Monday, January 7, 2013

The Sobriety of Turning 21



 So·bri·e·ty noun [soh-brahy-i-tee] Seriousness, gravity, or solemnity.

Ironically enough, this post has little to do with the consumption of alcohol. Although, it is my 21st birthday [on the 14th], so maybe I will end with the conclusion I have reached when it comes to drinking. This coming year I decided to make a bucket list just specifically for my 21st year. I have a bucket list for my life, but I wanted to be intentional about marking off experiences this year. The 21st year list includes:

  •            Skydiving
  •        Running a ½ marathon [my first]
  •      Going on a road trip with friends
  •      Zip-lining
  •      Broadway play [Mary Poppins in April!]



I am sure I will add to the list, but those are my starter activities. Not only do I want to be intentional about trying new things, I want to be intentional in who I am becoming. Taking note of what my passions are and how I am using them. What Godly character I possess and what qualities I most need to work on. What goals do I have for my life and what am I doing right now to achieve them. The habits I have now and my current lifestyle has a certain edge to help set patterns for the rest of my life. Where and how I invest my time, money and resources need to be evaluated on a regular basis. If I die tomorrow, how do I want to be remembered-what do I want to be remembered for. I want to make the most of the one life God granted me.

He has placed me with the family He did for a purpose. Demographically speaking, He has placed me where I am for a purpose. Work/school situations- He has had His hand in and placed me where I am for a purpose. He has given me the friends I have for a purpose. Every good work He has done in my life has had a purpose. Every bit of suffering I have endured and every trial I have walked through has been allowed, by God, for a purpose. Sometimes I understand-other times I don’t. There may be more than one purpose for the work He has done and is doing in my life. No matter the situation, good or bad, I know that the first and foremost goal is to bring glory & honor to His name alone.



I want to look back and remember my 21st year as one that was filled with intentional friendships, selfless serving, spiritual growth & maturity, awesome adventures, and pursuing new passions & interests.



Regardless of my best intentions and efforts…

I will make mistakes.
I will have regrets.

…but they will not define my 21st year of life. To have a life [or a year] without regrets means that no risks were taken.

 I want to take one day at a time. I want to savor the past but not live in it. I want to look to the future but not obsess over it. I want to live today like it's my final one on earth, because only the Lord knows when my last day is. I want to make each day count. 






Switching up topics....
With this being my 21st birthday and all, I am sure I will get comments regarding when and what alcohol I plan on sampling. Here is what I have concluded for myself about consuming alcohol. I would encourage you to not take my word on this matter, but to instead search the Scriptures for yourself. Ask God for wisdom as you seek Him and His heart on this. 

I love Romans 14….the [whole] chapter. It is probably my favorite when it comes to this topic.

all of the following underlined portions are scripture

1 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will acknowledge God.’”[b]
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

To my knowledge, there isn’t Scripture that says to imbibe alcohol is sinning. There is Scripture to support that drinking until you are drunk is a sin and there are many verses on the topic of drunkenness.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. –Ephesians 5:15-20

Verses that I think apply to drinking [not drunkenness]:

-“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.” –Romans 12:1-2
-“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” -1 Corinthians 6:19

-“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” -1 Timothy 4:12

 -“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.” -1 Corinthians 10:23

-“We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.” -2 Corinthians 6:3

We are called to live a life that is set apart for Christ, one that differs from that of the world. For me, I don’t see how consuming alcohol aids in that setting apart and being an example to bring glory to the name of our Father. That's not to say that the how and when a person consumes alcohol can't still set them apart or be done in a way that glorifies God.  These verses apply to so many other areas of life as well. Currently, I have no desire to have even a sip of alcohol, I don’t want the temptation or to purposefully have added something to my life that I know would require self-control, I would just rather avoid it.

I’ve also watched first hand as alcohol has destroyed lives--families. My mom’s brother, only in his mid-40’s, has ruined his health & destroyed his life with alcohol. 

Many would say there is a big gap between having a glass of wine with dinner to becoming an alcoholic. But the social drinker and the dependent drinker all started the same way…it only takes one drink. 

So my conclusion: I don’t think it’s Biblically wrong to drink; to have the occasional glass of wine in celebration or whatnot. I do think it is a sin to be drunk. I think that it’s something that needs to be done with great caution and with the correct motive. It bears great responsibility and potential consequences.

That's my $0.02 worth...what are your thoughts on:

1. Living life with intention 

 and/or

2. Alcohol

Ready. Set. Discuss.

xoxo

liv

2 comments:

  1. This is such a neat post, I love it. It's wonderful to see someone my own age with such a good, God-centered head on their shoulders :) I just turned 21 in November, and although I did have a drink on my birthday, I completely agree with you regarding your wariness towards alcohol. And? Love the bucket list. DEFINITELY making one for myself this year, even if I am two months late ;)

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    Replies
    1. Meg, thanks so much for the compliments! It is definitely NEVER too late to make a bucket list. =) You're blog is adorable btw.

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