Recommended instructions: If you’re a Christian, then read the whole post. If you’re not, then you’ll only be interested in what comes after the orange.
When you believe in/support something, then you should be prepared to defend your position because people WILL challenge it. We Christians have our canned, pseudo-Biblical answers for everything. After all, the Bible does say that we need to be prepared to explain the hope that lies within us (I Pet. 3:15), however…check this:
“Why don’t you celebrate Halloween?”
“It’s against my religion…it’s the Devil’s holiday…I just don’t…”
“Why don’t you do XYZ?”
“Because the Bible says not to…I just don’t…”
[sigh]…so lackluster…so unconvincing…so typical! Another element of defending your position on something is confidence. If you’re not confident about it, then people are going to question whether you really believe what you say you do. I’m pretty sure this is one reason why a lot of people don’t take Christians seriously. The best way, in my opinion, to get this confidence by way of personal testimony. For example, in my business I market a myriad of products. However, most of the products I have moved have been as a result of a personal testimony. I tried the product myself, I loved it, and shared it with others. Yes, I’ve sold products that I’ve never tried, but mostly only because the client really wanted/needed it. Apart from that I wouldn’t have been able to display the confidence client would desire to help them understand that this product is the best. So, as it relates to Christianity and the things we don’t do, comb over your life and experiences and figure out for yourself the reason. Then and only then will you have the ammunition you need to stand up against those that don’t believe or really want to know the reason.
That was just the introduction! Now let’s get down to brass tax.
People who are not Christians (and also people who call themselves Christians but don’t live right) always want to know the same things: what’s wrong with drinking, what’s wrong with sex (singles), and that whole endless discussion about secular music. The latter two are no brainers, and they secretly know what’s up and may have their own convictions about it, but the drinking subject? Dude…even some folks in the church get a little heated about this one! OK…let’s just go ahead and get this over with…on the count of three, everyone just go ahead and say it! One…two…three…”Well, Jesus drank!” Are you satisfied now? I still think that’s the dumbest cop-out I’ve ever heard! Anyhoo, as I was saying, people in and outside the church debate over whether or not drinking is appropriate or not. I for one tended to stay away from these I didn’t feel my response was strong enough. It was one of those weak, un-confident sounding answers that I talked about earlier: the Bible says so. BOOOO! Anyway, as I got a little older and exposed to more things, my answer changed to “I don’t feel the need.” Although that is a much better answer, I still couldn’t totally explain (with confidence) exactly why I didn’t feel the need. Suddenly this week it came to me exactly why I, Jessica Brown, do not drink. The following is MY PERSONAL OPINION. Although I feel you should share my sentiments, it’s still MY PERSONAL OPINION, you should develop your own convictions. If you still want to drink after this, then do what you do! But I do hope I have planted a seed that will make you question/investigate why you do what you do.
Over the course of my adult life, I’ve questioned many people about why they drink. For the most part, most people drink because they like the feeling they get when they are buzzed or even drunk. I’ve found that most people don’t even like the taste of whatever their drink of choice is, and they only drink it to achieve that feeling. This feeling gives them a sense of (well, false sense rather) pleasure, confidence, and/or freedom. Some drink because they say they can’t have fun without it. Others drink because thy are shy and desire to be more outgoing. Still others drink because they are an uptight, “type-A” type person and need to be more loose. All in all, one common thread amongst all people who drink, I’ve found, is that it helps them to mellow out after a stressful situation and forget about their problems–well, at least for the moments the drink is in hand. I thought about this an tried to make it fit into my own life. I said to myself if there is ONE thing that drinking can accomplish that Jesus can’t, then I will never challenge another person about drinking. He he he, that’s a strong statment, eh? Yeah, and I love it because, quite frankly, there is nothing that a drink can do for me that Jesus ‘nem can’t! I don’t drink because I feel like it’s a slap in God’s face. To me it’s like saying, “Lord, you’re not enough for me. So, in the areas that I feel you’re a little weak in, go ahead and holla at me later. Me and this bottle of Hennesy got this!” Why would I depend on God for everything except feeling good, having confidence, and living a minimal stress life? Whatever happened to being totally surrendered? Doesn’t God desire to be #1 in EVERY area of my life?? I don’t understand how people think that they ONLY way they can accomplish something is with a drink. Someone told me that they think life is no fun sober. If you think that, then I would venture to say that you’ve haven’t lived! Obviously that person is compensating for something like they lack in “real life.” There is an answer for EVERYTHING in God’s word, so there is no reason to look elsewhere for answer. Spending time with God will fill EVERY void in your life! Will it be awkward at first, and will you still feel the need to drink? Absolutely! But I promise you, if you keep allowing yourself to be “filled” by Him eventually you won’t even desire that drink anymore because now Jesus will be all you need.
My favorite scripture is Psalm 37:4. It says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Most people think that means that if you basically do the “right” thing then God will give you what you want. An element of that may be there, but do you know what that scripture really means? It means if you delight–delight meaning take pleasure, enjoy, spend time with, focus on–the Lord, then He will place in your heart the very things that you want, think about, and act upon. No, you did not hear me wrong. I just said that the good things that you desire to do and the good things that you say don’t even come from you. God put them there! Think about it…we were born into sin because of what happened in the Garden of Eden. That means that we’re all evil LOL! Well, we’re all evil until we accept Jesus that is. So, how can something good come from something evil? The answer is it can’t which is why we need God to put good things in us. So, saying all that to say, if you would simply allow God to show you how He can work things out for you, then you wouldn’t desire to be drunk another day in your life. Allow God to show you how you can have fun without being inebriated. Allow God to show you how to minimize and manage the stress in your life. Allow God to show you how confident you can be–real confidence that lasts; not the fake stuff you get at happy hour. Just give Him a shot! I promise He won’t let you down…unlike your hangover.
**for those who need “proof,” here’s some scripture about being drunk**
I Corinthians 6:9-11 (Galations 5:21 similar)
I Peter 4:3, 4 (what happens when you decide to stop)