Revised to include those under 21 years of age.
New laws have raised some questions in enquiring minds! Is there anything wrong with use of some “drugs”?
Reading Proverbs 20
Dear thirsty ones,
Recently law was changed in Michigan, where marijuana is legal for those who have a medical condition that could be helped by it’s use, are approved by a Physician as having the condition, and pay $100 a year. (Excuse me, marihuana with an “h”. Supposedly marihuana with an “j” is used for recreational uses, as opposed to marihuana with an “h”, which is for medicinal purposes. At least that is what we are being told by the legislature. Next time I talk with someone using it illegally I will ask them how they are spelling it. With an “h” they are okay:) )
Sorry for the digression. With this legalization, it has led to a lot of discussions regarding the usage most people use it for and comparing it to alcohol. Compared to alcohol, it is rather benign, in that most that are using it do not get into car accidents, fight with others, commit other crimes, become incapacitated by it….
Now I am not going to be defending anyone’s use of marijuana for I am concerned about it’s use, nor am I going to condemn the use of alcohol across the board, but I believe Scripture is quite clear on the dangers of alcohol. We need to prayerfully consider our usage of it. Whether we eat or drink, we should do all to the glory of God. You may ask me, “How did that eating of that chocolate chip cookie last night, glorify our Lord?” Good question. (Boy, this is starting to go in a different direction then I intended.) I do believe that when we enjoy God’s creation without abuse of it, and give Him the thanks He deserves, and can continue to point others to Christ through it, we are glorifying Him. So the chocolate chip cookie may have qualified, but it was the three oatmeal raisin cookies after it that may have pushed it over the edge. 🙂
What does our reading in Proverbs tell us?
Proverbs 20:1 (NASB95)
1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.
Right away we see that it is those that abuse it, that are not wise! I do not think any of us can disagree on the fact that Scripture warns about the abuse of alcohol.
Look at the New Testament, for a single verse.
Ephesians 5:18 (NASB95)
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
The emphasis here is that we are to be filled, permeated, dominated, controlled by the Spirit of God. No matter where our discussions lead, hopefully we can again agree on the fact that our desire is for the glory of God, and that we can not do that apart from being filled, or controlled by the Holy Spirit.
It is interesting to see how “strong drink” was forbidden for priests, Nazarites, and others, in the Old Testament. Again, we see the clear evidence not to drink to the point of it controlling you, but where is that point, and what does it profit you? In the New Testament, we see, Paul suggesting to Timothy to have a little wine for his stomach ailment. I often hear this used as an argument to allow drinking. How many of us have stomach ailments. With all that chocolate chip cookie consumption, maybe more of us than I think. 🙂
However, if you are under 21 and you are drinking alcohol, you are clearly in sin. It is illegal in this country, and that in itself should tell you something about the nature of alcohol. Here is a list of warnings regarding it beyond the fact that it is illegal. This is taken from Tips for Teens website regarding alcohol. (www.ncadi.samhsa.gov/govpubs/ph323/)
Alcohol affects your brain. Drinking alcohol leads to a loss of coordination, poor judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses, and even blackouts.
Alcohol affects your body. Alcohol can damage every organ in your body. It is absorbed directly into your bloodstream and can increase your risk for a variety of life-threatening diseases, including cancer.
Alcohol affects your self-control. Alcohol depresses your central nervous system, lowers your inhibitions, and impairs your judgment. Drinking can lead to risky behaviors, such as driving when you shouldn’t, or having unprotected sex.
Alcohol can kill you. Drinking large amounts of alcohol at one time or very rapidly can cause alcohol poisoning, which can lead to coma or even death. Driving and drinking also can be deadly. In 2003, 31 percent of drivers age 15 to 20 who died in traffic accidents had been drinking alcohol.1
Alcohol can hurt you–even if you’re not the one drinking. If you’re around people who are drinking, you have an increased risk of being seriously injured, involved in car crashes, or affected by violence. At the very least, you may have to deal with people who are sick, out of control, or unable to take care of themselves.
So if I see you as an underage person drinking a beer, I will confront you for sure. It is sin! I will continue to caution others because of the serious nature of the beast. Having seen the direct damage of it through my medical practice, I am very fearful for those becoming involved with it. Please take the time to look to Scripture and make an informed decision. How many of you that are drinking or considering it, have really brought this before the Lord, after searching the Scripture? I do not want to sound judgmental, but I would venture to say it has probably not been done, but has been taken very lightly.
Make your main concern that of being filled with the Spirit, being controlled by Him, permeated by Him, lead by Him as a wind fills a sail boat’s sails. I would be very thankful if I would see young and old alike consumed with the passion to be filled by the Spirit, rather than alcohol, or chocolate chip cookies, or sports, or whatever. Remember, first things first!
Enjoy God’s creation and glorify Him while doing it! It is in glorifying Him that we fulfill His purpose for our lives, and it is in then we are most satisfied.
Maybe great taste can be less filling, but is that what we are after?
Enjoying the filling, longing to be full,
O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
If you have any thoughts on filling, please click on “comment” above the post and follow the directions. Help lead one another on to filling. It is through “letting the Word of Christ dwell through us richly”, that the filling can happen. Obviously, I left out so much above, and hopefully you will each do some research.