“Who are the people who are always crying the blues? Who do you know who reeks of self-pity? Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all? Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot? It’s those who spend the night with a bottle, for whom drinking is serious business. Don’t judge wine by its label, or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavour. Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—the splitting headache, the queasy stomach. Do you really prefer seeing double, with your speech all slurred, Reeling and seasick, drunk as a sailor? “They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt; they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing. When I’m sober enough to manage it, bring me another drink!” Proverbs 23:29-35
I’ve never personally struggled with alcohol. Does that make this passage of scripture irrelevant to me? Hardly.
If you’re someone who has personally struggled with alcohol, is this scripture a bright spotlight on only your transgressions? Hardly.
Drunkenness is a state of inebriation, insobriety, tipsiness, impairment, intemperance and overindulgence… and if I were the gambling kind, I would definitely place my bet on the fact that each of us, at some point in our lives, has struggled with a little impairment and a whole lot of overindulgence.
When we ask ourselves the following six questions – via the NIV – it places us all on the same playing field.
Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has strife?
Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises?
Who has bloodshot eyes?
The Bible does not promise us a life of easy breeze and sandy beaches. It clearly states we WILL have troubles.
But it’s in the handling of our hardships we determine what path we’re going to follow.
We can choose temporary security, or we can choose wisdom.
We can seek momentary relief, or we can choose wisdom.
We can trust in that which is flawed and fleeting, or we can choose wisdom.
It’s in the trusting of His strength we determine how we’re going to make it through. And it’s in the relying on His security we determine the kind of life we’re going to live – one that either races from wrong answer to wrong answer, or one that rests in the only answer that can provide perfect peace.
He is our only hope. I’ll drink (water) to that!