Posted November 3, 2009on:
This is one of those “do I push the publish button or not” posts…too real…too fresh…probably too much to put online…but realness beckons!
I used to go to a church that taught that Christians should never drink…and I believed it too. I didn’t drink, I was a good little girl…and I pretty much judged anyone who claimed to be a Christian and drank…And anyway, I really didn’t get it…”why drink at all…I have fun just like you except I can remember it in the morning…what? you only had one drink, well i’m guessing you probably still blacked out anyway…i mean really how many drinks does it take?”
The problem began when I became dissatisfied with church answers and decided to look to Jesus answers…I went through the bible to try and find that illusive verse that says those who choose to follow Christ should never drink. And I found one…you know the one where Samson is set apart as a Nazarite and never drinks…that proves that God’s people shouldn’t drink right? Ok, never mind that Jesus turned water into wine, and that Paul tells Timothy to drink a little wine – it was only cos the drinking water in that day was so bad for them that they HAD to drink wine…never mind that Jesus offered the disciples wine at the last supper or that the bible says “do not GET DRUNK on wine” not “do not DRINK wine” – same thing really…
Anyway, so here I sit with this conundrum (i really like that word) and feeling like the biggest pharisee in the world for being so judgemental. And then one day I decided to taste this heathen drink…huh, what do you know, actually tastes good. Then one day I decided to buy myself a whole bottle of cider…then another day it was 2…then another…then i got into wine…then i moved to the biggest wine producing region in south africa…spiral!
I’ve been doing a lot of inward looking lately…trying to work out issues in my life, searching for the root cause and trying to hand ALL the crap to God so he can sort it out. And one thing I realised was that alcohol gives me this sense of false freedom. When you are drunk you can say and do whatever you want…and the next day you can always just blame it on the alcohol…That lie worked for a while, until I realised that “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”, and the same can be said for actions as well. It wasn’t the alcohol making me do those things, it was my brokenness that wanted to do those things…the alcohol just lay down all my inhibitions and brought out the sinfulness that’s already in my heart.
And it really does feel freeing being drunk…really does…but then in the morning you wake up and you are filled with regrets, and that is not freedom! Freedom sets you free…freedom feels free…it feels good…it does not feel like a hangover…or a “oh crap I said/did that last night”…
I recently discovered that freedom is not being able to do or say whatever you want when you want – that more often than not leads to you getting hurt or hurting someone else… Freedom is found in living by the principles that lead to an abundant life. Freedom releases you to love, be loved, be in community, all that good stuff…freedom is not found in hiding, in hurt, in regret. One of my favorite passages in William Young’s “The Shack” is when Papa says to Mack that the Truth shall set you free, and the Truth has a name…Freedom is found in walking with the Truth (i’m paraphrasing).
So I’m learning to walk in the Truth…with The Truth…I’m trying to depend fully on him…trying to lean on him…and find my freedom in him.
Freedom in Love!