Beliefnet

Do you feel shame or guilt for having a glass of wine?  

Maybe. But drinking as a believer is not bad unless you know you can’t control it.

Many of you might disagree about moderation, but from my perspective, I see nothing wrong with it. God told us to drink wine from our own vineyard, as it was a sign of blessings, or hard work.

“Drink your wine with a merry heart,” (Ecclesiastes 9:7). It depends who you talk to as drinking itself is not a sin--it’s the action where you overindulge, get drunk and doing stupid things during, or afterwards.

In Ephesians 5:18 the Word says “do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” In Proverbs we are told not to be winebibbers, this means "getting drunk.”

There is no doubt that it can be dangerous for a person to get drunk when they are feeling bad, or are dealing with issues. We know if there is someone we’re going out to dinner with, who can’t handle it, we should be mindful of it. We refrain from doing this as if the person has a weakness in this area--we shouldn’t throw in their face.

We would be just as guilty in the eyes of God.

“Don't tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble (Romans).”

There was a time when my circle of friends believed not to touch any alcohol. Not even, wine, but what happens with this scenario is it gives way to excess. Not having a drink is not the answer for those who can handle it. There is no mention in the Bible that claims that drinking as being a sin or is evil. Sin is defined as being lawless. Having a drink doesn’t fit this description. We are not breaking God’s law. We are warned to not do things in excess and walk in the flesh. In Galatians followers were warned about not getting entangled with sin.

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

You can’t deny the devastation alcohol has on society. Drinking can become a habit, is addictive, and destroys lives. The Bible, again, warned us what happens when we create bad habits that there will be consequences.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reported that one in every 12 U.S. adults suffer from alcohol abuse from binge drinking patterns. This is 17.6 million people who are struggling with drinking and dependence. There are 88,000 deaths that are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use, and the health problems associated with drinking excessively range from liver disease, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and dementia.

NADD wrote: “Alcoholism has little to do with what kind of alcohol one drinks, how long one has been drinking, or even exactly how much alcohol one consumes. But it has a great deal to do with a person's uncontrollable need for alcohol. Most alcoholics can't just "use a little willpower" to stop drinking. The alcoholic is frequently in the grip of a powerful craving for alcohol, a need that can feel as strong as the need for food or water.”

Yes, over drinking can cripple a person. If you feel you can’t handle it, don’t drink. Enlist a friend who can help you. The Bible condemns excessive drinking. It condemns going into a world of addiction, where evil lurks. Set boundaries if you struggle in this area. If you can control drinking into your life, there is nothing wrong with a drink.

We have free will? Yes.

1 Corinthians 10:23: “We are allowed to do anything,” so they say. That is true, but not everything is good. “We are allowed to do anything”—but not everything is helpful.”

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