We can all agree that the Bible speaks against getting drunk (Ephesians 5:18) but I believe abstaining from consuming alcohol is a matter of wisdom. Here are my six reasons:
1. It doesn’t take much alcohol to become intoxicated.
For many people all it takes is a very small amount and they are intoxicated. That’s why trying to define what “getting drunk” really is can be very difficult. Just a small amount can dramatically impair physical and mental abilities of certain individuals. That can also be easily manipulated by how much/little an individual has had to eat. So I just don't drink.
2. There are plenty of other choices.
Some justify drinking by saying, “Well Jesus and the disciples drank wine. And Jesus turned water into wine.” This view needs to consider that the choices for drink in the first century were very limited. Sometimes the choice was only between rancid water or wine. In our day there are numerous viable, less-dangerous choices at our discretion.
3. Alcoholic beverages are not necessary for medicinal purposes anymore.
In the first century and earlier alcoholic beverages were used to help individuals for many ailments. But in our time there are many available medicines that can help with precision any ailment. So the idea that I must drink alcohol to help me medicinally is just not that strong of an argument.
4. Alcoholic beverages are addictive.
Many studies have shown the addictive nature of alcoholic beverages. I know my own personal propensity toward addiction and I most certainly don't need to tempt this arena in my life.
5. I don’t want to set a bad example.
What I choose to do in moderation my children or others might do in excess. Even though this is a danger with any behavior, given the destructive nature of alcohol consumption I choose to not partake.
6. It hinders your witness.
As I already stated in setting a bad example, I must be cognizant of the witness I am portraying to others. In all honesty, if people in the community or the church that I served saw me and my wife sitting at a bar drinking, it would have a very bad effect on the lives of others.
Not drinking alcohol is a wise choice. I am not saying that one should never drink alcohol…but I am dictating why my wife and I choose not to drink. We do not want our mental faculties to be impaired at any level. We always want the freedom to make sober judgment.
As an anecdote, almost every horrible ministry situation I have been involved with where there were broken relationships or a fractured family…without exception, alcohol was involved in the process somewhere along the way.
The apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12, “Everything is permissible for me"-but not everything is beneficial.” Can a Christian drink? Sure. Is it beneficial to do so? My conclusion is that it is not. Paul also tells us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Maybe this New Year ahead might be a great time for you to choose the wise path and to not drink alcohol anymore.