Proverbs 20:1, “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”
The saddest day of my life was when I lost my sister to drinking and driving. She hit a pole driving over 70mph, split the car in two and flew through the roof. The people at the bar said they tried to stop her from driving but she insisted and she paid the price with her life. Tragically, she left behind two children.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention writes, “There are approximately 80,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States. This makes excessive alcohol use the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation. Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.3 million years of potential life lost annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death. In 2006, there were more than 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician office visits due to excessive drinking. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2006 were estimated at $223.5 billion.”
Though it is acceptable for the law abiding disciple to drink alcohol in moderation (Deuteronomy 14:26, Psalm 104:15 & Romans 14:1-7), the cost of being a drunkard can cost people their lives, harm others and damn their souls for eternity (Galatians 5:21). King Solomon in today’s proverb gives us a very clear and stern warning concerning alcohol; don’t be led astray by it!
Today, just like in the times of Solomon and Jesus, alcohol is common at weddings, special events, everyday meals and social gatherings. However, the disciple who chooses to use their freedom to enjoy it must do so with a realistic understanding of the dangers of alcohol. Solomon wrote that those who are “led astray” (or “abuse”) alcohol will mock God’s wisdom (“do stupid things”) and become a brawler (angry and violent).
Therefore, here are some guidelines that can help insure your safety in regards to alcohol; (1) Never drink if its against the law (underage, while working, etc.), (2) Never drink if you are prone to alcoholism or binge drinking, (3) Never drink if your doctor says it is negatively affecting your health, (4) Never drink if your conscience is grieved by the Holy Spirit, (5) Never drink if alcohol leads you to commit sins like sexual perversion, violence, etc., (6) Never drink and get drunk, and lastly, (7) If you do drink legally, do so in such a way that if Jesus was with you, like at the wedding in Cana, He would be pleased by your self-control (1 Corinthians 10:31).
- Make a decision based on prayer whether you should drink alcohol in moderation or whether you should abstain from it.
- Repent of any times you may have abused alcohol and ask God to give you a biblical understanding of the sin of drunkenness (Proverbs 23:29-35).
- Whatever you do in eating or drinking, do it as unto the Lord in holiness!