Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:18 (NLT)
If you’re driving along Route 360, about 30 miles south of Richmond, VA, you’ll pass Drunkard Road. I can’t imagine what they were thinking.
As I had a long drive ahead of me there was plenty of time to ponder what kind of mind would come up with a name like Drunkard Road? Almost certainly it wasn’t a real estate broker who named that street. After all, cute is cute, but a name like that can’t do much for property values. Living on a street reserved for “drunkards” conjures up pictures of staggering, sloppy and obnoxious.
As I re-read the last sentence (to see how it would sound) I was gripped with fear that the sensitivity-police might come and lock me up. So let me disclose that I am in complete and compassionate solidarity with those attempting to find release from the bondage of alcoholism. I also stand with other sinners of all kinds who despise their sin and wish to break the chains of addiction. This includes liars, gluttons, abusers, sexual sinners, thieves and all the rest you can name.
I condemn no person (that’s above my pay grade); I’m a fellow-sinner seeking forgiveness and cleansing. However, having said that, I am fully inclined and committed to naming sin as sin. Staggering, sloppy and obnoxious behavior follows drunkenness as surely as mold comes from standing water.
But the important distinction here is the difference between behavior and trap. Addiction is the “trap” that cripples an addicted person. Tobacco, alcohol and other addictive substances have chemicals that trap or bind a person’s nervous system as well as their thoughts and emotions. There’s little room left for choice. That’s why Scripture warns against “drunkenness” of any kind – it muddies the waters of free choice. It takes away the freedom to choose wisely, one of the characteristics which define our symbiosis with God’s image.
Behavior is what we choose to do. And choosing to associate oneself with addiction is never a smart, Godly choice. It’s like living on Drunkard Road; you might not be one, but you’re flirting with it. And, like my (and your) Mother used to say – when you lie close to the dog, you’re going to get up with fleas.
Now, having stated the obvious in several ways up to this point, let me cut to the chase:
It is fruitless and unkind to blame or condemn people caught in the trap of addiction. They need help out of the trap.
It is just as foolish, if not sinful to remain silent when loved ones are on the verge of behavior that will land them in the trap. They need a strong warning to stay out of the trap.
For You, Today…
Got a loved one who’s flirting with the trap, or in the trap?
Are you flirting with the trap, or in it?
Scripture warns….Loving people help
See how God provides all we need?