Review Your Drinking Habits (Proverbs 20:1)

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”—Proverbs 20:1

Father Hurley taught that drinking in moderation is acceptable. But what does moderation mean? We generally think of moderation as not too much and not too little. In Aristotle’s ethical philosophy though, moderation is based on the individual. Moderate drinking for a severe alcoholic is no alcohol. For a young person who just turned 21, moderate drinking should mean one shot, in a controlled environment, to observe their body’s reaction.

I stopped drinking alcohol in October 2010. The Spirit said, “If you keep drinking, you’ll turn into an alcoholic.” I wasn’t a heavy drinker, so the directive seemed strange but I obeyed. This October will mark 7 years and all I can say is that obedience is better than sacrifice. Drinking—in and of itself—isn’t bad. But all of us need to regularly keep watch over our relationship to alcohol.

Being drunk isn’t a good state to be in. About two years ago, I was in a pizzeria in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was about 2am. I was waiting for the Megabus to come, so I could come back home to Chicago. While eating my slice of pizza, four young ladies came in, got in line, and ordered. Three of them went back out. They left their friend at the counter by the front door. She was sloppy drunk. She kept slipping off the tall stool. I kept an eye on her. She kept winking at me—probably thought I was interested in her. Actually, I felt sorry for her. And I didn’t want someone to slide her out the door in her condition. I was relieved when her friends came back—about 15 minutes later.

Having a cocktail or two is fine and all. And I won’t condemn anyone who drinks. But remember our subject. Review your drinking habits.

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