Tag Archives: alcohol

Dealing with Temptation

We’re often tempted to do or say unhealthy things. The temptation alone isn’t an issue. However, losing the battle in our mind by sinning or at least intending to sin (rebel against God’s ways) IS! Here’s what Jesus’ half-brother James had to say about this:

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. —James 1:14-15.

So, we must learn to squash temptations before they become intentions and sinful actions. But, what is temptation? It’s a strong desire, but still in the mind. So, it isn’t a problem as long as it stays there. By the way: temptation is common.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. —1Corinthians 10:13.

We have the freedom to do what we ought—choose the right path and not let temptation lead to sin. We who have the Spirit of God can walk by that Spirit to ensure we don’t sin.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. —Galatians 5:16-17.

Reading the Bible daily and praying and meditating all the while can help us imitate Christ as we walk in His ways and away from temptations to do bad things.

Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. —Romans 13:13-14.

And, we should avoid temptations we can’t control. For instance, anyone with a weakness to gamble should stay away from places that host gaming. Have a weakness for alcohol? Stay away from friends who drink and places that sell or serve alcohol. Tempted by sexual misconduct? Stay away from media that show nudity and sex.

Finally, pray, pray, pray!

Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. —Matthew 26:41.

Next week, we’ll look at the concept of judgment by Christians.

Blessings and peace,

Ron Braley

To Drink or Not to Drink. Is that the Question?

As with so much in God’s creation, we can use something for good or abuse it in rebellion. Alcohol use can be risky and one should always be aware of how much they’re drinking, how it’s affecting them, and why they’re drinking in the first place.

            With few exceptions that are primarily related to religious dedication and behavior in the ancient temple of God, Scripture tells us these things about alcohol use:

  1. It was common in ancient Israel and in fact, the entire Mediterranean region. There were (and still are) good reasons for responsibly consuming alcohol; here are but a few:
  • Positive health effects and relaxing qualities
  • Bacteria-free drink in areas without good drinking water
  • Being an integral part of festivities
  1. Intoxication (drunkenness) through alcohol abuse is sinful behavior that can result in separation from God and ultimate judgment.
  2. While its use isn’t prohibited, we must abstain when there’s a chance our partaking may cause someone else to stumble (sin) (cf. Romans 14:20-21).

Here are a few supporting Scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments.

  • Some wine, but not too much, is acceptable. “You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household.” —Deuteronomy 14:26. And “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” —Luke 7:34.
  • Don’t become intoxicated. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit —Ephesians 5:18. (See also 1Timothy 3:3 and “nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” —1Corinthians 6:10.

How should we address alcohol use by others in the church? First, understand that the potential for addiction and abuse of a variety of what might otherwise be useful things exists in everyone. Some will be able to responsibly consume alcohol and others won’t. Some will be able to gamble as occasional entertainment and others won’t. And yet others will responsibly eat food while their neighbors will be gluttonous. We should always be on the lookout for our fellow followers of Jesus, correcting them as necessary (more on this later when we address the question of judging). But otherwise, we aren’t to judge others regarding their use of alcohol as long as it doesn’t cause them to sin.

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day —Colossians 2:16.

            Do you enjoy God’s creation in moderation? Or do you abuse some things, turning the good into bad?