Who are the people who are always crying the blues?
Who do you know who reeks of self-pity?
Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all?
Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot?
It’s those who spend the night with a bottle,
for whom drinking is serious business.
Don’t judge wine by its label,
or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor.
Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—
the splitting headache, the queasy stomach.
Do you really prefer seeing double,
with your speech all slurred,
Reeling and seasick,
drunk as a sailor?
“They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt;
they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing.
When I’m sober enough to manage it,
bring me another drink!” - Proverbs 23:29-35 (The Message)
The words above, though long, are very clear. Alcohol can be bad business.
For a few years now, Rick and I have had the privilege to go to DC during National Police Week.
Part of the week's mission is to go to Tent City and talk with officers, spouses and even an occasional family member of a fallen officer, all in hopes of having the opportunity to share the love of Christ with them.
If you've ever been to Tent City, you'll be able to clearly picture what I'm talking about. Men and women attempting to drink away their fears, failures, hurts and demons. As long as there have been cops, alcohol has not been far behind, and for those selling the booze during a week set aside for honoring the fallen, a profit is definitely made off others' misery.
Studies and first-hand accounts demonstrate how alcoholism and PTSD, alcohol and suicide, alcohol and marital problems go hand-in-hand.
Alcohol - a drug that alters your moods, emotions, behaviors, judgment, response time, etc., can and if left unchecked, will take you down a path you normally would not go.
God knows this and understands man's attempts at filling an empty void within his or her soul that cannot possibly be filled by any other means than through Himself. This is why He tells us later on in scripture that instead of being drunk on wine, we should "instead, be filled with the Spirit."
When you or I are hurting, are scared, are empty on the inside, we grasp at whatever it takes to deaden the pain, even if it is temporary. Yet, God tells us that HE is the answer. HE can fill us with living water that will quench our thirst...fill us up...give us a renewed purpose and meaning. And all without a hangover.
I want to offer you up a challenge today. If you have been one to visit the bars frequently, hang out a little too long at the lodge, or simply drink until the pain becomes dull, then stop what you are doing and ask God to help you overcome this addiction.
I assure you that as you put God on the throne of your life instead of self and alcohol, life around you will become more vivid and full of wonder.
Chin up. You can do this!