonight and a headache tomorrow. I can sponsor a hungry child through Compassion International for $32 a month and make an eternal difference.

10. I don’t drink because it’s not the best for me. “The good is the enemy of the best,” 19th century theological Oswald Chambers said. Even if I drink responsibly, the most I will have accomplished is not to have hurt myself, my testimony, or others. Do I want to settle for what I haven’t accomplished?

Many years ago I made the decision not to drink alcohol. I’ve never regretted it.

If you’re wondering about what place alcohol should have in your life, why not claim the promise of James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him”? If you earnestly seek God’s face, and be willing to do what he tells you, he will reveal his will for your life. And his will is always perfect. 

For additional thoughts on Christians and alcohol, you might appreciate Barry Cameron's post, Can a Christian Drink Alcohol? 
and John Caldwell's post, To Drink or Not to Drink


As always, your comments and thoughts are welcome, as long as they are respectful. If you're reading by email, click here to access the webpage, then scroll to the bottom of the post and click on Comments to share your thoughts. 



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10 comments:

  1. Well said! Thank you for sharing. I hope you have successfully purged yourself of this "toxin." ~Kelli

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    1. Thanks, Kelli. I feel much better :)

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  2. Lori! It's crazy that you would write about the VERY things I am going through in my life. The Lord has been gently convicting me that alcohol is not His best for me. I am so relieved to know that it is from Him. I have wrestled with the issue over the past 5-6 years, never knowing if it was conviction from the Lord or accusation from the enemy. I've decided that I don't want the struggle any more. It's easier to abstain and I agree with all of your reasons. Blessings to you!

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    1. Jennifer,
      Thank you so much for being transparent and sensitive to the Lord's leading. A tender heart that's willing to obey is a precious jewel. Please know that I'll be praying for you and admire your desire to honor God in all you do. Blessings to you.

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  3. Loved coming across this post. I'm 20, turning 21 in about three months, and I know a lot of my friends who want to celebrate with me. All of them are over 21 and most of them are christian and they all drink. I recently went to a wedding and there was an open bar, leading to a reception full of drunks. It was absolutely terrible. Alcohol has become accepted in America so much now. I feel pressured to have a drink or two to "loosen up" when I am around them. Looking over your post, I realized I don't want to be like them. I don't want to get wasted, because what's the point? I really felt the Lord speak to me while reading this post. Praying He will give me strength to say no to alcohol when the time comes and I'm tempted.
    Thanks for writing this!!!

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    1. Brittany,
      You are a very wise woman for several reasons. First, you haven't just jumped into the sea of culture, even Christian culture without counting the cost. You're learning from others' mistakes and choices and thinking for yourself. Second, you're sensitive to the Holy Spirit's tug on your heart. Third, you've recognized the temptations and are preparing to face them with courage and prayer. Finally, you're willing to take a stand for what you believe the Lord is calling you to do, even though it will cost you something (friends maybe, a little ridicule or teasing). I want to pray for you to be strong, especially on and around your birthday. If you'll let me know what day that is, I'll put a reminder in my phone so I won't forget to pray for you. God bless, and thanks for sharing your journey. I know your comments will give other young (and older) people courage, too.

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  4. WOW.....The Holy Spirit planned my visit to this page tonight!! I am a recovering alcoholic, who is married to a recovering alcoholic. We would not be married if it weren't for Jesus! I have been a Jesus follower for 30 plus years now and have not had anything to drink for as long. I have watched as the church has gone the way of the world with their condoning drink. I just recently left a lovely new church after giving a year of my life to its ministry. I found one of the pastor's drank regularly. I couldn't find the words to express what you have expressed so eloquently here in your post. I too did a Scripture search on drinking, wine and beer. When one drinks they become 'under the influence'....they call strong drink 'spirits' and for good reason, it changes who you are. When you allow yourself to become under the influence of alcohol as a Christian then you are no longer under the influence of the Holy Spirit and how it must grieve God's heart. Thank you for your post! I hope it makes some people mad, mad enough to ask God for the wisdom He has promised all who ask Him for it. May God richly BLESS you and your family for taking this stand and for posting this article.
    Thank you!!!

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    1. Oh, Pamela, thank you so much for sharing your story. Praise God that he delivered you and your husband from alcoholism and has held your marriage together. My husband and I,too, are so concerned about the casual attitude many believers are taking toward alcohol. Like taking fire in one's bosom and hoping not to get burned. Oh, how I pray that God will remove the blinders from their eyes and take away the taste of alcohol from their lips.
      Thank you for your kind words and prayers.
      Blessings,
      Lori

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    2. Pamela alcohal has made its way into churches. I can't find a church that does lot drink. It is pretty frustrating to me. I am made to feel there is something wrong with me. I will not lead my children into a church that if my children go to their house they pull out the alcohol. My children are in their 20's and I don't want them in a church like that.I don't know do i stay home? I can't find a church.

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    3. I understand your concern, Vanessa. Our young adults face the pressure to drink from all sides, sometimes even from church leaders and members. I pray every day that my young adult children won't be deceived by alcohol's empty promises and sneaky destruction. Keep speaking truth to your kids and pray a lot. I'm praying now that God will lead you to a like-minded fellowship of believers. Don't give up looking--they're still out there!

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