One Drink Later
A military chaplain once told me a story of a teenager who enlisted. This recruit grew up in a conservative church like ours with parents who loved Jesus. One night he, with his new army buddies he went out on the town. He had never had a drop of alcohol in his life. They coaxed him into drinking. The next day, he woke up in a jail cell with a blood-stained shirt on. He had no memory of what happened. A fight had broken out in the bar and he stabbed a man – who later died. At the age of 19 he had a life sentence. He sobbed – “IF I had only listened to my parents, teachers and pastor.” One night. One choice. One drink led to a lifetime of sorrow. We make meaningful decisions each day.
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 1 Corinthians 6:12
The following stats are from NIAAA who monitor Alcohol consumption in America.
“Many young people drink alcohol…
- By age 15, about 33 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink.1
- By age 18, about 60 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink.1
- In 2015, 7.7 million young people ages 12–20 reported that they drank alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month.
Youth ages 12 to 20 often binge drink…
- People ages 12 through 20 drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States.3 Although youth drink less often than adults do, when they do drink, they drink more. That is because young people consume more than 90 percent of their alcohol by binge drinking. Binge drinking is consuming many drinks on an occasion (see box). Drinking alcohol and binge drinking become more prevalent as young people get older.
- 1 million young people reported binge drinking (for males 5 or more drinks and for females 4 or more drinks on the same occasion within a few hours) at least once in the past month.2
- 3 million young people reported binge drinking on 5 or more days over the past month.”
The damage done to the brain and thinking processes of a person who is consuming alcohol cannot be denied. For reasons of pleasure, pain, or forgetting a problem, some people resort to drinking. While mainstream culture promotes and makes alcohol popular, the true issues it and other substance abuse cause is seldom told or not fully understood in stark reality. Broken homes, bruised bodies, car wrecks, and poor judgment are frequent and extremely common.
Many people I have counseled with who grew up in homes where alcohol ruled, decided against drinking alcohol themselves because of the first-hand problems they saw it create. Alcohol does not “cause for a good time” like some people say. It creates at atmosphere of foolishness and impaired judgment. People can have fun at parties and have a good time hanging out with friends because of the people they are with and the things they are doing together – not because of a mind changed under the power and effect of alcohol. To say: “I can’t have a good time without drinking” is one way of devaluing friendships. Alcohol is in control of a person who says things like that. Enjoy the moment with the people you love. Who wouldn’t want to remember “such a good time” to have good memories instead of foggy memories?
The Apostle Paul is teaching the Corinthian church that even if something is lawful – it does not mean it is good for me. Even if I can – does not mean that I should. Allowing your mind and body to be controlled by any substance or anything out side of the body is a form of addiction. Drugs, vaping, smoking, drinking alcohol, or any other addiction is not something that you want to be subject to. One drink later… you could be enslaved.
Parents – do all you can to help your teen not take their first drop of alcohol. Warn about the dangers. Teach the Bible admonitions. Adults, purpose with the Lord’s help to abstain from drinking. Your thoughts will be clearer, you will sin less, do less harm or evil than while “under the influence” and you will be better prepared for life because your mind is working more efficiently.
Consider in conclusion 2 of the many Bible passages giving ample warning:
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Proverbs 23:31-35 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder (Snake). Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.