The news this past week has been filled with alleged stories of the behavior of a proposed judicial appointment. This is not an article dealing with any political view about this matter. It is simply an attempt to call to our attention to impact that our behaviour has on those in our society. There are some valuable lessons to be learned by every Christian.
The lesson about associations. Judgments are readily made about people based on the company they keep. While the Bible often teaches the importance of fleeing from those who do evil, we fail to heed heaven’s advice. The first psalm describes the blessedness of those who do not walk or stand with the ungodly and sinners. One does not have to be engaged in evil actions for his influence to be destroyed simply because he was in the presence of evil.
The lesson about drinking and other sins. From the first drink there is a lessening of inhibitions which otherwise regulate our lives. Think about places where drinking prevails. Why do bars need “musclemen” who can remove trouble-makers? Has alcohol ever led sports’ fans into anger, cursing and destruction of property? Do not forget the account in Esther when a drunken king with his drinking friends demanded that Vashti become an object of their lascivious hearts.
The lesson about drinking not excusing bad behaviour. Our society tends to excuse wrong behaviour by “justifying” it—“Well, he was drunk when it happened.” Doing one evil cannot “justify” the doing of another evil.
The wise man Solomon wrote this in Proverbs 23.
The Bible question. “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?”
The Bible answer. “Those who linger long at the wine. Those who go in search of mixed wine.”
The Bible directive. “Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly.”
The Bible description of the results of drinking. “At last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things and your heart will utter perverse things.”
The Bible description of the addictive nature of drinking. You will not remember what happens and you will say, “When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”
There are choices we make which can destroy us and our influence. We need to be wise and use divine directives in the choices we make about behavior. Remember, “It is always right to do right, and it is always wrong to do wrong!”