Drink to the Glory of God
A Little Backstory
I was probably four or five when I asked my dad if he had ever drank beer. He told me a story about the one time he was at a party and nearly did have a drink. He was underage and was unsure, and as the bottle touched his lips he decided it just wasn’t for him. Little Me thought that was the coolest. Neither of my parents drink alcohol, but I remember that one story being an inspiration for me to do the same. Looking back now I’m glad they decided not to. The issue is not morally wrong or right, unless it’s to get drunk (Ephesians 5:18), but I could come up with a number of benefits to not drinking. Not drinking eliminated the possibility of ever getting drunk. Alcoholism is a serious issue, and falling into it can be detrimental to the stability of a family. It doesn’t hurt to be the designated driver for your friends as well. It’s good to be helpful and keep your friends safe while also being known as dependable and trustworthy. If you’re ever pulled over you never have to try and remember how many drinks you’ve had if you don’t drink! This also saves a huge amount of money in the long term and it’s one less preventative to overall health.
These are all useful perks of choosing not to drink. For years I saw this as the clear option for me. However, with a lot of my friends turning twenty-one (I’m the baby of the group) I’ve given it more thought recently. I started weighing the pros and cons to this decision, and my perspective began to broaden. Despite the benefits of being in a family that didn’t drink, I noticed my parents weren’t always invited to as many parties with alcohol. Their decision meant missing out on a lot of social events, and that wasn’t the only problem. I could tell there was some confusion as to why my parents never drank. They were never really into it was all, but some people believed that it had something to do with religious beliefs. This misconception probably made some people think that if this were true then they wanted nothing to do with Christianity. There is nothing inherently evil about alcohol, but it can be used to get drunk and inhibit faculties leading to impaired decision making. Too much can ruin the brain and body. These extremes are sinful, not the drinking itself. Jesus drank, and that’s probably the best argument one can have in support of Christians drinking. I’ve told a few people before that I wasn’t planning on drinking, and I got a strange look. As time went by I started to realize that this was mild disdain. People thought I probably felt self-righteous for not drinking and used it as a way to look down on those who did.
A New Perspective
Although my intentions were good, my reasons may not have been as useful as I originally thought. The pride others might have seen in me could have eventually manifested itself once I became legally able to drink. My motives could become legalistic in that I felt my liquid abstinence merited favor with God. Not drinking would constantly require an explanation to my friends that would probably create more confusion. My future kids might end up confused and get caught in the “Holier than thou” trap I’m trying to avoid as well. It turns out that it may not be the best choice, at least for me. What would happen if I allowed myself to drink every now and then? What would it look like to drink to the glory of God?
It might look like a way of enjoying one of the fruits of God’s creation and another’s labor. It would look like a common interest among good friends. It would clear up misconceptions about Christian living. It would be an exercise in self-control that would set a healthy example for my kids. It could be an opportunity to be welcomed to more gatherings, meaning one less barrier in preaching the gospel. Now that I think of it, most of the benefits that come with not drinking can actually be transferred over to this category as long as it’s with moderation. When I finally turn twenty-one, I’ll keep these benefits in mind when I drink to the Glory of God.