“To be or not to be, that is the question.” Shakespeare
What about “to drink or not to drink,” maybe that is a worthy question?
I know many Christians struggle with whether it is OK for a Christ follower to drink alcohol and many churches treat it as a taboo topic.
What I find so interesting is Jesus' very first miracle takes place at a wedding that has so much wine flowing it runs out! Jesus, his mother, and all his disciples are attending, and one can infer they are partaking of the wine. In fact, the lack of wine rises to Jesus’ mother’s attention and is such a big deal she turns to Jesus to ask him to intervene!
On the third day, a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman,why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” ~ John 2:1-11
Let’s not water this down (no pun intended)- this wasn’t grape juice that had everyone so concerned. This was water used for ceremonial cleansing that Jesus turned into the most exquisite wine for the celebration to continue without stigmatism or disgrace.
First miracle- water into wine.
To go one step further, we later see in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul encouraging his protégé, Timothy to drink wine:
“Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.”~1 Timothy 5:23
Let’s pause for one moment and let me clarify something of vital importance-
The Bible is very much opposed to drunkenness:
Proverbs 20:1- Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
Isaiah 5:22- Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks.
1 Corinthians 8:9- Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
Ephesian 5:18- Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
There are so many reasons why people choose to drink or not to drink; but I believe we can all agree that moderation is key!
So, in responding to this topic, I would encourage any professed Christ follower to search yourself and investigate your reasons for drinking.
Chris Matte in his book, I AM changes who i am, proposes some thought-provoking questions:
* Does drinking hurt my walk with Christ?
(Are you trying to find comfort, courage, peace in a bottle versus reliance on Christ?)
* Does drinking hurt my witness for Christ?
(Do you look the same as the rest of the secular world that would cause others to question your Christianity?)
* Does drinking hurt anyone else’s walk with Christ?
(What example are you setting for others and is your choice causing another believer to stumble?)
The choice is an individual one and should be made not on what is permissible, but what is best in your own life.
At the end of the day, we should never judge another for their decision to drink or not to drink; instead, we should encourage contemplation, moderation and thanksgiving to the Lord who provides ALL things!
Father, thank you that you provide all that we need. Help us to have wisdom and insight into whether drinking alcohol is helpful or hurtful in our walk with Christ. May we never choose anything over you and may we never mislead others from you. You are a good Father, and in all things, we should give praise and thanks. Amen
So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31