When it comes to alcohol and drugs, most people turn to the Bible for wisdom. Unfortunately, many of us misinterpret what the Bible says regarding these substances. By examining the Bible’s views on these subjects, we can gain insight into what God would have us do in this life.
What does the Bible say about Alcohol and Drugs
The Bible not only condemns the general use of drinking and drugs, but it also provides guidance about the need to completely abstain from intoxication. The Bible says: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18). This and other Bible verses lead most Christians to conclude that intoxication is not what God intended for humans, and that we should abstain from these substances entirely.
The Bible also tells us that “We must not become involved with the things that belong to the world: wicked desires, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.” (Galatians 5:19-21). Thus, the Bible indicates that we should be free from the influence of alcohol and drugs as part of seeking to live wholesome, God-honoring lives.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the Bible prohibits all forms of drinking or uses of drug-related products. We must remember that the Bible was written in a cultural context so different from what we find today. In many cases, substances such as alcohol were used medicinally rather than for recreation. Moreover, we must remember that even if some of the Bible’s authors approved of these substances in certain contexts (such as celebrations, or medicinal purposes), this doesn’t mean that we should be permitted to ignore their warnings and pursue them in our own lives.
We can also look to the Bible’s words on “self-control,” which refer to our ability to keep our desires in check. The Bible warns us that “each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” (James 1:14). The point here is that one can be tempted even if the substance isn’t present, and that we must rely on our own self-discipline and commitment to living a God-honoring life in order to protect ourselves from substance abuse and addiction.
Finally, as the Bible says: “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Whether or not we choose to consume alcohol and drugs — or any other substance — is ultimately a matter of personal conscience. We can still make an effort to glorify God in our lives, even if our personal choices don’t match up with the most “Biblical” standards.
What Should Our Responses Be?
Rather than obsessing over whether or not we’re allowed to drink or use drugs, the Bible is clear that our focus should be on living a life full of joy and peace. The Bible says: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). We should focus on finding joy and contentment in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in — whether that means consuming alcohol and drugs or not.
We should also be guided by the principles of love and mercy. The Bible says: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32). Our responses to those who struggle with alcohol and drugs — and even those who advocate for their use — should be rooted in love and mercy. If we persecute those who do not perfectly align with our views on these substances, we do not glorify God.
In addition, the Bible also tells us to exercise wisdom in all that we do. The Bible says: “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” (Proverbs 3:7). This includes being careful about the conversations we have, the choices we make in our own lives, and the counsel we offer to others. We must always be mindful of God’s Word and strive to live lives that glorify him.
How Do We Guard Against Abuse?
When it comes to guarding ourselves against the abuse of alcohol and drugs, we must take a proactive approach. The Bible says: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” (Hebrews 13:5). We can trust that God will never leave us in our times of need, and instead of relying on substances to make us feel better, we should trust God and rely on him for comfort.
We should also strive to keep our lives open to God’s will. The Bible says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). We should make it our desire to be filled with God’s Spirit and allow him to lead us. With his guidance, we can seek to align our lives with his will and reject the dangerous effects of alcohol and drug abuse.
We also need to remember that substance abuse can be difficult to overcome. Therefore, we need to surround ourselves with supportive and encouraging people. The Bible says: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17). We can seek out supportive relationships that are built upon truth and love in order to encourage greater accountability and protect against substance abuse.
Finally, if we do find ourselves in a difficult situation or struggling with substance abuse, we should turn to God in prayer. The Bible says: “In the day of trouble, I will call to you, for you will answer me.” (Psalm 86:7). Whatever we face in life, we can trust that God will answer our prayers and provide us with the strength to overcome our trials.
How Can We Help Others?
If we know someone who is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, we must remember to love them unconditionally. The Bible says: “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17). The Bible asks us to reach out in love and compassion to those who are suffering, and it promises that God is always at work to bring life and healing out of difficult situations.
We should also remember to be patient and understanding with those who have been affected by substance abuse. The Bible says: “Love is patient, love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4). We should strive to extend grace and mercy to those who are struggling, and remember that no amount of love is ever enough to heal all wounds.
We must also remember to offer hope. The Bible says: “Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5). We can share the hope that is found in Jesus Christ and the knowledge that he alone can provide the healing and freedom that is necessary to break free from the cycle of addiction.
Finally, it is important to be aware that while knowledge is power, knowledge alone is not enough when it comes to substance abuse. The Bible says: “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6). We must work to get the right knowledge and share it with others, but also take action to ensure tangible help and support is provided to those in need.
What Can We Conclude?
The Bible provides a clear warning against getting intoxicated through the consumption of alcohol and drugs. As Christians, we must strive to guard against abuse and addiction by recognizing our own vulnerabilities and cultivating a strong relationship with God, surrounded by supportive and encouraging relationships.
When dealing with those affected by substance abuse, we should strive to offer them a lifeline of grace and love. We can offer hope for a better future, knowing that Jesus is strong enough to rescue us all from any situation. We should educate ourselves about the dangers of substance abuse while taking action to ensure tangible help and support is available to all who need it.
A husband of one wife, father of two beautiful girls, laborer of Lord, Jesus Christ, and a servant to God’s His saints. I hope to encourage you by God’s grace. Thank you for stopping by.