Disclaimer: To those I know this is post is the result of a study of Proverbs and something I read on another blog. It is not about an specific incident or individual, so do not ask. Well, with all of that said on with the post.
Recently, I read something on another blog that got me to thinking about how as Christians we have a tendency to be selective in what parts of the Bible we apply to our lives. It is like there is a list of “Don’ts” or sins that we are quick to decry yet at the same time we ignore other sins. At least in some groups the list of Don’ts includes drinking, smoking and dancing. Some even include going to movies or listening to any form of rock music. At the same time other sins like gossip, gluttony, and “keeping up with the Joneses” are glossed over, barely mentioned or even just ignored.
What makes drinking worse than gossip, in God’s eye aren’t all sins equal?
From reading the Bible I know that the first miracle Jesus preformed was to turn the water into wine. Also, Paul instructs Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach and there is also evidence to support that during Bible times people drank wine including Jesus. The Bible also commands us to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and not filled with spirits.
Proverbs 31:4-5 makes it clear that leaders are to abstain from alcohol. Logically, that it is wise for leaders or those in positions of influence to abstain from anything that might impair judgment. Many lives have been destroyed by the abuse of alcohol, drunk driving, or the loss of inhibitions.
So what about gossip, gluttony and greed?
In our consumer driven, super size-me society gluttony and greed are readily overlooked. Proverbs 23:19-23 simultaneously warns of the dangers of drunkenness and gluttony. According to this passage drunkenness appear to be equal. Misuse or abuse of alcohol can lead to major problems but what about over indulging in food? Heart disease, diabetes and other weight related health issues are growing problems today especially in the West.
We live in an over-indulgent society where many seem driven to have more and/or better toys. We seem to obsessed with getting more stuff. It is okay to have things as long as it is kept in perspective. Despite what that t-shirt says “He who dies with the most stuff” does not win. Stuff is temporary and will eventually go away. Instead are focus should be on things eternal (Matthew 6:19).
Gossip is another sin that is often overlooked. I have heard plenty of sermons and lessons about the evils of gossip. Yet one of the best places to hear gossip is a church fellowship or prayer request time. It seems that some hold the belief that gossip is really harmless and words cannot hurt anyone. Gossip can be just as destructive as alcohol. While it may not cause physical harm it can destroy the spirit.
Galatians 5:15-26 challenges the reader to live a Spirit controlled life. It warns of the dangers of living a life that is driven by our own selfish desires. The results include rage, jealousy, factions or cliques and drunkenness among other things. In contrast the results of living a Spirit controlled life include a life marked by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
An example of living a life of self-control and moderation is found Daniel 1:8-12. Daniel and other young men had been selected to study and live in the kings court. Only the brightest and best were selected. They were offered plenty of rich food including meat and wine. Daniel and his friends however chose to eat vegetables and water. In the end their practice of moderation they were healthier than the others.
Finally, in I Peter 1:13-25 as Christians we are called to lead a holy life. This does not mean that we are perfect. In means that there should be a difference in our lifestyle.