Destructive Power of Alcohol

According to a study conducted by JAMA Psychiatry; “A new study shows that 32 million Americans, nearly one in seven adults, have struggled with a serious alcohol problem in the last year alone” (Main). This goes to show how much of an impact alcohol is having on Americans today. Yet, Ephesians 5:18 says “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.” We are to only be controlled by the Spirit of the Lord, not by any substances such as alcohol.

Proverbs 23:29-35 speaks clearly of the dangers of alcohol and those who abuse it. The destruction caused by alcohol brings sorrow, contention, foolishness, mutilation, mental anguish, poor health, and more.

If we are to break down verse 29 alone, we see sorrow, contention, complaints or babbling, mutilation, and mental anguish as symptoms of alcohol consumption.

Sorrow is seen through people getting lost after turning to alcohol. It is seen time and again that even born-again Christians become different. People become angry, rebellious, and violent, which often leads to divorce, abuse, and neglect of those near and dear.

Contention creeps into once happy and thriving relationships and families. Fighting, arguing, and violence bring a wedge into relationships, leading to the separation of families.

Complaining and babbling is something we are all guilty of at times; however, while intoxicated all inhibitions leave. This leaves a person to make foolish decisions that last forever.

The mutilation factor is associated with the huge death toll that is associated with alcohol abuse. Over 200,000 people are victims to alcohol related deaths each year. This includes car accidents, domestic accidents, homicides, etc. To put this number in perspective, the casualties of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were roughly 115,000 lives lost.

“Redness of the eyes” is associated with mental anguish. When one weeps or lacks sleep, their eyes are red. Sadly, people are drinking trying to find happiness and in the end it is the one thing they have the least of! While they might have fun while drinking and partying, the joy is temporary, and often forgotten.

Verse 32 speaks of the bite of a serpent. Alcohol is associated as a caused for 7 cancers, in addition to high blood pressure, depression, and dementia. Why do people vomit after lots of drinking? Their stomach has more sense than the brain to rid itself of this toxin, like it does with food poisoning.

Verse 33 is scary in that alcohol causes hallucinations and immorality. Hallucinations speak for themselves, but the immortality comes from the perverse uttering of one’s heart. These lead to lowered inhibitions and self control, often leading directly to sin.

Verse 35 speaks of insensibility of dulled senses and the addiction that seeks the next drink above sleep.

Regardless of personal convictions, the Bible is clear in its stance on alcohol. The Word condemns the drink itself in Proverbs 20:1. We are the children of God, and He wants his children to be free of the hold and oppression of alcohol. On the contrary, He desires us to be under the influence of the Spirit.

Wine is called a mocker in Proverbs 20:1, and it deceives those who drink of it. It promises happiness, friendship, joy, strength, confident, and free, but it actually causes one to be unhappy, lonely, miserable, weak, afraid, and slaves.

The devil uses alcohol as the worldly substitute for a Spirit-filled life. While alcohol causes poor judgment and loss of control, the Holy Spirit offers control over life and emotions.

The enemy lies and says that drinking in moderation is completely fine, but what leaders do in moderation, people will do in excess. This absolutely includes drinking and smoking. The Bible warns against all evil, and it does not teach to practice evil in moderation. Also, for the sake of those around us whom God has delivered from this bondage, it’s wise to abstain completely from use of alcohol. Bible says that our job is not to cause our ‘little’ ones to stumble back into their old ways of life.

This testimony always reminds me of the destructive power of alcohol…

Sources:
Main, Douglas. “30 Percent of Americans Have Had an Alcohol-Use Disorder.” Newsweek, 1 Apr. 2016, www.newsweek.com/30-percent-americans-have-had-alcohol-use-disorder-339085.