Dad, why don’t you drink?

I need to start this post with a whole lot of disclaimers. For one, I don’t think people go to hell for drinking and I have a whole host of cherished friends and relatives that drink alcohol and I love them dearly and don’t judge no matter what they choose to do personally. That said, I imagine as my son gets older he will one day ask, “Dad, why don’t you drink?” and as I thought about the answer, I jotted a few reasons down so here goes:

  • I guess you could say your Dad has full throttle tendencies. This trait has proved valuable in spiritual growth, personal development, and other healthy endeavors. It’s deplorable with destructive habits such as drinking alcohol. At one time your dad tried to be the best he could be at it; the problem is the consequences suck so being good really isn’t good at all.
  • I have never heard anyone say, “They were mildly successful before, but boy when they started drinking they really took off!”
  • Show me a family for whom alcohol alone has made a positive difference in their lives. You won’t be able to.
  • I don’t know of a 12 step program for non-drinkers. If you don’t start drinking, you’ll never have to stop.
  • Hangovers are similar to the stomach bug or flu, only self inflected… sound fun?
  • By not drinking, I’ll never make a headline like this one from the other day: “Boozy plane passenger drops his trousers and URINATES in aisle in midair during flight to UK”
  • Drinking interferes with processes of memory and with new learning.
  • Alcohol interrupts normal sleep patterns, which affects energy, mood, and anxiety levels.
  • Alcohol is a direct central nervous system depressant that interferes with mood stability and promotes depression. (Trust me on the depression part.)
  • It’s a short-term relief when you are anxious, but leads to rebound anxiety, which makes matters worse. Jesus can help with anxiety.
  • Alcohol greatly increases the likelihood of using other substances.
  • Watch any police interrogation on The First 48, a documentary that gives a insider’s look at the real-life world of homicide investigators. They all are something like this: “Look man, we just were hanging around hav’en a few drinks when…”
  • Alcohol has ruined many, many marriages.
  • What I do in moderation, my children might do in excess.
  • $29 billion comes from treating people for drinking-related health problems.
  • Excessive drinking is responsible for about 88,000 deaths each year. Studies define binge drinking as at least five drinks for men, and four for women.
  • Alcohol and drugs are implicated in an estimated 80% of offenses leading to incarceration.
  • Most inmates are in prison in large part because of substance abuse and nearly 50% are clinically addicted.
  • Alcohol is a factor in 40% of all violent crimes.
  • Nearly 40% of all traffic fatalities are alcohol related. Every day 36 people die and approximately 700 are injured in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.
  • 90%… that’s 90%!… of acquaintance rape and sexual assault on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 child victimizers reported that they had been drinking at the time of the crime. About half reported that they had been drinking for 6 hours or more preceding the offense.
  • I find it true what Scott F. Fitzgerald, the writer of “The Great Gatsby,” said, “First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” This was said obviously before his death of many hemorrhages from excessive drinking.
  • Alcohol kills brain cells.
  • Here is a little riddle from God about drinking: “Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks. Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down. For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper. You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things. You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast. And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?” Proverbs 23:29-35 NLT
  • This one is more to the point: “Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.” Proverbs 20:1
  • How about this one: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol. Alcohol is for the dying, and wine for those in bitter distress. Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more.” Proverbs 31:4, 6-7 Oh yes, put me in the dying, bitter distress and poverty group!
  • Lastly, “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?” Romans 6:21 I personally have yet to see any benefit that is reaped from alcohol, but it did produce plenty of shame.

Personally, I don’t want to flirt with something that has such huge consequences. At the end of the day it’s a personal choice that I will not judge others for, just as I pray they will not judge me for not. Till next time… Dallas

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