One Friday evening, Francis, a young staff of a Nigerian bank had to accompany his manager for a meeting with an Indian Finance Director to finalize agreements on a loan to be granted the Indian’s company. Soon after the exchange of pleasantries, they were offered drinks. The customer already knew that the bank manager takes red wine, and so quickly ordered his preference. Then he asked Francis, ‘What drink will you take?’ ‘Any soft drink will be fine,’ Francis answered. ‘Common, stop kidding me. Feel free and be comfortable. I’m ready to make sure you enjoy yourself. So tell me what you want to drink,’ the Indian said. Francis repeated, ‘Coke, Pepsi, or any soft drink will do.’ At this point the man looked at him in horror, probably thinking, ‘Are you serious?’ Then Francis quickly added, ‘I usually don’t take alcoholic drinks.’ His request was granted and they quickly settled into discussing business.
Lots of people take drink, particularly when they are among their friends or at parties, to enable them ‘socialize’ or at least not appear too different from others. One secular local artiste sang a song that hailed drinks like Moet, Chandon and Hennessy. From my observation, ladies love Baileys. What then happened to warnings that the increasing rate of liver failures today is associated with alcohol intake? You probably have heard that alcohol intoxication affects the brain causing dehydration, slurred speech and clumsiness. Some people reel out a long list of ‘benefits’ of ‘moderate drinking.’ Well, a medical expert on cancer made this remark due to the link between alcohol and cancers of the liver, breast, head and neck: ‘If you don’t drink, there is no reason to start.’
I have heard of families that fell apart because the man of the house would beat his wife or rape his daughters in his drunken state. Another man became useless and lost his job because he had a huge problem with alcohol. So, the inability to control drink has made many men abuse family members both physically and sexually and other men have become useless burdens to their loved ones.
Many girls and ladies, in an intoxicated state, have slept with men whom they would never even have dated in their right senses. There was an incidence where a 15 year old girl committed suicide due to depression after her nude picture circulated social websites. In her inebriated state, at a party, some of her male classmates took off her clothes and fingered her. And throughout this, she was unaware of what was happening. At many parties, some ladies have been raped in their intoxicated state. The bottom line is that alcohol has left several people with regrets concerning things they did in a drunken state. It all started with ‘a little alcohol is not bad.’ Then, a little glass turned to several glasses and then bottles, until they became intoxicated. Most persons who have gotten drunk did not intend to get drunk, but they ended up drunk anyway. It is therefore better to avoid that alcoholic drink than try and control your use of it. Besides, some people whom we don’t expect are guilty as well.
I don’t know how, in a tipsy state, a believer can effectively relate with God in prayer or read and understand the Bible. Maybe the reason some persons (strangely, this includes some pastors that some of us know) have a warped understanding of the Bible is that they read it after having a glass of champagne. People who are children of God are led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14). But how can you be led by the Spirit of God when you are under the influence of the spirit of alcohol? The Holy Spirit and alcohol never go together. Ephesians 5:18 says, ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.’
By the way, we have read that Jesus turned water to wine. Well, the Greek word used for wine (oinos) is a generic term for fermented wine and fresh grape juice. This is just like when Nigerians say maggi, they mean any of Knorr, Star, Maggi chicken, Ajinomoto etc. So what kind of wine did Jesus make in His miracle? Was it burukutu or kain kain or paraga or palmy or the more expensive champagne? All through the Bible, alcoholic drink is discouraged for serious minded children of God, so we can infer that Jesus turned water into fresh grape juice and not the one that made his disciples drunk after they drank it! Can you just imagine Peter staggering along the road after the wedding at Cana, and John vomiting on James because they were drunk? And the little wine that Paul asked Timothy to drink was for medicinal purpose. Therefore, only those to whom alcohol was prescribed by their doctors can consider it. Besides, medicine has gotten so advanced now and doctors have better drugs than alcohol to cure sicknesses. I guess the medical profession was in a primitive stage in Apostle Paul’s days. Also note that for Paul to have recommended wine to pastor Timothy for his ailment, Timothy had not been taking it before. Bottom line: there is no scripture in the Bible that supports drunkenness or the consumption of alcoholic drink, since it can make so many stumble.
Well, the end of Francis’ story is that although he was laughed at for not taking wine that night, he grew to be respected, very successful and influential in the same bank.
So, in this new year, the next time you are at a party or corporate dinner, or just hanging out with friends, be bold enough to ask for a soft drink, juice or table water instead of red wine, champagne, stout, or whatever other name alcoholic drinks go by. Very soon, those who laugh at you would respect you for your courage to be different. I think it’s high time we stopped seeing tipsy Christians scabashing and prophesying under the influence of alcohol.
Remain on top.