Sunday 30th September, 2018
Hymn of meditation: PH 345
To you, Jesus we now come,
At Your Feet we have gathered.
Send us not away empty,
For we seek You not in vain.
This is a very loaded topic which would require more than one session to delve into. When this topic is placed in its proper context, it is all about Christian living, Christian stewardship (how we must keep and look after the things the Lord has given us), and Christian decision making.
In our everyday Christian life, we are confronted with the need to make decisions. We make several decisions each day; some of which are good and others not so good. It is the decisions we make that determine who we are and who we become. If there is an opportunity and you refuse to decide on it, it goes against you. If there is any initiative you need to take and you hesitate, it goes against you. So the decisions we make, determine the differences in our lives. However, it is not so straight forward.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
This simply means that, some of the things that appear to us as the way to go, may not be the right way. How then can we manage the situation so we do not make the wrong decisions all the time? We must decide in a way approved by God because the bodies we have were given to us by God and we are expected to take care of them. If we decide wrongly and any dangerous thing happens to our bodies, then we go against God and He will demand it from us.
In this kind of stewardship, we should be guided by/observe these four principles:
- OWNERSHIP: recognise the owner. God owns our bodies and indeed, everything that we have (Psalm 24:1 – The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it).
- RESPONSIBILITY: we have been given the responsibility by God to look after the things He has given to us.
- ACCOUNTABILITY: we will be held accountable for everything entrusted to us.
- REWARD: those who take proper care of what God has given them in the way God intends, will be rewarded.
We must be mindful of these four principles when discussing drunkenness because, failure to realise the ownership, responsibility, accountability and reward will make us unable to do the job entrusted to us by God.
A look through the Bible reveals a tall history about drunkenness with various references in both the Old and New Testaments. In all of these incidents, certain trends run through.
- God Takes Seriously The Injunction, That He Has Made Your Body His Temple
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body. Corinthians 3:16-17 also buttresses the same point referring to our bodies as the temple of God because His spirit dwells in it and those who destroy God’s temple will be destroyed by God
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
In all these we are urged to take the best care of God’s temple; so obviously, in God’s scheme, drunkenness has no place because it does not help us to obey God. A number of people use the passage in 1 Timothy 5:23 as an excuse to abuse their own body:
Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
People prefer to forget about the ‘little’ and take it as an instruction to destroy their body. Even in the little drink instructed, there is a reason “…because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses”. So, instead of abusing the body, Paul was actually telling Timothy to take care of it against the illnesses he suffers. Let’s be mindful.
A Pharmacist friend usually tells me that all drugs are poisonous but it is the dosage we take that determines whether we are cured or harmed. The dosage makes all the difference, that is why Paul put ‘a little’ there.
- Drunkenness Promotes Immoral Behaviour
It is obvious from the first reading that Lot’s daughters took advantage of the influence of drunkenness to do the wrong thing. Genesis 9 also gives another example of Noah getting drunk and exposing himself. Noah, who in his time was recognized as the only righteous person on earth, after drinking wine did not behave as righteously.
- It Also Promotes Disobedience
Disobedience fetches more disobedience. One act of disobedience on the part of Lot’s wife, led to many other consequences of immorality on her daughter’s part.
- DRUNKENNESS IMPAIRS JUDGEMENT
When the influence of the drink takes hold, you cannot be aware of the wrong or right. Lot would not have gone ahead to sleep with his daughters if he was not drunk.
- Most Drunkenness Is Self-Inflicted
We take the drink and consume it by ourselves so the consequences are things we bring upon ourselves. This implies that we can easily avoid it.
- We Are Entreated To Be Careful What We Put In Our Bodies
Things we put in our bodies can either hurt us or build us up.
WAYS TO OVERCOME DRUNKENNESS
- Turn your attention to God: He is capable of solving all our problems. If we go in sincerity and we ask from a pure heart, He will not disappoint us. Unless at the time we are praying for the problems to be solved, we pray with the right hand and drink with the left. It has to be genuine.
- Help the drunken addicts in love otherwise the problem cannot be solved.
- Seek professional help and counsel in instances where the problem is addiction.
1 Peter 2:9-12
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
We are God’s special possession. Drunkenness does not fit into this. Let us be mindful of this fact and act according to the standard placed on us and what is expected of us. Be a royal priesthood.
We are accountable to God for what we do and what He has entrusted unto us. Taking good care of our bodies is basic to being good stewards of God.