What do I say to those I know who are believers in Jesus, or at least were raised in a church, but choose a lifestyle of drinking alcohol? Several times a week they are consuming more than just one or two drinks. Frequently they are at the point of fall-down stupid drunk. We live in a culture that yells “don’t judge!” when a conversation tries to occur so what can I say to them?
How can I tell them that my heart breaks to see the path they are on? Don’t they know the consequences of continuing in this lifestyle? It might seem fun right now, but can they think ahead several months or years down the road?
Are they ready to accept heart damage, liver inflammation, pancreatitis, a higher risk of developing certain cancers and a weakened immune system? Do they want to live with frequent stomach pain, diarrhea, loss of bladder control, sexual dysfunction, muscle cramps, and possible diabetic tendencies?
Are they ready to accept that their thought processes in the future will be really messed up? That they could get to the point where their moods are not what they used to be and it will be difficult to think logically for any length of time? That the ability to do simple tasks like putting on a belt will take significantly longer than normal?
If their physical bodies are working fine right now, are they willing to give that all up for muscle loss and loss of coordination? How about loss of appetite or even throwing up while eating because of the irritation alcohol has done to the intestinal system?
Are they willing to lose their job and the dignity that comes from contributing to society? Are they willing to be cut off from friends and family?
My whole being wants to shout at them. I want to be in their faces to point out the wrong way they are on. I want to open their eyes to the amazing lives they have. I want them to be grateful for how well their bodies work right now. I want them to have a good look at the amazing world in which we live. How can they see all the beauty around them if they put themselves in a grey cloud of alcohol?
I wish that I could go back in time and say all these things to my husband.
The song running through my brain says, “Fresh outpouring, tear the fabric open. Come, Jesus, come. Breath of heaven, nothing left unshaken, we long for more. We need a fresh outpouring…” Sometimes all I can do is pray: Let my friends be gently pulled back to You by Your Spirit. Remind them of how much they are loved. Help them to live in ways that are pleasing to You.