So, a couple of weeks ago I posted part one of my journey and thoughts regarding drinking. To recap, basically I was an extremely judgmental elitist who wasted a lot of energy on a subject which wasn’t half as big of a deal as I made it out to be.
Everyone was so kind in their comments and responses! I’m glad that my little thoughts were of good use. There’s nothing quite as powerful as hearing someone else say “Me too–I struggled with that also!” to feel community and support. (Looooove it!)
Without further hesitation, here’s part two, or “Get out of your house!”
There’s nothing like travel. I might have the worst time getting somewhere, have my plane hit a pole on the tarmac (true story), get stressed out of my mind packing, or not have enough money, but I’ll never let that stop me from experiencing new cultures, sights, sounds, or experiences. I’d say I’m a rolling stone, but I’m not really a hat person.
One ginormous difference between American culture and, for example, British (or arguably European too) is alcohol consumption. Drinking is NOT taboo. I’d walk into a pub at 10 am and there’d be a guy in a corner happily drinking a pint. Kids introduced to alcohol at a much younger age, as the drinking age begins at 18. Pub culture plays a HUGELY important part of British life and community. People are much more responsible when it comes to drinking (in my experience)–It’s just all completely different than America!
Why is drinking kind of taboo here then? Well, I’m no expert, but I think a lot must have to do with the American prohibition. It hasn’t even been 100 years since that 18th Amendment to certifiably ban alcohol (if you’re wondering, we still have six more years to go!) The gluttonous excess of the early turn of the century and the exciting illicit nature of drinking during the prohibition has left a strange stigma for modern Americans. Maybe that’s why drinking is seen in current culture as an “all or nothing” extreme, one that frowns at responsibility and moderation and loudly approves of the same wild gluttony and “let’s get wasted” culture (ironically kind of mirroring the same turn of the century mentalities that caused all that drama in the first place).
So, what do I think? Well, balance is an omnipresent theme in my life (so it seems), so I’m learning too! But this is what I’ve realized so far:
1. Get out of the house. Go experience a new or different culture–one with differing beliefs–and let these experiences broaden your thoughts. You might not want to come home and copy everything you see (like I don’t see myself drinking beer at 10 am anytime), but it’s good to see life from a different set of lens. It’s healthy to go beyond yourself (even if you’re just going the town over. You don’t have to hop across oceans to experience new mindsets!)
2. As Christians, our litmus test must be (and I’ve probably written about this before) 1 Corinthians 14:1. We must ask ourselves “Is love my highest goal in this action?” Love of God, love for others around me, love for myself and the body God has gifted me with. When it comes to drinking, I think excessive use is probably more times than not a big “no” to the 1 Corinthians 14:1 question. Remember that though we walk in freedom, with great power comes great responsibility (sidenote: I just can’t wait for the new Spiderman movie next summer, y’all!)
‘”I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be masted by anything.”‘ 1 Corinthians 6:12.
(Note: this also applies to those who do NOT drink.)
2a. Christians: if you drink or if you don’t drink, we’re all members of the same body. Let’s not “cause one another to stumble”–period. Our freedom is cause to serve one another in love, not berate or belittle. There’s a million verses on this–get inspired.