Wednesday, May 27, 2009


When people are done working for the day, they usually want to loosen up. A friend of mine told me recently that he used to loosen up by drinking. He said,
"I've always been a pretty serious person. It was fun to lose inhibitions and do and say certain things that I wouldn't do while sober. Unfortunately, the things I did and said while drunk were almost always the source of later shame and regret. Eventually, the pain associated with drinking overtook the fun -- but it took 20 years to realize it."
You may or may not agree with me, but I like to have a beer every now and then. But I don't need a drink to loosen up. Hopefully I can be loose and fun and full of God's Spirit at the same time.

God's Spirit can do some of the same things as alcohol! When the Holy Spirit first came down some of the people thought they were drunk. Besides getting happy, the Holy Spirit gives you a great group of people in your life, and, instead of forgetting about what bothers, the Holy Spirit brings healing and real joy.

"Do not get drunk with wine," we read in Ephesians 5:18, but "be filled with the Spirit." Jesus was made wine (from water!), partied and drank--i'm sure in moderation--so we can't say we must stay away entirely from alcohol (unless, that is, it's illegal or a problem for you).

But, because of what our Lord Jesus has done for us, giving us forgiveness and a forever family of friends, the Holy Spirit fills us with joy that is not false, that does not cost money, that children and youth and elders and AA members can participate in. No one needs to be left out.

Besides that, it connects us with the Truth. Unlike alcohol and drugs that can make us feel more fun than we are, more handsome or beautiful than we are, the spirit of God can make us ACTUALLY more beautiful, smarter, funnier... Ask the folks who participate in Alpha or the Prayer School to give you examples!

I think, as a church, we should do what we can to loosen up, to be more fun and less judgmental. And, when people think we're crazy or too much fun to be Christians, don't take offense... just say, like Peter did in Acts 2:14 and following...
“Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.’
To "prophesy" means to speak the truth from God. The joy that the Lord gives is REAL, authentic. It demands honesty. But, when we know how much we're truly loved by God, we can be honest and JOYFUL, even at work!

Hope to see you in church--let's see if a smile won't come to your face and a bounce in your step... and maybe someone will think you're just a bit tipsy in the Lord.

1 comment:

  1. You hit the nail right on the head with this one. I entirely agree with you. I also admire your tenacity to tackle these kinds of issues. So often, I think we choose to not talk about the "tough" issues, while they're often the ones that we need to talk about the most.