Under Control or Out of Control?
Bible Reading: Proverbs 23:29-35
Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Ephesians 5:18
As much as Jon likes the friends he’s had since kindergarten, they haven’t been very kind lately. About the time they got into junior high, his friends all started experimenting with alcohol. And these days all they care about is saying things like
• “So why don’t you go drinking with us?”
• “You’re such a baby.”
• “Come on, there’s no harm in a little brew. You might like it.”
You might not even know anyone who drinks right now. But when people ride you hard because you don’t drink, what are you going to say to make them back off?
You can start by saying it’s not fear that keeps you from drinking. It’s brains.
Proverbs 22:3 says, “A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
Do you know the consequences that people who drink stumble into? According to recent statistics:
• Alcoholism causes health problems in one out of every thirteen American adults.
• Alcoholism affects more than 10 million people, costs 150 billion dollars, and is blamed for more than 100,000 deaths annually.
• Alcohol is involved in more than 50 percent of deaths by motor vehicle and fire and more than 30 percent of murders and suicides.
• Alcohol contributes to death in some cancers and to many other diseases.
And there are more ill effects. Physically, alcohol can damage your liver, stress your heart, and take away your memory. Emotionally, it can create anxiety, cause embarrassment from stupid behavior, and lead to family hassles. Spiritually, it destroys your freedom by limiting your ability to make right decisions.
People might tell you someday that you’d be a whole lot more fun if you would drink. But if you really want to pep up your personality, try Ephesians 5:18 instead. Filling up with power from the Holy Spirit will cause you to act differently. You can’t predict what alcohol will do to you. But you can be sure how the Holy Spirit will make you act—just like Jesus.
TALK: How are you going to react when people tease you about not drinking?
PRAY: God, help us to look in the right places for fun and fulfillment. Help us remember the dangers of alcohol when people make drinking sound fun.
ACT: What’s your family plan for handling the pressures of alcohol abuse—pressures that can start as early as elementary school?