|Sparkling apple juice for me, please!|
In brief, here are 5 reasons why I'm a very happy teetotaler.
1. The taste. Ewww.
People say that it's an acquired taste, but I don't understand why one would want to acquire it. If you want to acquire the taste of something, try Brussels sprouts or mustard greens.
Alcohol has proven itself a capable instrument for destruction. 1 in 9 Americans has a problem controlling their consumption, and 30% of Americans have reported experiencing an alcohol disorder at one point in their lives (1). That is TENS OF MILLIONS of people. From brain damage to liver disease, it causes over $2.5billion in medical costs each year in this country (25-40% of patients in general hospital beds are there for alcohol-related complications; 2). It results in 2.5 million deaths every year worldwide (3). This year, almost 10000 human beings will be killed in alcohol-related motor vehicles accidents in the US (based on 2011 data, 4). Many people who are afraid of flying or who get sick at the thought of shark attacks still drink alcohol, even though it is, respectively, 860x and 380000x more likely to kill them (but I guess being mangled by a shark isn't as socially acceptable as drinking). Alcohol brings a lot of trouble and I don't want to participate in it.
I'm not the president of anything and you won't find my picture in a celebrity magazine, but like everyone I have influence in the world, influence on the people around me. Even if I am a person who can drink moderately and responsibly, my example could lead others to drink what they shouldn't when they shouldn't. But why should my life be restricted by the weaknesses of others? "Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat [drink], you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died." (Romans 14:15,17) In other words, my Christianity bids me to lay down my rights for the sake of protecting others.
People argue about if alcohol is absolutely forbidden by God in the Scriptures, but one thing cannot be argued: God detests drunkenness. (Isaiah 5:11-12, 22; 22:13; 56:12; Hosea 7:14, etc.) There are a lot of things in the world that can harm us spiritually, making us unfit for the life God designed, and drunkenness is definitely among them. This is why the Scriptures repeatedly exhort believers to be sober. (Romans 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8; 1 Peter 1:13, 5:8) And the closer we come to the close of earth's history, the more important sobriety is.
5. Sensibilities of the spirit
One of the most commonly expressed desires among Christian people is to hear from God more often and more clearly. Many times we say it sort of complainingly, as if God is not doing His honest part. But we who utter the complaint are the same ones who dull our spiritual senses with busyness, entertainment, gluttony, and...alcohol. God doesn't speak to us through our shampoo bottles or our glove compartments. He speaks to us through our minds. So whatever we do to keep our minds clear and reasoned tends toward spiritual health and a close connection with the speaking God. Conversely, whatever clouds our minds also dulls our spiritual senses and makes it harder for us to hear the voice of God.
Clear mind, clear life.
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine... In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. "They hit me," you will say, "but I'm not hurt! They beat me, but I don't feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?" // proverbs 23:29-35
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you can pray. // 1 peter 4:7