Tag Archives: alcohol

Blame it on the Alcohol

Alcohol is bad!

Except, ok—it’s not.  It’s actually inherently good.  Even Jesus was a fan.  We see him drinking wine as part of the Jewish feasts and even performing a miracle transforming water into wine at a wedding (taking “open-bar” to a whole new level).  There’s no basis anywhere in Scripture for a Christian to say that God is against people enjoying alcohol.

That being said: there are many places in Scripture that condemn drunkenness.

Unfortunately, the reality for our age group is that knowing that getting drunk is “a sin” is not usually enough to keep most of us from putting ourselves into situations that tend towards drunkenness, i.e. – that party on Saturday night,  “Thirsty Thursdays,” or sneaking out into the woods to drink if your college has a dry campus.  These are just things people our age do—and God understands, right?  For the most part, we’re not hurting anyone by getting more than a little bit tipsy, or even a little bit drunk, when out with our friends.

So then why is getting drunk “wrong,” if we’re just having fun?

The fact of the matter is: if you’re getting drunk and somehow don’t end up doing anything [else] “wrong,” there is very little separating you from the girl who wakes up with a tattoo the next morning besides chance.

When you choose to get drunk, you choose to reject your ability to reason.  And, in a nutshell, this is why it is a sin.  God gave us our intellect, our judgment, and the ability to control our desires.  Alcohol in excess removes this God-given power, slowly but surely.  A creature that lacks the ability to speak clearly, control his tongue, or even stand erect sounds more like an animal without motor skills than a man with the power of intellect and will.  And even though you might have that friend at the party that you have hired to take care of you, it’s not supposed to be anyone else’s responsibility to make your decisions for you.

When you get tipsy, that’s a good indicator that you need to stop.  If you’ve lost the ability to converse with God, you’ve had too much.

Besides, even if you may not wake up the next morning with a stranger in your bed, or you may be able to miraculously avoid bad decisions when you’re trashed, that doesn’t mean your friends or other people at the party are so lucky.

I’m not saying we should all quit drinking because other people have problems handling their alcohol intake.  I’m saying that we should stop letting it be “normal” behavior to get wasted and blackout on a regular basis (or ever).  It’s not normal behavior.  In fact it’s a sign you have a problem (contrary to popular belief: it most certainly can be alcoholism before graduation).

If you think that you or someone you know may have an alcohol problem (or if you’re just plain curious as to what one looks like), check out this questionnaire from Alcoholics Anonymous.  As they say, only you can make the call as to whether or not you have a problem.  But from experience, they say that answering, “yes” to 4 or more of the questions typically indicates a problem.

Sin is sin because it hurts us and the people around us.  Don’t reject your own ability to reason; and don’t be the reason someone else thinks it’s normal to have an alcohol problem.  It’s just not worth it.

Legally Drunk?

A girl I went to high school with joked once that she wanted me to call her when I got drunk for the first time.  It was a joke because the thought of me ever being drunk was just that outrageous (I was kind of a goody-two-shoes I guess).  It wasn’t that I never had the opportunity to drink or get drunk; it’s just that it has never been something that sounded appealing to me.

This past Sunday was my 21st birthday, and like a lot of people on their 21st, I went out to get a drink at midnight with some of my siblings and friends—just because I could.

Arriving at a local bar, I got IDed, and I’m not gonna lie, I felt pretty cool being admitted.  It was like being initiated into some sort of exclusive club—if only what awaited me on the inside of the doors lived up to the hype…

There is a certain fascination with alcohol that a lot of people around my age seem to have.  My age group seems almost to live for it sometimes, especially in college.  We can’t wait for the weekends to go out and party (in fact, a lot of people don’t wait for the weekends, and getting drunk is something that happens on any given week night as well).  I’ve always thought this was stupid and frankly just childish.  Because of this and because of the fact that I didn’t drink before I turned 21, a lot of people think I am against drinking alcohol, which isn’t the case at all.  I just reject the dominant culture of my age group that says that you absolutely need alcohol in order to have a good time.

Growing up, my parents never really had alcohol around the house.  My mom doesn’t much like the taste of it; and when my three older brothers were young, my dad made a deal with them that he wouldn’t drink until they all were legally old enough to drink alcohol.  As a result, I’ve never associated alcohol with some false sense of maturity or “coolness”.  In fact, it became kind of a turn-off to me when people would use alcohol as a way to fit in or feel more confident in themselves.  And when you’re underage, I can’t honestly think of any other reason to start drinking if not to fit in or feel cool.

Alcoholism runs in my family, which is another reason why my parents took the alcohol issue so seriously when us kids were growing up.  My mom always said that, as a parent, you might think you’re doing right by your kids by allowing them to drink in the “controlled environment” of the home, but you never know which of your children could end up having a problem with alcohol through no fault of their own.  Adolescence is hard enough without introducing an alcohol problem into the mix.

Back to my 21st …  I didn’t have the typical drunken birthday that I think everyone expects a 21 year old to have.  The drink the bartender mixed for me at midnight was nasty.  I could only handle a few sips before I decided it just wasn’t worth the effort.  The next day I went out for lunch at a winery with my family and some friends and did enjoy a glass of wine.  All in all though, the best part of turning 21 for me was the best part of any birthday—getting to spend it with family and close friends that care about me.