There are a number of things I hate, but one thing in particular. I guess that comes as a surprise to those of you who know I’m a christian. After all, christians aren’t supposed to hate anything are they? Aren’t we supposed to be loving, kind, tender-hearted, sensitive, patient, long-suffering? We’re not supposed to be angry as christians or are we? This might be the subject for a good word study on “anger” and another on “hate” in your Bible if you’re not sure. You may be surprised at what you find, but you’ll have to study it for yourself. I don’t think I should tell you what the Bible says or what a particular verse means, and you shouldn’t take my word concerning the Word of God. You should look to Him and let Him answer.
So what is the thing I hate in particular? If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that I’ve struggled with alcohol. Actually, it wasn’t much of a struggle. I just laid down and took it. Now, if you’re still reading this then you’ve got one up on those who have already clicked off when they saw the word “alcohol,” and said to themselves, “I ain’t gonna read this . . . ” There’s a good chance that you’ve lived with it long enough to know that it’s a contentious, demanding, unrelenting wife who doesn’t care anything about you, and only wants what she wants. I apologize to the married women out there who I’ve just insulted, but as any alcoholic knows the analogy is barely the beginning of it when it comes to describing a long-term relationship with alcohol.
Some men can be highly functioning in their relationship with alcohol being able to work-often times at a high level-and still maintain relationships with others-at least on the surface. I wasn’t one of them. I was barely functioning, much less high functioning. I can hear your silent objection even as I’m writing this, “Well, you couldn’t handle it, ” you say, and you’re right. I couldn’t, but in the beginning I could, in the middle I could, and then it was only toward the end that I realized I hadn’t handled it at all. Any thought of control is a lie, an illusion, and the fact that you’re still reading this indicates that on some level you’re aware of it.
A lot of people, especially the modern-day helpers, like to blow smoke (fill in your own phrase) at alcoholics. There’s a lot of clinics and programs out there geared to helping alcoholics quit drinking, but quitting drinking is like divorcing an abusive spouse. Just because you don’t feel the punch, hear the cussing, doesn’t mean you haven’t already felt it, and been damaged by it, that you still can’t hear the curse words being yelled at you. Sorry, for the image, I’ve just created, but this post isn’t about being PC. It’s about being real, and being true, and about saying what needs to be said whether you like it or not.
At the time, I couldn’t see it, at least not very clearly, but what helped me, and what helps anyone is a recognition of the truth; simple, unvarnished, in-your-face, God-breathed truth. I’ve known a lot of people who drank, many of them like me. How was I able to quit when the others didn’t? I can tell you it wasn’t through self effort, or taking some magic pill. It was through a confession. Nobody wants to hear that. Nobody wants to believe that a confession can change someone’s life, and they’re 99% right. A lot of people confess to a lot of things, and don’t change one wit. How many times have you heard someone say “I’m sorry,” and turned right around and did the same thing again?
It’s not that I confessed, but to who I confessed, and what I confessed. You’ve heard it many times before; seen it on any number of tracts. “God, I’m a sinner. My life is a mess. I can’t help myself. If You don’t help me I know I’m going to die. I believe in Your Son, Jesus Christ, and that He died for me. Please help me.” He did. I don’t blame anyone for thinking that something like that happening is just crazy. To any rational, intelligent human being saying something like that just doesn’t make any sense, but it’s not supposed to.
I know what I was and where I was, and I know where I’m at now. I know the change that took place, and continues to take place. I gave up drinking, and never took another one. There were many times when the thought of taking one crossed my mind, but I just wasn’t that person anymore. Back then, I had two issues I was trying to deal with by drinking: fear and control. Today, I trust my Lord and put the issues of fear and control in His hands.
I hate alcohol; beer, liquor. I hate it because I know what it does to people. How it affects their thinking and their actions. I hate the illusion it creates, and how it blinds people to the things and people around them. I know what it does to marriages, the damage it causes to families, and how it destroys its host. I also know that it doesn’t have to continue, and that it can be overcome by the love of Christ.
One of the best things ever written on the subject and it’s consequences is located here: http://biblebelievers.com/billy_sunday_booze.html It’s still true, and it still stands.