I do life with some of the most authentic people on this planet. What I appreciate about them the most is their willingness to ask the hard questions. During a recent time together, a tough question was asked by someone in our group.
"Do you think it is ok for followers of Christ to drink alcohol?"
Everyone in the room looked at each other. Our group's climate is one of respectfulness, consideration, and openness to the views of others. It is our unspoken mantra, that we choose to listen rather than condemn; speak life rather than place judgment. So we carefully and openly discussed this topic.
I'll be honest, over the years I have struggled with this topic and I have seen two extreme views come into play. The first one says, "No, it is absolutely not ok for followers of Christ to drink alcohol." while the opposite view insists, "Jesus drank, so its ok for me too."
I'm not convinced that either perspective is completely healthy, nor biblically sound.
Without a doubt, the topic of believers drinking alcohol is one that can cause division, confusion and separation. While I could ramble off a list of seven points to back up either side of this controversial issue, today I want offer you this perspective...
There has to come a point for you, as a 20-something, that you discover your own truth about this subject.
Some things in the Bible are very clear. (e.g: Jesus is the only way to eternity. [John 3:16]) But other issues, like this one, are not so black and white. I believe that as 20-somethings seeking to know God more, we can come to Him about wisdom, guidance and truth as we seek to understand personal truth on this and other "gray area" topics.
The bottom line for all believers is that sin ultimately leads us to bondage, which is the never the plan that God has for our lives. Perhaps rather than asking ourselves if drinking is right or wrong, maybe the question should be, "Is this an issue that personally leads me to bondage?"
From this tough discussion with my friends, some questions emerged to help each of us work through this issue, ourselves. I share them with you now, in hopes that they will be helpful, as well, to you:
Am I using alcohol to escape reality?
In social settings do I feel as though I have to drink to fit in?
Can I drink without getting drunk?
Bondage can come in many forms — not just alcohol. While working through the issues of bondage myself, this verse has really helped me:
"Everything is permissible to me but not everything is beneficial..." - 1 Corinthians 6:12
Next to this verse in my Bible I have this question, "Where am I free?" This question is personal, and it will look different for each of us. But it is important to our own assessment of freedom versus bondage.
My friends and I left this discussion feeling challenged to look at the topic of alcohol from this perspective. We were able to have a healthy conversation about it and not make each other feel judged or condemned because of our personal point of view.
Nicki Koziarz is a woman who is passionate about the pursuit of God's truth in today's generation. Pages of her journal would show you she loves to dream big, think bigger and honored to serve the biggest God. You can connect with her more at: www.nickikoziarz.com
© 2011 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved.
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