So much has been said about the arrest of pop star, Justin Bieber, on charges of DUI, allegedly following four days of carousing in Miami. I do not intend to add to the countless comments on the matter; social media has enough of that. However, this incident reminded me of my decision many years ago to stay away from beer and liquor.
My father was the oldest of eight siblings, and naturally, family gatherings were held at our house. I liked those gatherings…until my uncles got drunk. One of them, Uncle Joe (not his real name), seemed to be drunk all the time. Come to think of it, I never saw him sober. When my father started working overseas in the 1970s, Uncle Joe would come to our house every now and then, drunk as ever. Naturally, my mother did not allow him to enter the house, and he would become violent and loud. He would curse my mother at the top of his lungs, throw stones at our windows, urinate on the street, and do all sorts of things to embarrass himself and our family.
I was probably 11 years old when, after Uncle Joe’s embarrassing visits, I decided not to do anything that could possibly lead me to becoming a drunk like Uncle Joe. I have never tasted beer. I once had a shot of gin, but that was at my fraternity’s hazing event. Perhaps, once in two years, I would drink a glass of red wine. But that’s it. I would rather drink root beer or ginger ale.
I do not avoid beer and liquor because I consider drinking these as a sin. In fact, it does not bother me if you drink alcoholic beverages. It is just that I do not want to be enslaved to alcohol. I have seen how drunkenness damaged the marriage and family of Uncle Joe, and I do not want that kind of bondage to drive a wedge between me and my wife and family.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13 NIV)
The advertisements say, “Drink moderately.” Well, in my case, I try to stay away completely and intentionally. In this area, I want to live a self-controlled life. My intentions are clear.
Photo credit: Miami Herald
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