Below is my list in no specific order; and let me help prepare you up front by saying again this is MY List.
1 .Taste Buds.
Unless I chose to live in self-denial the rest of my life; the truth was and is liquor of any type was not appealing to my taste buds. For many of us there is a reason we know the phrase, “It’s an acquired taste.” Which for me, truthfully it was not about an acquired taste as it was about and acquired feeling.
2. No More Excessive Trips.
Drinking alcohol in excess led to what seemed as the never ending trip to the restroom. It seemed like I constantly would have to stop what I was engaged in for another trip to the bathroom. And oh my, if I had to wait for someone else to finish – I encountered pain “down there” that just added another reason to the list of why it’s not worth it. Or could the pain I was feeling just have been the fear of what if I don’t make it to restroom and become the laugh of the night.?.?.?.? Hum…
3. I don’t remember, but they do.
In a time where video phones, video cameras, and social media technology is basically at someone’s hand wherever you go it is just not worth it, to me, to be caught on camera. Caught on camera doing what you ask? I don’t remember but they recorded it and now all can remember who view “whatever” took place via social media. There have been few “I don’t remember” nights that ended pretty and in a way that I would not care that others did remember.
4. Substance Abuse.
Not only were there people close enough to my life that did have substance abuse problems but it was a part of the history of that one relationship in my life that would really matter if you believe in the possibility of biological factors contributing to ongoing substance abuse in the next generation. Substance abuse also, to me and for me, included the mixing of alcohol and other drugs which elevates the possibility of a horrible, drastic outcome exponentially.
Also, my personality and manner of forming habits normally consisted of not doing things in moderation but by diving all the way in. I don’t want to give any place to my flesh, for its ugly and untrustworthy and therefore, I don’t trust the fleshly side, my outward man, with even one drink for it could easily lead to drunkenness which the Bible in the New Testament clearly forbids.
1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. (Emphasis mine)
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Emphasis mine)
Ephesians 5:17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,(Emphasis Mine)
5. I cannot think of one lasting good thing alcohol brings.
Temporarily stress reliever, maybe; but stress still returns. Temporary laugh, fun with others, maybe, but it then vanishes like vapor in the wind. But the possibility of destruction, evil, harm, sorrow, issues, negative circumstances that it has brought in my life and in the life of others is a list too long to be worth the risk for me.
For instance: Alcohol poison. Bowing down to the porcelain all night. STD’s. Embarrassment. Children outside of a loving family unit. Apologizing, apologizing, and more apologizing. Arrest, DUI, fights, wrecked cars, bad decisions with lasting consequences and on and on and on. No Bueno. No good lasting thing I can think of. It is not something I see giving a return worth all the risks.
My life impacts others regardless of the level that I am aware or unaware of that reality. Being a father my life choices drastically influence my children. Having even a beer or glass or wine is not worth the possibility of negatively influencing my children in regards to alcohol with the possible result of alcohol in their own life being destructive as they grow older.
Also, as a pastor and leader within the body of Christ taking the liberty to have a glass of beer or wine with the possibility of causing a younger believer or even a person in need of Christ to be affected negatively by my liberty is in no way worth it. However, giving up that liberty to guard the possibility of Christ living through my life to help them in their walk with God is well worth it. (See Romans 14:14-23) Also, I am called by the apostle John in the New Testament a king (Revelation 1:6) which is why I then like to follow in step with the “spirit of wisdom” who says first through a mother and then shared by King Lemuel, “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes intoxicating drink; lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the justice of all the afflicted” (Proverbs 31:4-5).
He is the difference; He has made the difference in my life. Not a Jesus of the “mind” or religious thinking but the Living, Sin conquering, Victorious, All Loving, Jesus Christ who is Lord, ever present, and ever satisfying. I have found His person, His character, His substance, His presence enough, enough to fulfill me to where a glass of beer or wine is not desired or needed. What good can drinking alcohol give me that Jesus Christ cannot give me and also cannot give me in a lasting, consistently flowing way.
John 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
Thanks again for allowing me to share “of” and “from” my heart; until next time grace and peace to you in Jesus’ Name.