Thursday, April 24, 2014

LifeWay Explore the Bible: Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Imagine sending your 13-year-old son off to spend the night with a friend. This friend's father and mother are trusted key leaders in the church; yet, unbeknownst to you, they are social drinkers. While spending the night with this friend, your son is introduced to alcohol from the parents' wet bar. This begins a spiral downward leading to drug use, the destruction of the son's health, multiple arrests, multiple trips to the E.R., thousands of dollars spent on legal and rehabilitation fees, a divorce, and now, this 42-year-old son is living at home with you, his parents, still fighting the battle that began when he was 13. This true story is a snapshot of the battle that goes on when alcohol or any other drug takes control and precedence over our relationship with Christ. This subject is the focus of our Explore the Bible study this week as we focus on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

While this study will focus primarily on alcohol, there are certainly other substances and habits which, if embraced, will take control of our lives as well. For example, in Tennessee, we are known as the "buckle of the Meth belt” that stretches roughly from Oklahoma to South Carolina.

This will be a challenging study because there are so many opinions on the use of alcohol. Realistically, even in the most conservative environment, most teachers will be standing before a large majority of group members who see nothing wrong with drinking in “moderation” or “responsibly” since this is the message of our culture.

Yet there are inherent dangers to drinking and other drug use. While the Bible does not say “don’t drink,” it does emphasize avoiding strong drink and anything else that might control us or take possession of our lives which should belong to God.

As you teach this study be aware also that April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time to learn about the health and social problems caused by drinking too much. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) encourages the public to dedicate this month to understanding how excessive drinking can affect health. While this is a secular, governmental site that takes a moderation approach to drinking, the information and statistics provided are very helpful.

I pray that your group will be able to have honest dialogue about alcohol and drug use that will lead to commitments to live a standard that honors Christ allowing nothing else to possess us other than Christ Himself (Ephesians 5:18).


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