I still remember my first date in college. We doubled with Gloria, a friend from high school, and her date. I always admired Gloria for her good judgment. I didn’t know then that this was because she was a follower of Jesus.
Alcohol was served and my date offered me a drink. I had just turned 18 and felt a rush of excitement as I glanced at Gloria. What would she do? After all, we need to protect our reputations! To my amazement, Gloria accepted one! I did the same.
I soon emptied my glass and my observant date offered me another. Again I stole a glance at Gloria. She was already on her second drink! I hesitated, but I was still thirsty so I accepted. Halfway through the second drink it hit me. As I noticed Gloria finishing hers, I said, “This is making me dizzy. How are you doing?”
“Oh,” she replied, “I’m just drinking plain soda.”
Suddenly I felt embarrassed. I had followed her example. Yet in her innocence I had been misled.
It was years after my marriage that I came to Christ. One night at a party I was holding a glass of orange juice when I was suddenly aware of the example I was setting. For the first time in twelve years I thought back to that college party with Gloria—and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart.
I rarely hold a beverage these days. I’ll sometimes go without anything rather than possibly mislead another. I would never say it’s because I’m a Christian that I don’t drink. After all, Jesus turned water into wine! But to me, drinking in today’s American culture has a different connotation than it did for the early Church.
Jesus expects us to love our neighbors. If by my not drinking, I can cause a weaker brother to feel comfortable doing the same, then I have shown love. Who knows, there may be someone nearby just waiting to hear, “No thanks,” so he can comfortably say the same.
- Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.” Luke 17:1-3a
- We Have One Business in Life: Quote by John Wesley, circa 1780; Remaining words and music by Kathleen:
[This life is temporary. This life is short. When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells; but our souls will continue to live forever. Where will the “real you” live? Will you live for all eternity separated from God? Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven? Learn more so you can make your most important decision: http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/ and www.godlife.com
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