Sunday, December 28, 2008

Alcoholism - Dec 28

Now it must be said that neither myself or any of my immediate family abuse alcohol. We partake to be sure - I consider myself an occasional drinker - but none of us overdo it. That is not to say that we're better than anybody else. We're not, just that we've managed to avoid this scourge. As we are still in the holiday spirit (pun intended) and there's still New Year's Eve to navigate, I think it's important to discuss alcohol addiction, or in everyday terms, alcoholism.

Denial Is The Greatest Enabler of Self-Destructive Behavior

Rationalizing our sins has become a national pastime. Why do we maintain a lie long after irrefutable evidence has been given witnessing to its corrupt and false nature? The truth stares at us an inch away from our face and yet we still practice denial. 'It cannot be there and it must not be there, therefore it is not there'. Perfect circular logic defeats truth once more. We die for a lie knowing it's a lie because pride prevents us from coming to the truth.

A Litany of (T)Error

  • I serve on the city council. Councilman are never drunks.
  • I'm a respected member of society.
  • I'm the local hockey/baseball/basketball/football coach. Coaches don't show up drunk at a game they coach, do they?
  • I make a six-figure salary. Only bums are drunks.
  • I've never gotten drunk in public. Only drunks get drunk in public.
  • I only drink to be sociable. I never get drunk in private.
  • I'm married with kids. My wife and kids love me and I love them back. Does that sound like an alcoholic to you?
  • I don't sip out of bottle in a brown paper bag in an alley somewhere.
  • I've got a mortgage and bills to pay. Drunks don't have mortgages, do they?
  • I'm a church elder. If you're a church elder, there's no way you can be an alcoholic.
  • I'm educated and literate. Only uneducated people abuse the stuff.
  • I drive a fancy car. Would I risk driving drunk if I have a nice car?
  • I need a drink to relax. What's wrong with a some relaxation?
  • I wear a suit and a tie. Only people with crappy clothes are alcoholics.
And the Most Dangerous Lie of Them All?

I'm a good person. Good people are never drunks.

Every single one of these statements is false. It doesn't matter how respectable you are or how much money you make. It doesn't matter what your job description is or your family situation. It doesn't matter what car you drive or the clothes you wear. Alcoholism respects no borders or social strata. Not one of these statements carries any legitimacy. They have absolutely nothing to do with alcoholism or substance abuse.

What's The Cure?

Our hearts deceive us. We see ourselves as whole when we're falling apart. We see ourselves as holy and good when we're full of sin. We think ourselves pure when we're corrupt. We've seen those that have gone their own way, living by their own rules and doing their own thing. The world lies and tells us, 'This is freedom!' while we still come to ruin. We live in a world which rationalizes and enables sin in the name of some kind of corrupt freedom. I think that's why people are drawn towards Jesus. He purifies and makes us whole (and holy). Christ did not come to condemn. He came to save the lost. He came to redeem, to show the way of grace and mercy for the lost sinner. That's the message Jesus brings to us each and every Christmas. A message of hope and love. Will you trust Him today?

Johnny Cash

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