Is Drinking Affecting your Walk with God?

drinking blogThe words hit her full in the face.
“You’re not fun anymore.”
She was always the life of the party.
If there was a dare, she’d do it. Kesha was her spirit animal. Crazy Beautiful Life was her life compressed into a song.
So having one of her best friends tell her she was no longer fun because she chose God instead of partying made an impact.

It hurt.
I am not going to tell you drinking is wrong. It isn’t wrong when it’s done in moderation. But when you abuse it, it takes you away from the Lord. You do things when you drink that you would never do sober. It can destroy friendships. Most importantly in Galatians 5:21, drunkenness is described as a “work of the flesh.” As followers of Christ we are called to reflect Him and to run to Him with all our strength. If alcohol is doing the following things in your life, it might be time to put it away for good.

1. It takes you away from the Lord

Everything we do should spur us closer to Christ.

Everything.

Our God wants us to surrender everything to Him. Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
In all your ways.
Remember our purpose here on earth is to bring glory to Him, so we need to allow Him to permeate every aspect of our lives. If going out is making you grow farther away from the Lord, it is time to stop.

2. It is hurting your friendships

You don’t act like yourself when you drink too much, you can make bad decisions. If you have chosen to surround yourself with godly friends who love you and your drinking is hurting those friendships, you should probably revaluate. Ask your friends if you act like yourself when you drink or if you do or say hurtful things that you normally wouldn’t. See what their input is. Tell them to be completely honest with you and then be prepared for an honest answer.

3. Your friends and family tell you it is an issue

If your family and friends have told you it’s issue, you need to stop. Confronting a family member or friend about a drinking problem is scary, so if they have taken the initiative to tell you about the problem, you should consider what they have to say.

4. You are being convicted

If you wake up after a night of going out and you have this feeling in the pit of your stomach that you have sinned, pay attention. That is the Holy Spirit doing His job. He is convicting you. He is calling you to repent. Remember that repent means to turn away. That means RUN. Ephesians 5:18 says, “And do not get drunk with wine […] but be filled with the Spirit.” Getting drunk is a sin, even if you do it alone. God calls us to be filled with His spirit and if we are drunk we are not giving a good reflection of our Savior. Remember you might be the only Christian someone ever meets.

Making the decision to not drink might make you unpopular. You might lose friends. But consider this, if they will drop you because you are trying to walk closer to the Lord-were they ever really friends to begin with? Also, you can be fun and not drink. It is possible and it’s liberating. Once you free yourself up from alcohol, you have real, genuine conversations with people. You will see your friendships are based on more than just standing around at bars. You will be more active and see more beauty in God’s creation. God does not call everyone to give up drinking. But if you see evidence in your life that drinking is taking you away from having a more intimate relationship with the Lord- it is worth giving up.

-Rach

Why You Should Stop Letting Social Media Control Your Life

social media blogThe two friends analyzed the picture, brows furrowed in concentration.
“But do you think it’s Instagram worthy?” asked the taller of the two. Her small, brunette friend grabbed her iPhone and held it close to her eyes, scrutinizing every detail.
“Yeah, for sure. Your hair looks awesome. Plus that app we found to add makeup makes your skin flawless, you will definitely get at least 100 likes.”
Triumphant, the willowy blonde hit share.
The next hour was marred with compulsive glances at her phone. She bit her lip, she had only gotten 24 likes and it had been up for 45 minutes: an awful like-to-minute ratio. She turned to her friend, “Should I take it down? I’ve barely even gotten any likes. How many people have already seen it? Do you think people will notice if I take it down at this point?”
Her friend fell silent, a sympathetic look crossing her face.

We have have the need to feel loved, to feel accepted. Deep within our souls, we long for validation. We want to be liked. That longing is normal. Who doesn’t want to feel loved or cared about? The rise of social media has made of all highly aware of just of how popular we are among our peers. The number of likes you get on a picture, the number of followers you have on Instagram, or the number of views you get on your snap story has enabled us to quantitatively determine our popularity.
I know I’ve struggled with this.
The scenario I described above is pretty much a conversation I’ve had with my friends countless times. It’s only been over the past year that I’ve realized that the number of likes I get or the number of followers I have does not determine my worth. In fact, it has zero correlation with my worth.

My worth is found in Christ.
Your worth is found in Christ.
He never changes.
He never gives up on you.

Isn’t that truth so much better than finding your value in the hands of your peers? Whose whims change on a daily basis?

We all have that need to be accepted. The need is rooted deep within us. It stems for our need for Christ. Our souls long for completion through an intimate relationship with Him. It’s not really the number of likes you get that you want. What you truly want is to be accepted and loved unconditionally. That type of love and acceptance can only come from having a relationship with the Creator of the Universe, who loves you regardless of your Instagram following. Whenever I struggle with my identity I always recall 1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” And that is what we are!
We are children of God. Just let that sink in for a second.
When you walk around with that kind of power at the forefront of your mind, does it really matter how many people have viewed your snap story?
Jesus Christ died for you.
When you are armed with that truth, who cares if you get 15 likes or 1500?

Social Media can be a really good thing. It’s fun to share exciting things happening in your life with your friends. But it can be a bad thing when it controls what you do or when you compulsively check to phone to monitor the number of likes you receive. I challenge you to examine your relationship with social media. Does it dictate what you do? Do you find your identity with who likes your picture? Or how many likes you get?

Instead of being focused on your social media accounts, dig into the word of God, grow into your identity as the daughter of the Most High. Spend time praying and drawing near to Him. He promises, “you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Find a good book that challenges and grows you as a Christian. Understand that your worth stems from Him and Him alone.

-Rach